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:
- 15 Ways to Establish and Improve Your Credit History and FICO Score (15 Ways) - According to FICO, 60% of all people have a credit score less than 750. This means there is plenty of room for improvement for many people. While you won't be able to fix your credit history overnight, there are many things you can do to begin building a more positive credit history.
- Snowflaking: A Primer (Snowflaking) - Snowflaking is a concept that many people actually employ but few people can name. It involves systematically and purposely saving and earning small amounts of "extra" money to reduce debt or increase savings. Doing this in a purposeful manner can make a huge difference in your financial health. This post outlines what snowflaking is and how to get started implementing it in your own life. It has worked wonders for me!
- Illustrated Debt Snowball (Snowball) - Are you ready to get out of debt? Consider using a 'debt snowball'. Checkout this easy-to-understand illustration of the snowball method.
- Breaking the Consumer Debt Cycle (Breaking) - This post details our mental transformation regarding consumer debt, like auto loans. When we finally "woke up" and started questioning the money rules we had learned growing up from our parents we realized that a lot of the things we'd been taught were just wrong. We're working to change our lives for the better, and that includes breaking the consumer debt cycle.
- Fix the small things (Small) - This post applies "broken window theory" to personal property from a savings and spending point of view. Should you paint your house now just because the paint is fading, or should you wait for it to start peeling? Is it worth fixing a small ding on your car or should you wait until really needs some serious body work? This post shows why it makes financial sense to fix small issues before they become big problems.
- Little Steps: 100 Great Tips For Saving Money For Those Just Getting Started (100) - It's just good advice - and a lot of it. There's something on this list that anyone can apply in their own life to save a little extra money - and sometimes that can make all the difference.
- The Fisherman and The Investment Banker (Fisherman) - This old story - with a new twist - may be the most important story that you ever read! Why? The MOST IMPORTANT financial decision that you will EVER make in your life is: "how much do you need and when?". EVERYTHING that you do depends upon the answer to that question: it determines how much risk you NEED to take, and HOW and WHEN you NEED to invest. Let the Fisherman get you started ...
- Personal Finance Lessons from George Washington (George) - Our nation's first President had quite a few memorable quotes and many of them were applicable to money, finances, and the importance of a frugal lifestyle. This post picks out nine of them and explains how they apply to personal finance, even today.