We're continuing with the first round of Free Money Finance March Madness (if you wonder what's going on in these posts, see my article announcing March Madness and/or click on my March Madness category link and scroll down to read all the posts involved in this subject.) I've listed each "game" (one post versus another) in segments along with the wording provided by the author when the post was submitted. Be sure to comment which one you like the best out of each set of two as commenters have the chance to win a free book. Here we go:
- 25 Steps To A Wildly Successful Personal Finance Blog - A popular one with the ladies was this one post in which I outlined some steps a personal finance blogger should take if they want a "wildly successful" blog. Not everyone who follows ever step will reach wild success but many have said they've found this list very helpful and I'm very glad that I wrote it well enough to be of some assistance. The list itself is actually 29 items, the extra four coming as ideas after I hit publish!
- Students, Laptops, Digital Cameras, Huge Cars, and Debt - This post is an observation on how students fall into debt. It expresses my worries about students buying a lot of expensive stuff that they don't "need" and cannot afford.
- Get Rich!! Play the Lottery!! Somebody has to win - I like this post because it shows how absolutely impossible it is to win the lottery. Yes people win the lottery, but they also get struck by lightening, drown in their own bath tub, and get killed by errant fireworks, and unfortunately you have thousands times better luck having the former happen to you that win the lottery.
- T-Bill Investment Rate: Is it APR or APY? And What Is Your Taxable Equivalent Yield? - In this post, I explained what the T-Bill investment rate is, whether it's APR or APY. Furthermore, I also showed how to calculate the equivalent rate based on the one's state tax rate.
- Don't Let Real Estate Clean You Out - Why Did I Pick This Post? This article was well received, especially in the real estate blogging community. It took in a lot of comments and turned out to be one of my most popular posts. I think this is both a funny as well as an informative post -- and a warm tribute to my dry cleaning guy.
- Do You Judge Your Financial Situation? - When an event happens, it is in the past. However, when we judge the event we carry it along like a weight on our back slowing us down (keeping us struggling) from reaching our financial goals. We need to learn to let go and forgive the past to have the energy to attain our financial prosperity. Take a look to see if your judgments are keeping you from your financial abundance.
- Socially Responsible Investing, Part 2: Some SRI Options - If you've thought about incorporating your social values into your investing and banking, this post is chock-full of resources for you about how to do it. From an exploration of a wide variety of mutual funds (both traditional/progressive and religiously-based) to savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs, there are a lot of options for you and this post will help you find them.
- Missed Fortune 101 -- horrible advice! - This post has close to 150 comments on it. This Douglas Andrew book really got my ire up, and it sparked a debate that has continued on the blog for a year and a half.
- Tax Planning - Tax planning involves seeking strategies to reduce your tax burden or at least be tax efficient with your investments. Seeking ways to reduce or defer or possibly eliminate taxes is what tax planning is about. Remember its not what you make, but what you keep!
- Dave Ramsey is Bad at Math - This is probably the most controversial post I've ever written. Love it or hate it, it has certainly gotten people fired up over repaying their debts. Nearly two years and well over 100 comments later and it's still going strong.
- The Secret to Success - Good Decisions - I use this story in new hire training that I do. The story also has relevance to personal finance activities.
- Pets Take a Bite Out of Your Wallet - Pets are expensive, and the costs associated with caring for them are often sorely underestimated. This post urges readers to understand the financial and time commitment required for a pets well-being before taking the plunge into pet ownership.
- Slay your energy vampires: Unplugging appliances saves money and cuts pollution - You may be as surprised as I was to learn that appliances use electricity even when they're turned off. Unplugging them is a terrific, easy way to save money on the electric bill and have a better environmental impact at the same time.
- Teaching Your Children How To Save - When you have children, one common question that parents seem to discuss is the concept of an allowance and the desire for their children to be responsible with money. This post details how we established our allowance system and have started our children on the path to saving money.