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: generic vs. name-brand, avoiding private mortgage insurance, helping your kids grow up self-reliant, using grocery-delivery services, and alternative uses for things in your bathroom.

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1. Buying brand names: good move or money wasted?

[Five Cent Nickel] Sometimes, I know the answer to a question before I click on the story. I fully endorse generics – from 7 Things You Should Always Buy Generic to How to Get $4 Generic Pet Meds. So I disagree with this writer: “Yes, sometimes the brand name disappoints… And generic items do disappoint, in my experience, much more frequently.” But he makes an interesting argument, so read both sides and decide for yourself.

2. 3 ways to avoid paying private mortgage insurance?

[Dough Roller] Here’s a question with a totally non-controversial answer. PMI stinks. As the writer explains, “PMI protects the lender in the event that the homeowner fails to pay their mortgage. In other words, you are paying for insurance that protects the lender, not you.” Here are the ways to get it removed – some better than others.

3. Building self-reliance in your children

[The Simple Dollar] I don’t have children, but if I did, this would be a must-read. Of all the daunting child-rearing responsibilities parents face, one of the most important is to ensure their kids don’t grow up to be broke.

4. Is an online grocery delivery service worth it? – pros and cons

[Money Crashers] With online grocery delivery becoming more commonplace, it’s no longer an extravagance for the well-to-do lazy set or the edgy early adopters. So what’s the good and bad? Here’s a handy list.

5. Alternative uses for everything in your bathroom

[Wise Bread] Cotton balls can “make daffodils last longer.” Dental floss can hang photos. A comb can be used for cake decorating. Of course, we’re talking about fresh, new items – because used ones would be really disgusting.

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