September 25th, 2013
One of my favorite shows on TV right now is Project Runway, a reality competition where fashion designers fight for the top prize. I’m in no way a fashionista, but it’s really amazing to see what the contestants can produce within a mere 1-2 days.
It’s probably hard to imagine that a silly reality TV show has anything to do with finances, but where there’s a will, there’s a way… to make it work! Sew keep reading for cleverly designed analogies, bad puns, and maybe some financial advice.
It’s Not a Team Game.
Project Runway is pretty notorious for team challenges and the resulting drama that ensues. As the contestants have different personalities, styles, and work ethics, it’s interesting to watch them (attempt to) work together. However, in the end, Project Runway isn’t a team game. As Heidi Klum says in each episode, “there can only be one winner.”
Don’t freak out—there can definitely be more than one winner in the credit world, but the overarching premise still applies. Your credit score is yours and yours alone, no matter how many “teammates” you may have. Even if your parents have co-signed your mortgage, your friend is an authorized user on your credit card, or you have a joint account with your spouse, there is no such thing as a joint score. You alone are responsible in managing your credit.
How to make it work: You can’t win without knowing how you’re doing, so get ahead of the game and check your credit score for free with Credit Karma. Monitoring this important number should help you take charge of your financial situation and encourage you to start making responsible decisions with your score in mind.
Timing is Essential.
As the competition is meant to test the designers and stretch their skills, they aren’t given much time to complete each challenge. Typically, they only have a day or two to complete a ready-to-wear look. Not surprisingly, contestants quickly learn that time management is key.
Timing can also make or break your credit score. How often you apply for new accounts, when you pay your bills, and when you begin your credit history are all vital aspects of your credit.
How to make it work: You’re not a knit-wit, so these “make it work” moments are probably fairly obvious to you. Pay your bills on time, don’t apply for credit too often, and start developing a credit history as soon as you’re responsible enough to do so. Having a long history of responsible credit use is great for your score.
The Outcome is Unclear…
Like any good reality TV show, Project Runway is full of twists, turns, and shock eliminations. A front-runner can be (and has been!) eliminated at any moment and the contestants almost never know if they are safe.
In the same way, it’s unlikely that consumers will ever know the exact formula for perfecting one’s credit. Just as the designers can know general rules like never to use regular material for the unconventional challenge, consumers know what the lenders generally care about, but both credit and fashion scoring models are still shrouded in mystery.
How to make it work: Hate to leave you on pins and needles, but you’ll have to wait until the next section for the solution!
December 27th, 2012
Ever since I started working at Credit Karma, I’ve rapidly learned about financial matters and now find it difficult to not connect finances to the things I love. The Avengers and your accounts’ affairs? Affirmative. Family and finances? Finished! It was only a matter of time before I turned to one of my favorite TV shows, The Big Bang Theory.
May 25th, 2012
The premiere of “Duets” on ABC showed that even we regular folk can sing with the likes of John Legend, Robin Thicke, Jennifer Nettles and Kelly Clarkson. Here’s how the new music competition works: Each star chooses two singing partners—protégés they hope to mold into music’s next big thing.
May 16th, 2012
Last Saturday, I went to see my first superhero movie ever! Yes, you read that right. I have never seen “Superman,” “Spiderman” or any other superhero film. But when my friend invited me to go see “The Avengers,” I figured that there would not be a better superhero movie to start with; it’s chock- full of superheroes, like the Hulk, Iron Man and Captain America.
March 23rd, 2012
In case you’ve been living under a rock, “The Hunger Games” movie came out this week. For those who have been living one soil layer below said rock, “The Hunger Games” is the first book in a trilogy series by author Stephenie Meyer—whoops!—I mean Suzanne Collins.
November 30th, 2011
I hate Twilight as much as the next non-tween, but I’m going to glean every last bit of knowledge from it. Did you know that “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1” is one of the best sources for credit card advice? It’s true! (Kinda. Also, contains spoilers. Not that you can spoil what’s already terrible.
October 26th, 2011
Halloween is upon us, and with it comes kids in mutilated bed sheets, Milk Duds getting traded for the vastly superior Junior Mints, and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” on TV. Regardless of whether you think Peanuts is a meditation on innocence or childhood alopecia, the cartoon has a wealth of advice on personal finances and fiscal responsibility. Sound like a stretch? Read on: