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This week: tips for Cyber Monday, lies people tell themselves on Black Friday, how to plan for retirement, how to get a house for nothing, and 10 tips for free or cheap plane tickets.

1. Lies People Tell Themselves on Black Friday

[Dinks Finance] Since today is Black Friday, I thought we’d start with a post about lies we tell ourselves on this hallowed day.

Ever said this to yourself? “If I buy it on sale now, I will save money later.” While that could certainly be true — see our recent post called “Tips to Score a Year’s Worth of Gifts at Rock-Bottom Prices” — what’s also likely is you’re buying something for yourself you might not have otherwise purchased.

Want to feel even more guilt? See the post for more lies.

2. How I Bought a House for Next to Nothing, and How You Can, Too

[Dough Roller] I approached this post with skepticism, but after checking it out, I have to recommend it. It describes how one family managed to move from a one-bedroom apartment into a duplex for nothing but parts and labor. When they’re done, the rental half of the duplex will pay the mortgage they’ll take out to pay for the repairs. Result? Free house!

This path isn’t for everyone — for example, during the fix-up, they were doing dishes in the bathroom sink — but it shows what you can accomplish when you set your mind, and muscles, to the task. There are some great resources here. Check it out.

3. Make Out Like a Bandit on Cyber Monday With These 4 Tips

[Dumb Little Man] “Many companies will do their absolute best to make a regular price look like a bargain, or promote their items that were already on sale as ‘Cyber Monday’ specials. If you start early, you’ll be more equipped to recognize a stellar sale when you see it once the clock rolls around to midnight.”

That’s one of the wise suggestions you’ll find in this post. Another? Remember that shopping online is fraught with potential cyber-crime risk. Check out the post for more.

4. How to Plan for Retirement: Start at the End

[Feeling Financial] Just using the words “retirement planning” makes most people’s eyes glaze over, myself included. But this post helped with a few simple tips, notably the one in the title: Start at the end.

When it comes to retirement planning, you’re likely to start by putting money in a retirement plan at work. What this article asks you to do instead is visualize your ideal retirement, then work backward to make it happen. There’s more. Check it out.

5. 10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets

[Wise Bread] While some of these tips you probably could have guessed (credit card rewards) and others you wouldn’t or can’t do (go to work for an airline), there’s some decent stuff here. For example, when gift time rolls around, ask for miles rather than money.

Another tip: winning contests, which I actually did this year. While we didn’t get the grand prize, we made the finals in an American Airlines contest and won enough points for up to 10 free tickets.

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!)

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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