Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

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A look at five interesting personal finance posts from other bloggers around the Web. This week: frugal acts of kindness, avoiding 401(k) fees, baby bonds, online shopping tips, and a refinancing warning.

1. Practice Frugal Acts of Kindness

[Frugal Nation] Donna Freedman explains NBC News reporter Ann Curry sent out the following message in response to the Dec. 14 school shootings in Newtown, Conn.: “Imagine if all of us committed to 20 acts of kindness to honor each child lost in Newtown. I’m in. If you are, RT #20Acts.” Freedman goes on to explore small gestures – even as simple as paying someone’s bridge toll – that can go a long way for others and yourself. Take a look for some inspirational examples of frugal giving.

2. Boost Your Retirement Savings: Avoid 401(k) Fees

[Wise Bread] We all know hidden fees can add up quickly – and that’s no different when it comes to 401(k) plans. Are you being charged for accounting, record keeping, management, or for other reasons? Read Michael Kling’s article for ways to keep extra fees at a minimum.

3. What Are Baby Bonds?

[Bargaineering] Are you interested in diversifying your portfolio with baby bonds? They have a maximum face value of $5,000 – and many baby bonds are issued in denominations of $1,000 or less. Miranda Marquit explains how you can benefit from these bonds, which typically take eight to 15 years to mature.

4. Online Shopping Safety Tips

[Generation X Finance] Online shopping is convenient and especially popular at this time of the year – just be sure to follow basic procedures to ensure your credit card information is secure. Is there a padlock icon on the status bar at the bottom of your browser window? Check out the article for seven more tips.

5. 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Refinance to Pay Credit Card Debt

[Money Crashers] If you’re considering refinancing a home mortgage to pay off debt, you’ll probably want to read this article first. Refinancing isn’t free – and it’ll likely take much longer to repay your mortgage and credit card debt if you go this route. But that’s just the start of what could go wrong. Read on for some more reasons why this could be a bad idea.

Stacy Johnson

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