Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

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This week: Beware online petitions, why teachers don't own homes, a necessary interview question, saving through volunteering and secret menu items that will save you money.

1. Are Those Online Political Petitions Safe?

[Credit.com] “Unless you live on a desert island with a volleyball named Wilson, you’ve probably seen more than a few political petitions in the wake of the 2016 election. The issues are as various as the people circulating them, which is why I began to wonder: Are they safe? The answer: Yes and no.”

If you’ve been tempted to add your name to any online petition, survey or vote, this is your article. It warns of the potential pitfalls of supporting your causes online, from email abuse to identity theft. The key, as with many things online, is to vet the source. See the post for details.

2. How Volunteering Can Save You Money

[The Dollar Stretcher] “There are those who see volunteering as just giving your time for free, and while that’s essentially the premise, there’s a lot more to it than that. Depending on the circumstances, volunteering can actually save you money, which means not only are you giving back, but you’re also doing a little something for yourself in the process.”

This article is about the “hidden” benefits of offering your time to charity. Those benefits include networking, improving your social life, getting a free workout and more. Considering offering your time this holiday season? Read this.

3. Don’t Leave a Job Interview Without Asking This Question

[Money] “If you’re across the desk from a hiring manager, you should ask who else’s job you can do if you get hired.”

This article is about the growing importance of cross-training, which is a fancy way of saying that you’re learning to do your co-workers’ jobs. It cites a survey suggesting that companies with career mobility programs have more productive employees. If you’ll be entering the job market soon, check it out.

4. Want to Own a Home? It’s Harder for Teachers Than Others

[Debt.com] “The truth is, homes are selling, but they aren’t selling to the people who need them the most because they can’t afford them. Rather, average or above-average Americans are finding it easier to buy a home while low-income Americans are struggling to afford living.”

As you might have guessed from this article’s title, it’s about how many Americans who don’t earn a big salary, like teachers, are finding themselves increasingly priced out of the housing market. It goes on to offer a few metro areas where homes are the most affordable. If owning your own home is worth moving, you might want to check out Detroit — and steer clear of San Francisco.

5. 9 Restaurant Secret Menu Items That’ll Actually Save You Money

[Wise Bread] “Could be just a small twist on a popular item, or better yet, it could be a secret menu item that’ll actually save you some money, or give you more food for your greenbacks. Here are nine such items that you just might need to add to your fast food vernacular.”

We’ve done stories in the past about secret menu items: unlisted stuff you can order from various restaurant chains, provided you’re in the know. This article takes the concept a step further by revealing secret orders that offer greater value than those listed on the menu. Included are things like the McDonald’s McDouble, the “grande” Americano at Starbucks and an “old cut” sub at Subway. Hungry for more? Satisfy your appetite by clicking on the link above.

Don’t forget to share your thoughts and reactions in comments below or on our Facebook page!

Stacy Johnson

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