Elizabeth Whalen

Here are my most recent posts

Living in a Storage Unit: How Common Is It?

By Elizabeth Whalen   November 17, 2014

storage units

Some people enduring homelessness are easy to spot, but many—perhaps most—are not. They’re living with friends and families, in their cars or in shelters.

The Youngs, a Florida family of five, ended up homeless after being forced to sell their home. Unable to find space in shelters, they moved into their car and put their belongings in a storage unit. Eventually, they began spending nights in the unit. → Keep Reading

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The 12 Hardest-Working Towns in America

By Elizabeth Whalen   August 26, 2014


With everything Labor Day has come to symbolize—the end of summer, the beginning of the school year, a weekend of good deals at the mall—it can be easy to forget its purpose: to celebrate workers’ contributions to America.

Americans everywhere work hard, but in honor of the holiday, we wanted to crunch some numbers and find the metro areas where the hardest-working Americans live. Here is SpareFoot’s list of the 12 Hardest-Working Towns in America. → Keep Reading

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Going It Alone: America’s Top 15 Hubs for Solo Entrepreneurs

By Elizabeth Whalen   June 18, 2014

Solo entrepreneur

Fleeing the corporate cubicle farm sounds enticing, especially when you’ve got a bad case of the “Mondays” or feel like you cannot possibly deal with one more copy-machine paper jam. Actually leaving isn’t quite so simple, though. Unless you’re independently wealthy (which begs the question of why you’re stuck in a cube farm to begin with) or blessed with extraordinarily generous parents, you’ve got to earn a living.

One resolution to this dilemma is to start your own business, which might conjure up ideas of securing venture capital or just being free to do only the really fun stuff. In reality, it often means being a solopreneur–at least at first. → Keep Reading

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Where Do America’s Diehard Fashionistas Live? The Answer Might Just Surprise You

By Elizabeth Whalen   April 30, 2014

women shopping for clothes

Pop quizzes (at least the ones in school) aren’t usually much fun, but we think we’ve found an exception—especially if you like fashion. Beware: Coming up with the right answer is not as easy as it appears.

Ready? Here goes: Where do America’s most devoted female fashionistas live? New York, right? Or perhaps Los Angeles? If not one of those two places, it must be Chicago, home to the Magnificent Mile, or Washington, D.C., where so many designer-suit-sporting female politicians and lobbyists are.


Miami? Boston? San Francisco?

None of the above.

→ Keep Reading

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America’s Top 15 College Housing Capitals

By Elizabeth Whalen   March 31, 2014

University of Rochester dorm

On college and university campuses, opportunities abound to make friends, join student organizations and discover new hangouts while also cramming for exams and finishing final reports.

Dorms, or residence halls as they’re officially known, can enrich this experience. In addition to being convenient, they provide a structured living environment for students in transition, such as freshmen living away from home for the first time, said Lydia Batchelor, chair of the National Association of College and University Residence Halls. Many residence halls offer special programs to ease students through such transitions, Batchelor said.

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The SpareFoot List: America’s Top 15 Apartment Boom Towns

By Elizabeth Whalen   March 9, 2014

apartment building

If you live in an apartment, you could have the luxury of living across the hall from your friends or the misery of living down the hall from your nemesis (bonus points if he’s named Newman). Perhaps you enjoy the simple comfort of knowing someone else is responsible for fixing a leaky sink. Or maybe you constantly feel as though you’re trapped in a mystery novel titled “WTF Are My Upstairs Neighbors Always Doing at 2 in the Morning?”

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The Top 15 Economic Power Towns in America

By Elizabeth Whalen   February 17, 2014

economic power towns

Ah, life in the suburbs. If TV and movies are to be believed, it’ll either leave you feeling bored and longing for the excitement of the city or suspicious of your neighbors and the dark secrets they’re hiding. In exchange for their beautiful neighborhoods and spacious homes, suburbanites trade long commutes to good jobs in the city, right?

Not always. As suburbs continue to grow, some of them are—at least in economic terms—desirable places to live, offering jobs at major companies without the hassle of commuting. By our count, 124 of the Fortune 500 companies are based in communities with fewer than 50,000 residents. In fact, 14 of these communities host more than one Fortune 500 company.

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America’s 15 Baby Boomer Boom Towns

By Elizabeth Whalen   December 17, 2013

baby boomers

By the time the first Baby Boomers turned 18, they had witnessed the rise of Elvis Presley, the launch of Sputnik, the introduction of the birth control pill, the “I Have a Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

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America’s Top 10 Military Boom Towns

By Elizabeth Whalen   November 5, 2013

military boom towns

We all know members of America’s armed forces protect us and our freedom, but they do much more than that.

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10 Tidiest Towns in America

By Elizabeth Whalen   September 10, 2013

tidiest towns in america

When you were young, your mother tried—and hopefully succeeded at—teaching you the importance of tidiness. Although you probably ignored her advice throughout your teenage and college years, especially during finals, you eventually acknowledged she was right. If not, you risk teasing or even criticism from your roommate, spouse or boss, or even dear old Mom when she comes to visit.

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