Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

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This week: how to budget if you hate budgeting, how to strike out on your own, how to fix your credit, how to handle medical debt, and how to recognize and deal with lifestyle inflation.

1.  Budgets Are As Sexy As Warren Buffett in a Speedo

[Budgets are Sexy] If you like your personal finance advice delivered irreverently and with humor, you’ll get a kick out of this site. This particular post comes from guest writer Kathleen of Frugal Portland, and it does an entertaining job of stating the obvious: Budgeting sucks.

She doesn’t track her expenses, but still manages to keep a handle on her money. If you’re not the budgeting type, check it out.

2. 5 Steps to Realizing Your Business Dream

[Careful Cents] This post by guest author Jen Havice has some great advice for those thinking of striking out on their own. The five steps? Stop being scared, just do something, get focused, find a mentor and make a plan, and work within your skill set. Having been there and done that, I can tell you it’s good advice.

3. If Your Credit Blows, Let’s Fix That

[Chip’s Money Tips] This guy should hang out with J. Money from Budgets are Sexy. He’s irreverent, and can make you smile — something not easy to do when talking finances. In this post, he writes about the same steps to fixing your credit that we do in posts like “3 Steps to Improve Your Credit History,” but uses terms like, “Here’s how we un-sketchify your credit history.” Pretty funny.

4. How to Handle Medical Debt: 6 Important Tips

[Christian Personal Finance] This isn’t a new post — it was written last year — but it’s a good one. The tips? Verify your coverage, organize your bills, check for errors, negotiate payment plans, offer to settle balances at a discount, and check your credit when it’s over. If you have high-deductible insurance — or none — it’s a must-read.

5. Lifestyle Inflation: The Ultimate Financial Trap

[Wise Bread] I really could relate to this post, and so will you. “Sometimes a boost in income is almost like a switch in the brain. Suddenly, the car you drove so proudly looks like an old tin rattle bucket, and the $1 burritos you shared with friends are thrown aside for fancier fare. The thing is, when you think back to the days in your life when you were happiest or had the most fun, those memories are probably completely unrelated to what you were wearing, driving, or how much money you were spending.”

How true.

What do you like?

We’re always in 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!)

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

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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