The Blend – 3.29.2016

The Blend Team received a dare this week — explain credit card utilization but make it entertaining. As massive of a challenge as that is, it was a triple-dog-dare. We couldn’t say no.

So here’s our patent-pending, 5-step process for creating entertaining explanations. Because what’s more entertaining than step-by-step lists? Answer: jet-skiing.

Step 1: Define concept in two sentences.

Credit card utilization is the ratio of your current card balances to your total credit available. If you have a $10,000 limit and buy a $5,000 jet ski, your utilization is 50%.

Step 2: Prove it’s something worth caring about.

Card utilization makes up a full 30% of your FICO® Score, which is used to determine your interest rates. If you’re looking to make an immediate impact to your score because you want to save when you buy that jet ski, this is the place to start.

Step 3: Link to smart, actionable articles.

When you’re working to improve your credit utilization, you 100% need to know The Rule of 30 and how long it can take to rebuild credit. But you only about 73% need to know these 24 almost effortless ways to save and make more money from Forbes.

Step 4: Show an adorable animal video in case steps 1 through 3 weren’t entertaining enough.

This fox laughing makes you feel great no matter your utilization ratio.

Step 5: Start back at one.

Money

Likely historical fact: George Washington could dunk. As we move closer and closer to a cashless, Apple Pay world, we can not tell a lie, read the history of Where’s George — the original dollar tracker — before it’s too late. The George Washington Colonels are playing in the NIT Semifinals tonight (ESPN, 9pm ET), so while you watch (or don’t) fill out your Financial Four bracket with you biggest money goals.

Fun

Forget it. I’ll just write it down. If you watch Sherlock or The Mentalist, you’re probably familiar with the memory technique called The Mind/Memory Palace. Now thanks to The Upshot, you can build your own too. It might not help you solve heinous crimes, but you can use it to not forget these 23 money tips from financial bloggers or choose to forget the haters.

Your Money Personality

Want your very own Blend? Take the Money Personality Quiz now and subscribe to get The Blend delivered fresh into your inbox every week, so you don’t miss out on perks like personalized links and insights specific to you. Otherwise, it’s like you’re drinking only The Decaffeinated Blend, and that’s just not as fun.

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