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This week: Companies that almost died, free things that aren't, making debt-free babies, where you should spend and why you should live in a mobile home.

1. 10 Great Companies That Came Back From the Brink of Death

[Credit.com] “Every year, American companies large and small succumb to bankruptcy or disappear when they’re swallowed up by larger rivals. While it’s sometimes sad to see a favorite brand go, these failures are a normal part of the business cycle, and experts love to predict which will be next to go.”

We’ve written articles about failing companies, like “10 Iconic Brands That Died and 9 More That May Soon Follow,” but this article takes a more upbeat look at companies that nearly died, but didn’t. The list includes Apple, Best Buy, GM, AIG, IBM and more.

2. Financial Benefits of Living in a Mobile or Manufactured Home

[The Dollar Stretcher] “Mobile homes often get a bad rap, sometimes in the form of jokes about being in a mobile home during a storm and put-downs about the types of people who live in mobile homes. But, if you have calculated the cost of your current living situation, you may quickly discover that owning and living in a mobile home may be the most cost effective way of having affordable housing, whether you currently rent a place or own one.”

I was amazed to learn that, according to this author, nearly 1 in 5 residents of South Carolina live in a mobile home. I was also surprised at how affordable these homes are compared with traditional housing. Read this article and see if you’re surprised too. I will say one thing though: Affordable or not, I live in hurricane country, so it’s unlikely I’ll be living in a mobile home anytime soon.

3. Spending Money on Experiences Makes You a Better Person

[Money] “You’ve probably heard about the health benefits of practicing gratitude — how it can boost your mood, help you treat others better, improve physical health, and keep stress and fear at bay. Now, here’s a little trick for how to automatically infuse more gratitude into your life: Spend more money on experiences, and less on material objects.”

We’ve covered this one before and concluded that if you want to use money to create happiness, either give it away or use it to fund experiences. This article comes to a similar conclusion. Turns out that experiences are more likely to make us grateful than possessions, and gratitude is a direct path to happiness. So read this one, then start planning your next adventure.

4. How to Make Babies Without Going Into Debt

[Debt.com] “Preparing for the arrival of a newborn is an exciting time! But you don’t want to go overboard with your spending, especially when it comes to those little plastic cards. Here are some tips from some new parents on how they maneuvered those heady we’re-having-a-baby days without going wild with their credit cards…”

If you’re expecting, here’s some advice from real people on how to do it without spending money you don’t have. Two common themes: Shop around for bargains and start saving before conception.

5. 8 ‘Free’ Things That Aren’t

[Wise Bread] “Free has to be one of the most abused words in the English language. It’s become so bad that we are always skeptical, and look for asterisks or legal copy to see what the catch is. But, even when there doesn’t appear to be one, free is not always what it’s cracked up to be.”

We’ve done stories about things that used to be free but now cost, and this article makes for a great companion piece. It covers free shipping, free checking, free prizes, free pets, free hotel breakfasts, free stuff for listening to sales spiels, buy-one-get-one free and free stuff on Craigslist.

Why aren’t these things actually free? Read it and find out. It’s free.

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

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


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