Over the past two weeks, I've had a chance to filter through the 57 submissions to the Get Rich Slowly video contest. Contestants made two-minute videos sharing a financial success story or a favorite money tip. Nearly every submission was interesting or amusing or insightful.
You guys did awesome! Although it was tough, I've managed to whittle things down to a handful of winners (you can view all video entries here). Here, then, are the folks who won prizes in the 2010 GRS Video Contest.
The winner of the Success Stories category is Jessica, who described how she has No Regrets for delaying her honeymoon until she and her husband could pay cash for it. This is what the Get Rich Slowly philosophy is all about: Making short-term sacrifices for long-term happiness.
Maybe with the $500 prize, Jessica and her husband (who submitted four videos between them!) can save for another vacation.
You all know I have a soft spot for financial success stories. I loved watching the video submissions and hearing how other people have managed to make the most of their money. Here are the ten runners-up, each of whom will receive a signed copy of my book.
- Julia for GIANT Baby Steps, her very honest financial story.
- Mary for How We Built a $25,000 Portfolio for Each of Our Children. This is a great story, and something I think all parents should strive for.
- Dami for his story about Buying an Engagement Ring.
- Katie for a story about how she visualizes Saving Money as a Video Game. (This reminds me of point #5 from my father's advice to me when I was nineteen.)
- Raygun6200 for Cribs, Get Rich Slowly-style
- Jaime from EventualMillionaire.com for How I Paid Off $70,000 in Debt and Quit My Job.
- Allison for How We Erased $35,000 in Debt. Love the walking GRS turtle…
- Lisa's financial success story, in which she describes How She Beat Math Phobia. I think a lot of people are afraid of money because they think it's math-y, but it doesn't have to be.
- Tara for Lucy and The Green Monster, a two-minute fairy tale about money.
- Seth for his Personal Finance Success Story. Seth is 23, and his been saving since he was very young. He's educated himself about money and now is way ahead of his peers.
The financial tips category was tough to judge. There were many more entries here, and a lot of good stuff had to be left off the final list. Ultimately, I had to go with my gut and pick the videos that resonated with me for one reason or another.
Though I really liked Jessica's bread machine video (see the top runner-up), I had to award the $500 top prize to Rachel for her Coupon Rap. Everyone I've shown this to loves it. Rachel really put herself out there, did a lot of hard work, and packed this video with tons of tips. Pay close attention (and pause if you need to) because you can learn a lot from this:
If you like this, you can read more from Rachel at her blog, Frugalicious.
As I said, it was tough narrowing the rest of the tips field to just ten winners. With so many good entries, another person might have chosen a completely different set of winners. That said, here are the ten runners-up in the tips category:
- Jessica for her Bread Machine Tip. I love this video for a lot of reasons. Jessica and her mother staged this very cleverly to get everything done in one take. Best production/editing goes to this one!
- Rebecca for Budget-Friendly Decorating Tips. (Rebecca recently shared her recent story about how she generates extra income by letting strangers pay her rent.)
- Elise for How I Saved Over $1000 on Airfare, which includes specific examples of how Elise saved money on plane tickets to Zerbaijan.
- Lena for Pay Yourself First with a Coupon Booklet. You know those booklets you get with certain installment loans? Lena suggests making your own booklets for things like your Roth IRA. Great idea.
- Christian and Vilna from MoneyObedience.com for their tip about taking an occasional Money Date with your spouse or partner. Good advice.
- Elizabeth for describing How to Generate “Renewable” Money with Your Hobbies.
- Luke the astrophysicist for The One-Item Budget, in which he describes how he tracks he tackles the tough stuff by tracking one category at a time.
- Allison, who describes how she manages to Take 3 College Classes for Only $20. I'm a huge fan of this sort of thing — this is a great way to broaden your experience and education.
- Lucas for The Power of Two Checking Accounts, in which he describes his method of managing his monthly paychecks. It's like the monthly checkbook sweep, but more elegant.
- Brandon for Riding to Savings, in which he explains how he and his wife get by with only one car.
Lastly, there's the winner in the Website category. This category was open to entrants with a website they wanted to share (which accounted for about half of all submissions). This $500 prize goes to Jamison from Tech Tips for Parents for How I Paid Off My Mortgage in 10 Years and How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent.
As part of Jamison's prize, I'll be profiling his site in the next few weeks.
Other Great Entries
As I've said, there were lots of great entries that didn't get prizes. This might have been because they had too narrow of a focus, or because despite the well-made video, the tip or story just wasn't as strong as other choices. Here are four great videos that didn't win a prize, but are worth watching anyhow:
- Jackie Daum's “Free” song is awesome. This gal's got talent. (Go check out her website for more info.)
- Mark's tip about The One-Percent Rule for Rental Properties is very well made, but a little esoteric for the contest. Well-worth watching, though. (And look for a guest post from Mark on Wednesday!)
- Katie's You Gotta Clip! is a lot of fun — I just wish it had more actual tips in it!
- And JXQ2000 cracked me up with his Buckets video. Funny stuff!
Some of these videos have surprisingly useful tips. I like them so much, in fact, that I plan to share the best of them over the coming months. When I do, I'll be sure to note that the clip was originally from the video contest. I think these will be great launching-off points for further discussion.
Thanks to everyone who entered! You did great work. It was awesome to see you all put yourselves out there, and to see what you came up with. Maybe next year we can go beyond just 57 entries to 157!