How To “Harlem Shake” Up Your Finances

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Who said the only way to learn about money was to read articles on top of articles? Financial education is all around us—provided you look closely enough. Increase your awareness with the SALT™ Blog video of the week, picked fresh from YouTube.

I went to YouTube to find this week’s video of the week and was confused.

Apparently, YouTube only has videos of people doing the “Harlem Shake” now. Or at least that’s how it seems. It makes Gangnam Style look like a middle school talent show performance. It is everywhere! Seriously. EVERYWHERE!

It was tough to pick just one. So, yes, I watched many, many options (analyzed later in this post). Though I likely saw only about 1% of the Harlem Shake videos on YouTube. The song may be engrained in my head forever, and I don’t even know what it means.

And, yes, I managed to find a financial lesson here.

***

This fad is storming across the nation. Everyone everywhere is doing it. But the key to making your Harlem Shake great is originality. Many of the ones I watched, as well as many others worth watching, stand out from the endless crowd of repeats and copycats.

In fact, the video itself basically encourages that. Each one starts with one masked person dancing alone as those around them don’t notice or care. Until, eventually, everyone joins in.

For me, I’d say that initial dancer is a financial role model. No, I’m not suggesting you run out and buy a chicken mask or a horse head, but I am saying that it can pay off big time to “dance alone” when it comes to money.

Shake Things Up

Following the leader and going with the flow can get you into some trouble financially. You can get into a rut of spending and spending just because your friends want to. Sometimes you need to put on your crazy mask and start a new trend.

One weekend, suggest changing things up and finding a free activity instead of the same cash eating stuff you do most Friday nights. (Literally eating in many cases.)

Going on a spring break or summer trip? You don’t have to head to the expensive go-to spots. Look for something that sounds extra fun for you and your buddies, instead of what everyone else is doing. (One of my friends is foregoing spring break for a summer drive across the country because that what he actually wants to do.)

The examples could go on forever (just like Harlem Shake videos), but the message is the same—don’t be afraid to stand out and save some money in the process.

Even better? Just like all the initial dancers in Harlem Shake videos, you’ll inspire other people to join you in the savings hunt. In fact, once everyone sees what a good idea it is, there will be an explosion of enthusiasm. Then it won’t seem like you were doing anything crazy at all.

And Finally: The List

Ryan made me put the educational stuff first, but I know what you really want to read: my take on a bunch of Harlem Shake videos! Here we go:

How do you set yourself apart financially? Let us know!

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