Here we go 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. I've also listed a keyword(s) after each post title to make it easy to vote (as a made-up example, you can just comment: Game 1 - Saving; Game 2 - Investing, etc.) Be sure to comment which one you like the best out of each set of two. Here we go:
- You Need an Emergency Fund (Emergency) - In today's economic environment you need a funded emergency fund. This financial tip will hopefully motivate you to start your emergency fund today.
- How Would I Live on a Minimum Wage Income? (Minimum) - A hypothetical budget for a single minimum wage earner that includes health insurance and retirement savings. The budget amounts used are pulled from personal experience and are doable. Some people claim that you just can't make it on minimum wage. Read this and see how one person tries to make it work.
- Lucky moves or smart choices? (Lucky) - How do you know if luck or wisdom played a role in your finances? Did you make the right financial decisions or were you just in the right place at the right time? Did you weigh ever decision or roll the dice? Are there ways to change things in your favor?
- How I earn up to 30% return on my Hotel Expenses (Hotel) - My post is a great example of how to maximize an opportunity by combining several reward promotions. The money I am able to get back is definitely a significant amount relative to what I am spending. It shows that doing your homework can definitely pay off.
- Negotiate With Credit Card Issuers (Negotiate) - This post contains simple advice on getting a better deal from credit card issuers. If you get hit by a fee, interest rate hike, etc., simply call them up and ask them to fix the problem. Given how much it costs them to secure new customers, you'd be surprised how willing they are to deal with you.
- Shopping at Costco the frugal way (Costco) - Here's how to become an extremely disciplined Costco shopper and save significant amounts of money, even for small families.
- Saving Money by NOT Changing your Own Oil (Oil) - Many people believe they are saving money by changing their automobile's oil themselves. Are they really? Others believe they can only be sure the job's done right if they do it themselves. What's the truth? Let's find out...
- 14 Ways to Give More Meaning and Less Stuff (Give) - I don't know about you, but it drives me nuts to give and receive so much meaningless stuff, just out of tradition. It's bad for the environment, it's stressful to have extra clutter in the house, and it emphasizes material objects as the way to show people you care about them. This post gives a variety of suggestions for keeping the holidays (and other gift-giving times) meaningful while cutting down on purchasing new items for others, with tips on different approaches like giving to fewer people, giving to charity, giving gifts that are not "stuff," and giving non-purchased gifts.