Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

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This week: How to keep your small business from failing, what you can learn about budgeting by going to the dentist, how to have less money stress in 2014, signs you're a cheapskate, and 4 financial lessons from 'Fifty Shades of Grey.'

1. 7 Signs You’re Turning Frugal Into a Dirty Word

[And Then We Saved] “Living frugally and saving money when you can are skills that should be applauded, but when you cross the line from frugal to ‘cheapskate’ or, even worse, to ‘miser,’ it’s probably time to reconsider your financial strategies.”

When it comes to saving, the line between wise and miserly is a fine one. So what are some signs you’re taking frugality too far? According to this author, they include never giving to others, skipping required maintenance on your house or car, and criticizing other people for how they spend.

To discover if you’re a closet cheapskate, check out the post for more clues.

2. 3 Steps to Less Money Stress in 2014

[Ask Liz Weston] “If you’re stressing about holiday bills and other year-end expenses, the following suggestions might help you have a better 2014.” 

What Liz suggests we do to reduce our money-related stress this year is to try a “no-spend” month, set up savings “buckets,” and drop one bad habit.

Just one bad habit? I’m feeling less stressed already.

3. A Date With the Dentist

[Budgets are Sexy] “You can set things on autopilot and hope everything remains kosher over the years, but it’s better to check in every now and then and REALLY make sure stuff’s exactly where you want it to be. There’s no real shortcut to it all.”

This post by blogger “J. Money” compares putting off the dentist with putting off things like budgeting. Both result in added pain and expense down the road. If you haven’t been to the dentist lately, this post will make you feel better. If you have, it will make you feel better still.

4. 6 Foolproof Ways to Keep Your Small Business From Failing

[Careful Cents] In order for your small business to survive and thrive, “you might need to be a little unconventional,” this post says.

As a small-business owner for more than 25 years, I’d say my secret has been adapting to changing tastes and consumer demand. While this author didn’t offer that advice, she had some good stuff, including not going into debt, knowing when to delegate, and avoiding expensive overhead, like office space. See the post for more tips.

5. 4 Financial Lessons From ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

[Wise Bread] “So, without further ado, here are four financial lessons you can learn from ‘Fifty Shades.’ Because that’s what you were reading it for … right?”

I’ll confess I haven’t read “Fifty Shades of Grey.” I guess I’m waiting for the movie. What can we learn about money from this steamy best-selling series? According to the author of this post, the books teach us that being rich is sexy, sex sells, and taking a chance to explore uncharted territory can make you wildly successful.

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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