Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

A look at five interesting personal finance posts from other bloggers around the Web. This week: fast food to stay away from, body parts that can make you money, personal stories of debt, and what to spend on an engagement ring.

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1. “Avoid these fast food items,” say fast food employees

[Wise Bread] I love articles like this – inside advice you can’t get elsewhere. (We did that a couple of years ago with a Starbucks barista.) In this case, the items to avoid are the ones that sound the cleanest and healthiest: anything vegetarian and “fresh” chicken. The reasons may shock you.

2. Pros and cons of making money by donating your bodily fluids and eggs

[Bargaineering] Some headlines stop you dead in your tracks. This was certainly one of those. But yes, you can make money – or “vouchers” – for donating plasma, eggs, even bone marrow. The cons? Those include injections and pills that can ravage your body.

3. Student loan debt: how I got in deep

[Get Rich Slowly] Sometimes, the best way to learn about responsibly managing your money is to hear from folks who were irresponsible. “What leads a (relatively) smart person to make almost ten years’ worth of poor financial decisions?” the author asks. She answers her question in an article that will teach you what not to do.

4. Bad credit could mean you’ll freeze to death

[PT Money] Speaking of personal stories with big lessons at the end, here’s one about the unintended consequences of debt. Yes, you can literally freeze to death.

5. How much should you spend on an engagement ring?

[Moolanomy] I usually hate articles like this one, because there’s really no proven formula for buying an engagement ring – even though jewelers are greedily pushing for “two months’ salary.” So I was encouraged when I read, “Instead of throwing away two whole months of earnings, here’s a novel idea: spend what you can afford to spend.” This is a good wake-up call for anyone considering settling down.

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