Best Cheap Date: Cooking and Board Games

Congratulations to the Alpha Consumer Challenge winner.

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Congratulations to Jim of Blueprint for Financial Prosperity for winning the third edition of the Alpha Consumer Challenge! His best cheap date idea—to cook and play board games—won by 1 percentage point. He will receive Break Down Your Money: How to Get Beyond the Noise to Profit in the Markets by Fox Business Network reporter Tracy Byrnes.

I asked Jim to share a few things about himself and his site:

Why did you start your personal finance website?

I needed a way to read, learn, and talk about personal finance with people who were interested. I started a year or so after I started my first job and had no one to talk to when it came to personal finance. My friends were like me, new college graduates, and were more enamored with all the digits on their paycheck than with how to best spend or save it. I'd always been pretty savvy online and in looking around I discovered several personal finance blogs that interested me, so I thought I'd start one, too. Over three years later, here I am! What's your favorite money-saving tip?

It's that you should have goals in place to remind and motivate you to save. Whether the goal is a vacation in six months or an emergency fund of six months of expenses, the goal will give you the motivation to actually save. You can use tips like driving slower or putting all your spare change in a jar, but the goal will help you make better decisions. Do you want a cup of coffee or $3 to go toward your vacation? Do you want to cut out Netflix for a year and pay down some credit card debt? I think goals are crucial. Tell us one more thing about yourself.

I recently got married in February of this year. We had our honeymoon in Hawaii, quite possibly one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Marriage is wonderful and makes for some great blogging topics!