Below are 5 everyday financial problems. Under each problem, are two different ways to solve the problem.
By applying what you have learned about behavior change (If you’re new, just search the term behavior on the right hand sidebar) on this blog, decide what method will result in the highest chance of success.
By listing your answers in the comments (just need to list A or B), you’re entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card. The winner is whoever answers the most questions, correctly. If there is a tie, I’ll randomly draw a winner from those who answered the most questions correctly.
You have until this Thursday, June 16, 2011 to enter. At 12 P.M. U.S. Central Standard Time, I will have a new post announcing the winner and an explanation of why that solution will lead to higher rate of success.
(One more thing, if you ReTweet this post, you’ll have two entries instead of just one, if you make it to the final round.)
Problem # 1: John wants to start saving for retirement. He currently spends 100% of his paycheck. His goal is to save 10% of his income.
Solution A: With a goal of saving 10%, John decides that to reach his goal, he needs to cut his expenses by 10%. Therefore, he signs up for an account at Mint and starts to budget his money.
Solution B: John’s employer has a 401(k). As of now, John is contributing 0%. John completes the paperwork to start saving 5% out of his next paycheck. Three months from now, he will increase his savings rate to 10%.
Problem # 2: Mary has a bad habit. Every time she goes clothes shopping, she ends up signing up for the store credit cards. Although she saved 15% at the time, she has trouble paying them off each month.
Solution A: Mary should cut up her store credit cards and freeze her credit.
Solution B: Mary should use her willpower and commit to not going shopping for six months.
Problem # 3: Jack’s goal is to save for a once in a lifetime vacation that he will take in a year. Total, the vacation costs $1,200.
Solution A: Jack opens a sub savings account, nicknamed “Dream Vacation”. He schedules a withdrawal from his checking account, to sub-savings account the day after his paycheck normally arrives for $100. He does this once a month.
Solution B: To help pay for the vacation, Jack decides to earn more money. Jack’s friend makes $200 on the side each month blogging. Therefore, Jack decides to start a blog about his passion, travel. He sets a goal to earn $100 a month after-taxes to pay for his trip.
Problem # 4: Susan needs to start budgeting her money. She has no clue where it all goes.
Solution A: Susan commits to budgeting her money for 30 days. After,, she’ll look at her results and decide to continue or not.
Solution B: Susan commits to budgeting her money, from now on.
Problem # 5: When Ray has a few seconds at work, he tends to shop at Amazon. With Amazon making it so easy to pay, Ray now has a closet full of books he hasn’t read. What should Ray do to stop this habit?
Solution A: Ray uses a browser extension, such as Stay Focused to block Amazon from his browser. Once Ray clicks on a link that takes him to Amazon, it redirects him to his monthly budget spreadsheet in Google Docs.
Solution B: While talking with a friend at lunch about his behavior, Ray decides not to buy any books on Amazon.
P.S. – Tonight, I’m sending out some insider info (the exact posts on this blog that contain the answers) to subscribers of the Gen Y Wealth newsletter. If you haven’t joined yet, please subscribe below.
Photo by: ToastyKen