Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

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This week: whether to buy or rent a home, how to make money flipping phones, whether AARP and phone protection plans are worth the money, and seven household expenses you can dump today.

1. Five Situations Where Renting Makes More Sense Than Owning a Home

[Cash Money Life] “… for most people, owning a home is better than renting, especially from a financial standpoint. But are there times when renting makes more sense than owning a home? I think there are – and here are at least five of them.”

I’ve talked a lot about this, most recently in my post “Ask Stacy: Am I Too Old to Buy a Home?” So when does this author believe renting is best? Among other times, when you move around, can’t afford to buy, or don’t have the time or ability to maintain a home. Check out the post for more.

2. ‘Phone Flipping’ for $200, Alex

[Chip’s Money Tips] “Being eligible for a Sprint upgrade, I could buy a brand-new iPhone 5s for $199.99. I don’t need a new phone, but I bought it anyway – to sell it.”

You’ve probably heard the term “arbitrage.” It means buying something in one market and attempting to profit by selling it in another. And that’s exactly what this author did.

Because he was eligible for a low-priced, subsidized phone through his Sprint plan, he was able to buy it for $200 and sell it for $500. And it took him less than six hours to do it. Clever. Read the article for details.

3. Is an AARP Membership Really Worth It?

[Christian Personal Finance] “When my husband started getting membership applications from AARP around his 49th birthday, he was the laughingstock of the family. “Ha, ha, Dad,” the kids would jeer. “You’re officially old.” Not wanting to admit his advancing years, he threw the offers in the trash … .”

That’s precisely what happened to me when I turned 49 and started receiving AARP offers. My friends and family laughed at me. It also describes exactly what I did with those offers — threw them away.

So is AARP worth the money? It depends on whether you’ll use the services and discounts they provide and whether you have better alternatives. But if you’re on the cusp of 5-0 or know someone who is, this is a post worth checking out.

4. Is a Phone/Tablet Protection Plan Worth the Cost?

[Clever Dude] “I’ve never purchased the protection plan on a phone or a computer. But I was seriously considering getting it on the iPad because the whole point of an iPad is to take it along with us as we’re on the go, opening up all kinds of opportunity for something to happen to it. Given that we are making installment payments, it would be really unfortunate to have something catastrophic happen to a $700 tablet before it’s even paid for.”

The author of this post was offered a protection plan for his $700 iPad. The cost? Ten dollars a month. It would replace the iPad with a similar model for $200 if it was lost, stolen or broken.

Is that a deal you’d take? Read this article to find out what he did and why.

5. 7 Unnecessary Household Expenses You Can Cut Today

[Wise Bread] “We tend to spend money on the same things month in, month out, all year — so when we change to a cheaper service provider or eliminate a service altogether, we only have to think about it once but the savings go on and on. Here are the seven most unnecessary household expenses you can get rid of today.”

As this article points out, we tend to make the same regular purchases without much thought. But when you do stop to think, there may be ways to save some serious bucks by dropping things we no longer need. Example: Why on earth would anyone pay for a home phone when you have a mobile, not to mention access to free services like Skype?

There are six more ideas you need to see in this article. You may not use them all, but even one could save you hundreds yearly.

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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