Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

This week: A look at frugality vs. stealing, why you should wear the same outfit every day, old — but valuable — stuff you should sell, how to cool off without AC and fun facts about money.


1. Are You Frugal, Cheap or a Thief?

[Making Sense of Cents] “I don’t believe there is anything wrong with saving money (this is a personal finance blog after all), but I do wonder how far people will go to save money – whether it be $1, $2 or $100.”

This was an interesting look at situations in which some would consider an action frugal, while others would it label it unethical. For example, would you consider dumpster-diving stealing? How about taking the coupons from your neighbor’s paper before they retrieve it? What about signing up for credit cards just to get the sign-up bonus?

We’re all different, as are the ways we look at things. If you want to weigh in on what your version of morality allows, this is your post.

2. Why Decision Fatigue Is Leaving You Broke

[Money After Graduation] “My favorite two outfits to wear to work were both comprised of jeans and a T-shirt. ‘I wish I could just wear a T-shirt and jeans every day,’ was the only thought running through my head. Then I realized I can do exactly that.”

The premise of this post is that each decision you’re faced with each day contributes to tiring you out. Therefore, the fewer decisions you’re forced make — including what to wear — the better. Seems logical.

Reading this article took me back. Half-way through high school, my parents thought it might be a good idea to send me to military school. (Don’t ask.) While I missed my friends, especially the female kind, wearing the same uniform daily did make life easier.

3. How to Cool Off Without Air Conditioning

[Money Q&A] “… air conditioning isn’t the only way to stay cool. Whether your unit is dead or you are looking for a low-cost way to beat the heat, here are a handful of ways you can survive spring and summer and cool off without air conditioning.”

Survive the summer without air conditioning? I broke out in a sweat just typing that. But then, I live in South Florida. If you don’t, maybe some of these suggestions will get you through summer AC-free. They include replacing hot incandescent lighting with cooler LEDs, using fans, both portable and ceiling, and keeping out of the kitchen.

4. Fun Facts About Money I Bet You Didn’t Know

[Money Smart Guides] “After burning the midnight oil and reading through the National Archives, I have the following money facts that I know you will enjoy.”

I’m a sucker for fun tidbits about things like money, so this one caught my eye. You’ll have to read the article to get them all, but here are a few: It takes 454 bills to make a pound’s worth, 80 percent of U.S. currency is in $100 bills, a penny costs twice as much to make as it’s worth, and if you have $10 and no debt, you’re wealthier than 25 percent of Americans.

5. 6 Old Things in Your House That Have Serious Re-Sale Value

[Wise Bread] “These days, there are a number of places you can sell your things online and in-person, and all it takes is some time and effort. You’d be surprised at the resale value some of your old “junk” holds.”

We recently published 5 Steps To Clean Up On Spring Cleaning, which approaches the same topic from a different direction, but you can never get too much of this kind of advice.

This story gives you specific tips and advice on selling furniture, electronics, designer clothing, kid stuff, diapers and tools and garden supplies. Got anything in those categories you’d like to part with? Check this one out.

Who do you like?

We’re always on the hunt for talented personal finance writers and interesting sites and authors. If you’ve got a favorite, let us know below or on our Facebook page! You can also talk to us about anything you’d like simply by hitting “reply” to your daily email update. (Not subscribed? Fix that right now!)

Stacy Johnson

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