Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

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1. How to Remodel Your Kitchen for Less — Much Less

[Living on the Cheap] “The Remodeling 2014 Cost vs. Value Report listed the average cost of a major kitchen remodel at $54,909, and even a minor remodel came in at $18,856. But kitchen remodeling doesn’t have to be that expensive. I’ve remodeled four kitchens, using granite counters and stainless steel appliances, for much less.”

Having been there and done that — I spent more than $30,000 on a kitchen remodel in 2006 — I found this article to be a must-read.

So how do you keep prices reasonable? As with anything, sharp shopping, flexibility and a little sacrifice. A trip to more than 10 granite dealers, along with Ikea and some smaller cabinet shops, allowed one couple interviewed for this article to do a remodel for $12,000 after being quoted $32,000 by a contractor.

2. DVDs From Hell: How to Deal With Unskippable Trailers and Ads

[Len Penzo dot Com] “For the next 16 minutes we were prisoners in our own home, forced to endure a seemingly never-ending parade of movie trailers, public service announcements and commercials.”

I don’t watch a lot of DVDs or Netflix movies, so I wasn’t aware that you’re apparently often forced to watch previews and commercials that can’t be fast-forwarded through. But as it turns out, there’s a simple trick to skip the otherwise unskippable, even the FBI warning. To find out what it is, check out the post.

3. Time to Move On: 3 Signs You’re Due for a New Job

[Married With Debt] “Have you been giving thought to your next career move? You should be! Whether it’s the fact that you’ve been unhappy in your current position, think you’re entitled to better pay somewhere else or even just that you’ve outgrown the position you’ve been in for so long, deciding to move on to a new job is anything but an easy decision. Before you make any life-changing decisions, give it some thought to determine whether you’re ready to take the plunge or not.”

Although I haven’t taken on a new job in more than 20 years — since I started Money Talks News — I can remember the fear of leaving something I knew for something I didn’t.

The advice offered by this article is to make sure you’re financially secure and have what it takes to move onward and upward if you are no longer stimulated by your current gig. If you’re thinking of moving on, check it out.

4. What Are Debt Consolidation Loans – Benefits, Risks and Alternatives

[Money Crashers] “A debt consolidation loan pays off your existing debts and combines those balances into a single monthly bill with a new interest rate. The goal is to reduce the number of bills that you need to keep track of and reduce the total interest rate on your outstanding obligations.“

We’ve written a lot about dealing with debt, and it’s one of the topics in our new Solutions Center. This article explains where you might find a loan you can use to pay off other loans, as well as alternatives, like borrowing from your retirement plan or against your house. It’s a good primer. But before taking on debt to solve a debt problem, be sure you’ve dealt with the issues that caused the debt in the first place.

5. How to Sell Your House in 24 Hours

[Wise Bread] “We recently sold our home in just over 24 hours and had five offers. Our first offer came in above asking price within seven hours of the house being listed, and we had the purchase agreement signed just over 24 hours after listing. How did we do it?”

That’s exactly what I wanted to know when I clicked on this one. Among other things, the author suggests properly staging and decluttering your home and pricing it right — the same advice we’ve given many times.

While the information is good and the advice sound, don’t think you’re guaranteed to sell a house in 24 hours by following it. This person lived in what was obviously a very hot real estate market.

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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