Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

This week: Why some hate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, why you underestimate costs, the best and worst generic buys, advanced dumpster diving and yard sale etiquette.

1. 4 Years Later, Congress Still Debates Consumer Watchdog’s Future

[Credit.com] “The agency says through various enforcement actions, it has helped get refunds or other kinds of relief to 17 million Americans — $10 billion worth of relief. But at what cost? Dodd-Frank and the CFPB have vocal critics who say the new regulations it has created have hurt both small lenders and consumers, ultimately making the economy less stable.

We recently reported the birthday of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB. As far as I’m concerned, this federal agency has been a huge benefit to American consumers. But there are still those who think it should never have been created and needs to be dismantled. Why? Check out this article and see.

2. Yard Sale Etiquette

[The Dollar Stretcher] “Just call me the Miss Manners of garage sales. Contrary to popular belief, I believe that a yard sale is not an anything-goes, no-etiquette-needed free-for-all. As in any social situation, there are certain things you do or don’t do in order to be polite.”

We’ve published a lot of stories on yard sales, but I don’t remember ever touching on this topic. So what embarrassing blunders should you avoid? If you’re a buyer, they include showing up earlier than the posted time and having only large bills. If you’re a seller, you shouldn’t leave your signs up after the sale is over or charge too much. See the post for more.

3. Why Dumpster-Diving for Makeup is a Lucrative Business

[The Penny Hoarder] “Some people dive for electronics or items that have a high resale value. Some people dive for coupons, because their single copy of the newspaper doesn’t contain enough savings. The truly brave dive for food, either to reduce food waste in their personal lives or to scrounge up good eats for the homeless. The new hot dumpster-diving goal? Makeup.”

Dumpster-diving is something I wouldn’t necessarily look down on you for doing, but I wouldn’t do it myself. Apparently, however, there are plenty who will, including some who seem to do it full-time. Interested in a trashy article about making some side cash? Check it out.

4. 5 Best And Worst Things to Buy Generic

[Debt.com] “… how can you know what brand names are worth the higher price tags and which ones just aren’t? Follow these tips so that the next time you go shopping, you’ll known when to go for quality and when to focus on your bottom line.”

Generics are another topic we’ve been harping on for years, but you can always learn something new. This article suggests you always choose generics for diapers, cereal, spices, medications and gas. Click the link to see the five things you should never buy generic.

5. This Is Why You Always Think Things Will Cost Less Than They Do

[Wise Bread] “In addition to underestimating time, our brains also have a tendency to underestimate cost, and we end up with sticker shock once it’s time to break out our wallets.”

Exceptional costs, mental accounting errors, the “19.99 effect” and something called “scope creep” are all things that cause us to underestimate and overspend. This is an interesting look at the tricks our minds can play on us and how to overcome them.

Stacy Johnson

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