Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web


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This week: cheap weekend getaways; what car salesmen are really talking about in the manager's office; shopping for next Christmas; why entrepreneurs fail; and awkward money moments.

1. How to Have a Not-So-Expensive (NSE) Weekend Away

[Credit.com] “NSE is our way to do the things we love, but focus on the things we love more. We love wine, but don’t need a $40 bottle when we’re home by ourselves on a Friday night.

I’ve been harping on a similar philosophy since my first book, Life or Debt, was published back in 2001. The point is that there are lots of ways to do the things you love for less. This post suggests things like staying with friends and family, eating like a local, saving on liquor by drinking at home and other ideas. Give it a read, then hit the road.

2. Top 3 Things Auto Salesmen Discuss in the Manager’s Office

[The Dollar Stretcher] “You’ve been there before. You’re talking with an auto salesman about a vehicle you have interest in purchasing and he/she says, ‘I have to go to talk with my manager.’ It’s enough to make you wipe your hands on your jeans because the negotiations have just started and you feel like you’re in an oven. You might even want to get up and follow them to see what they are talking about.”

To be honest, I’ve never really thought or cared much about what a salesman was discussing in a manager’s office, but this article, authored by a former car salesman, told me anyway. The top three things? How much the dealer has in the car, how committed the buyer is and whether the customer has a trade-in. Read the article to find out why this stuff is important and what you can do to steer things in your direction.

3. Before You Forget About Christmas Shopping, Stock Up on These Super Cheap Items for Next Year

[The Penny Hoarder] “You’ve eaten your last serving of microwaved stuffing and thrown out the last bit of hardened fruit cake. You’ve been back at work for a few days, the kids are back in school and you’re already getting comfortable writing ‘2016’ on your… checks? Christmas is the last thing you want to think about right now.”

Every year I promise myself I’m going to buy Christmas stuff when it’s cheapest, and every year I space. Sound familiar? Then read this one. With sales that offer up to 90 percent off, this really is a great time of year to stock up on Christmas wrapping and other holiday trappings. If, that is, you can stand the thought of using your credit cards one last time.

4. 10 Ways Entrepreneurs Fail Before They Even Get Started

[Debt.com] “While there are many reasons for why a business fails, one of the key factors is the entrepreneur behind that business. In fact, due to their behaviors and actions, there are some that fail before they even get started. Here’s 10 reasons why…”

I’ve started several businesses, and I can testify that much of this advice is right on. Reasons for new business failure listed by this author include assuming you’ll be more successful than you turn out to be, believing everyone wants what you have to offer, thinking a great idea is automatically a great business, and being to afraid to take risks. Starting a business? Read this.

5. 10 Money Moments That Are Awkward for Everyone

[Wise Bread] “Sometimes just being in a situation that relies on money can make us uncomfortable. From the first time you ask your boss for a raise to not having enough cash when tipping is suggested, these are the most awkward money moments in life.”

Awkward moments include deciding who’s paying on a first date, forgetting your wallet, having a card declined, discussing finances with a soon-to-be-spouse, asking your parents for help (when you’re an adult) and more. If you haven’t experienced any of these moments, you probably have a trust fund.

Bonus: 6 Credit Mistakes New Parents Will Make

[Credit Sesame] “As a new parent myself, I can sympathize with the desire to do everything possible to take care of your baby and the worry over how to afford it all. Here are some financial mistakes many new parents make, and how to avoid them.”

While these mistakes may be typical for new parents, they seem common for many people. They include using credit cards as emergency funds, buying more than you need, applying for too much credit, not automating your finances and not using card rewards. How do this things apply to new parents in particular? Read the article and find out.

Stacy Johnson

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