Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

1. Fear: Fight, Flight or Opossum?

[Planting Our Pennies] When you start reading this post, it seems like a medical article about how our bodies deal with stress: fighting, running or playing dead (fainting).

But the type of stress it’s describing can apply to money, and so can the advice: “When you get stressed out: 1) Let a few moments pass so you’re not in the heat of the moment; 2) slow your heart rate; 3) allow the situation to get foggy in your head for a few moments, blurring together possible scenarios.”

It’s an interesting article. Check it out.

2. The Surprising True Costs of 9 Common Expenses

[PT Money] You think you’re buying a $200 cellphone, but what you’re actually committing to is a $2,000 service contract.

That’s the gist of this article. Other examples of taking on expenses you never bargained for: mutual funds, your job, your collections, your house, your car and television.

How do these things introduce expenses into your life? Check out the article and see.

3. The Big Why of Money

[Save Outside the Box] Here’s how this one starts: “Most folks do what they’re supposed to do. They drive a reliable 2-year-old car. They purchase a four-bedroom, 2½-bath home about 40 minutes from where they work. They hate their commute every day. There’s a 52-inch TV on the wall of their living room. And a few other flat-screens scattered elsewhere. And they’re all obviously hooked up to an expensive monthly TV service. This is the ‘stock lifestyle.’ It’s what the all-too-often referenced Joneses do.”

If that does not describe your dream life, this is your article. How the author suggests discovering your “big why of money”: Make a list of priorities, brainstorm the possibilities, then act accordingly. 

I offered very similar advice when I first wrote “Life or Debt” more than 13 years ago.

4. 5 Things Growing Up on a Farm Taught Me About Finances

[Three Thrifty Guys] Having grown up in the burbs, I found this to be a compelling headline.

So what can a farming life teach you about finances? You should read the article yourself, but not surprisingly a farm is a good place to learn how to sell when the market’s hot, take your time, learn from the past, prepare for the worst, and be prepared to occasionally shovel a little … well, you know.

5. Success Secrets You Should Have Learned in High School — But Didn’t

[Wise Bread] This is an inspiring story from someone who learned some of life’s lessons the hard way.

The secrets to success we should all retain: Remain visionary, understand and accept you’re going to occasionally fail, determine and stick to your personal version of success, there’s no such thing as a “permanent file,” and don’t worry about “fitting in.”

If you need a boost, you’ll find one in this article.

What do you like?

We’re always on the hunt for talented personal finance writers and interesting sites. If you’ve got a favorite, let us know below or on our Facebook page! You can also talk to us about anything you’d like simply by hitting “reply” to your daily email update. (Not subscribed? Fix that right now!)

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