Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

This week, wisdom on dealing with the debt collector, how to wrench kids from screens in the summer, freelancing for college students, strange jobs and shedding emotional baggage.

1. 12 Times You Can Sue a Debt Collector

[Credit.com] “It’s every consumer’s worst nightmare: You’re busy at work, mired in debt, and your cellphone keeps ringing. You’re doing your best to pay off that bill, but the unknown number flashing on your phone’s screen is a dismal reminder you haven’t.

We’ve done plenty of stories about dealing with debt collectors, and this article reinforces much of what you need to know. Debt collectors aren’t allowed to call too early or too late, discuss your debt with third parties, make false threats or engage in a host of other common activities. Being harassed? Check this one out.

2. 13 Ways to Pull Your Kids Away From Technology This Summer

[The Dollar Stretcher] “With things like Netflix, cellphones and tablets, it is hard to get kids away from technology. The Kaiser Family Foundation did a study suggesting kids today are spending up to 75 hours a week on things like the Internet, Netflix and smartphones.”

If you think it’s impossible to pry that phone or game controller out of your kid’s hands, this post might help. Suggestions include a visit to the library, pen pals, camping, creating your own water park and volunteering. Check out this post, then our recent article, 50 Fun, Free or Cheap Things to Do With Your Kids This Summer.

3. Freelancing as a College Student: 5 Strategies for Balancing School and Work

[The Penny Hoarder] “Instead of having to juggle a job around full-time classes, freelancing can help you lighten your workload, get a much better paycheck and jump-start your career. It’s easy to set up, and you can complete assignments at times that work for you.”

Suggestions include prioritizing your classes, letting your clients know you’re a student, not overexerting yourself and making your own rules. See the post for more.

4. Strange but Good-Paying Jobs I’ve Found on Craigslist

[Debt.com] “Craigslist isn’t just for buying used refrigerators and selling bicycles. I’ve used it to find paying gigs that are really weird.”

Not only have I never worked any of these jobs, I’ve never even heard of some of them. For example, this author was paid $13 an hour to sit in an office and fool the visiting CEO into thinking the office was busier than it actually was. She was also paid to walk an invisible dog. Check this post out for a chuckle and to see just how odd Craigslist can be.

5. 8 Common Pieces of Emotional Baggage (and How to Ditch Them)

[Wise Bread] “I hate the weight of unnecessary stuff. That’s why I fly with just a carry-on and never take a purse or jacket into concerts. But excess baggage isn’t only physical. As we travel through life, we collect emotional baggage as well. And just like lugging a roller bag that’s missing one wheel through the airport, emotional baggage can really slow us down.”

Guilt, regret, shame, anger: These emotions and more can destroy an otherwise happy life. Want to feel better? Read this article.

Stacy Johnson

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Read Next: Ask Stacy: Where Can I Go for Help With Debt?

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