Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

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This week: Easy ways to remain calm and carry on, how to make money donating eggs (yes, that kind), aiming high when goal-setting, robot vacuums and how to save an extra $1,400 this year.

1. The Psychological Hack That Can Help You Save $1,431.00 (or More) in 2015

[Vosa] “I’m going to show you an easy way to retrain your brain to become someone who saves money each and every week. The byproduct will be a savings account with more than fourteen hundred bucks in it before you ring in 2016.”

The hack this post refers to is starting small, but with a regular contribution. Specifically, you save $1 week one, $2 week two, $3 week three, etc. While it may sound simple, the author offers evidence, including studies, of why techniques like this one work. Have trouble saving? Check it out, along with articles like our recent Can’t Seem to Save? You’re Not Following These Simple Rules

2. A Robot Cleans My Floors

[Surviving and Thriving] “When I first heard the words “robotic vacuum” years ago I made a rude noise with my lips. It sounded like a pricey toy more than a useful appliance. But DF, that most frugal and practical of men, has owned one model or another for years. When I moved in with him, I decided to learn how to use it.”

Pricey toy: exactly what I thought of robot vacuums. But the author of this article, Donna Freedman, is a regular (and excellent) writer here, and someone I know personally. Her opinion carries weight with me, so I was interested in what she’d say.

What she said is that her Roomba is cool, but does neglect corners. She also quotes Consumer Reports as saying they’re not as good as the best old-school vacuums. Verdict? I think I have too many obstacles for Roomba to work for me. (Steps, eight bar stools in my den and four wildly shedding animals, for starters.)  Would it work for you? Read, learn and decide.

3. Are Realistic Goals Overrated?

[The Broke and Beautiful Life] “According to a study at the University of Scranton, just 8 percent of people achieve their New Years Resolutions. Why? As Forbes contributor Dan Diamond writes, ‘Shooting for the moon can be so psychologically daunting, you end up failing to launch in the first place.’ While I’ve seen that failure to launch play out time and time again, I worry more about the opposite: getting too conservative with my goal setting.”

This article makes a good point. While practically everyone from personal finance experts to your mom harps on the importance of aiming at what’s achievable, that can also lead to not aiming high enough. So what’s better; only shooting for what you can actually hit, or potentially setting yourself up for failure? I liked this author’s take. See if you do as well.

4. The Complete Guide to Egg Donation: Advice From a Five-Time Donor

[Penny Hoarder] “I became interested in egg donation after seeing a news story on the rise in demand for healthy donors — and the financial benefits of helping a family conceive. Naturally, the idea of earning $5,000 for performing a good deed was tantalizing, so I did some research, found a local agency I wanted to work with, and have since donated five times.”

We’ve published more than 7,000 articles, so we’ve covered pretty much everything. Except, maybe, this. So I had to check it out.

If you’ve ever considered this method of raising cash, this post will tell you what you need to know. Spoiler alert: It’s not easy money.

5. Banish Stress: Easy Ways to Get Calm Now and Forever

[Wise Bread] “You know you shouldn’t stress. But you can feel yourself reaching that “up-to-here” breaking point that indicates a melt down isn’t far away. What to do?”

If you’re wondering what to do about those stressful moments, this article lays it out. First idea? Breathe deep, since stress tends to make us breathe short and shallow. Other tips include massaging your hands, putting things in perspective, walking away, cleaning house and more.

Who do you like?

We’re always on the hunt for talented personal finance writers and interesting sites and authors. 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!)

Stacy Johnson

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I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


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