Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

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This week: Considering rental property, saving money with Facebook, what you should know about health savings accounts, debt collection mistakes and five wild, but cheap, rides.

1. 4 Things to Consider If You’re Looking to Buy a Rental Property

[Credit.com] “Buying a rental property can be a very lucrative and sound financial investment. But it can also winding up costing you, particularly if you haven’t done your due diligence prior to making a purchase. Here’s how to determine whether or not buying a rental property with financing makes sense.”

I’ve owned rental property off and on for more than 30 years, and we’ve published quite a few articles about it. (Example: “10 Keys to Finding and Owning the Perfect Rental Property.”) But there’s always something new to learn. This article has tips that include finding the right location, budgeting for repairs, computing your ROI (return on investment) and considering single versus multi-family properties. Thinking about becoming a landlord? Add this one to your reading list.

2. 7 Ways Facebook Helps You Save Money

[The Dollar Stretcher] “Facebook has grown into one of the biggest social media sites with over 1.65 billion monthly active users. According to statistics, an average American spends up to 40 minutes per day on the website. People usually use Facebook to catch up with friends and socialize, but others know that it is a great platform for saving money.”

I think I’m one of the last people on the planet who isn’t constantly glued to Facebook, but maybe these tips will make it more appealing. They include following brands you like, buying and selling with Facebook groups, earning referral bonuses and coupons and more. If you’re on Facebook as much as my wife is, might as well make it pay off.

3. 4 Things You Should Know About Health Savings Accounts

[Money] “Employers like HSAs because they work with some high-deductible insurance plans, which shift health costs to workers. And the accounts deliver a triple tax advantage: You add money pretax, and both growth and withdrawals for qualifying expenses are tax-free. Chances are you’ll see one this fall. Here are four things you need to know.”

I’ve had high-deductible health insurance for many years now, as well as a health savings account. HSAs are a great way to save on taxes, as well as a handy way to set money aside for health-related expenses, so if you qualify for one, do it.

The four things this author wants you to know are that HSAs are flexible, they’re not just for the healthy, they’re harder to find than they should be, and if you have one, you’re probably not using it correctly. See the post for details.

4. A Debt Collection Mistake Too Many People Make

[Debt.com] “The call came out of the blue. It was a debt collector telling Jackie that she owed $421 for ambulance service from three years ago. (This is a true story, but the individual’s name has been changed.) Yes, she said, it was possible that she had taken an ambulance at that time, but she had Medicare, plus supplemental insurance. And if there had been a copay she was responsible for, she insisted she would have paid it when she received the bill.”

We’ve also devoted lots of ink to debt collectors over the years, and with good reason: Many of these companies use unlawful and unethical tactics. Forewarned is forearmed.

So what’s the mistake that too many people make? Being bullied into paying a debt without proof that it’s legit. If you’ve got debt collectors hounding you, do yourself a favor. Read whatever you can and learn your rights.

5. 5 Wild Rides You Can Absolutely Afford

[Wise Bread] “A hot air balloon ride will set you back a few hundred dollars. A seat on the planned 2026 one-way mission to Mars might cost you your life. But there are a few quirky rides you can take with a little bit lower stakes.”

A couple of years ago my wife bought me gift certificates for a hot air balloon ride and a water jetpack ride. Both businesses went under before I could use them.

The wild rides suggested by this author include electric self-balancing unicycles, a stretch taxi, a stretch bus, a sperm cycle and the ride I never got to take, the water jetpack. See the post for details and videos of each ride in action.

Don’t forget to share your thoughts and reactions in comments below or on our Facebook page!

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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