Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web


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This week: how being debt-free can cost you, how to be self-employed and still have a life, make money upcycling, improve your credit and become a frugal hipster.

1. 5 Ways to Be a Hipster Without Going Broke

[Credit.com] “If only you could love finances and be a hipster at the same time. Imagine the possibilities. Imagine the friends you’ll make. Imagine your social life blossoming into a bouquet of casual conversation – whatever that means. Contrary to what you may think, it is possible to combine both worlds. You can be a financial hipster. And I’m going to show you how.

I’m 60. Hippy? Maybe. Hipster? Not likely.

However, should I desire to become a frugal hipster, now I know what to do. According to this article, I can buy my clothes at upscale thrift stores, eat out at low-cost venues and carbonate my own soda, for starters. Want to be a hipster for less? Check it out, man.

2. How to Make Money Upcycling

[The Dollar Stretcher] “‘Upcycling’ is what you do when you’re converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality. When you upcycle, you aren’t wasting potentially useful materials. But what if you could make money upcycling?”

There are so many ways to make extra money, it’s hard to count them all. This idea, for example, is one I’ve never considered. It’s about getting things free or cheap, then reselling them. Examples in this article include turning downed branches into mulch and firewood, making picture frames out of old barn wood and charging to take down old TV antenna towers, then selling the scrap metal. Certainly not things everyone can or would do, but interesting. See the post for more ideas.

3. As You Age, Your Credit Improves: Here’s How to Get Ahead of Your Peers

[Credit Sesame] “Does your credit score tell your life story? In a way, it does. Looking at the way a person’s credit score changes over time can tell you when they struggled financially, when they settled down and bought a house, or when they finally paid down that debt from their irresponsible post-college years.”

This article compares credit scores and ages and comes up with some interesting findings. For example, according to this author, only 3 percent of people under 25 have a credit score higher than 750, while 30 percent of those over 65 do. In addition to laying out the facts, there’s some interesting advice for those who don’t want to wait decades for better credit.

4. How to Become an Entrepreneur and Still Have A Life

[Debt.com] “When it comes to starting and running your own business — whether you’re alone in the venture or with a partner — you will inevitably find yourself working all. the. time. For a while, you may take pride in it, wear your superhuman work ethic as a badge of honor, chalk it up to the passion that comes with doing what you love. However, after a while, if you’re not careful, you’ll start to feel exhaustion creeping in …”

Having been self-employed for decades, I can testify that owning your own business means never actually entirely leaving work. But that doesn’t mean life has to suck. This article has lots of good advice on maintaining a work/life balance, from having pets at work (my dog is under my desk as I write this) to getting plenty of exercise. Working from home? Take a break and check out this article.

5. 7 Ways Being Debt-Free Can Cost You

[Wise Bread] “Owing money to banks and credit card companies is usually a guaranteed way of never achieving the financial freedom you want. But there are cases when taking on some debt can be useful, especially as part of a long-term plan.”

There are instances in which debt can get you ahead in life, and this article points some out. One you can probably guess: owning a home, at least if it appreciates by more than the interest costs. You might also make the same argument about getting an education. Check out this post for more ways debt can sometimes be your friend.

Stacy Johnson

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