Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web


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This week: Ditching your credit card's annual fee, solving your puppy's chewing fixation, asking your date about their credit, repairing your credit while you do your taxes, and home renovations that could hurt its value.

1. 6 Ways to Wriggle Out of Paying Your Credit Card’s Annual Fee

[Credit.com] “Credit card users may love the security and convenience that their cards offer them. And those who use reward credit cards can receive valuable points, miles and cash back in return for their loyalty. But the one part of reward credit cards that may be universally disliked is their annual fees.

So how do you ditch your annual fee? Tips include simply asking for it to be waived, threatening to cancel your card, switching to a card that waives the fee the first year, downgrading to a fee-free card, canceling the card or using your rewards points to pay the fee. See the post for details.

2. Long-Lasting Solutions for a Chewing Puppy

[The Dollar Stretcher] “We have an 8-month-old puppy that just loves to chew. This puppy loves to chew more than our other dogs. Does anyone have a recipe, or know where I can find one, to make rawhides or homemade chew things to save money? I’m not looking for treats, just something to chew, chew, chew.”

This article answers the above question by suggesting several products to offer your canine companion, including Kong, Nylabone, a braided rope dog toy smeared with peanut butter, freezing a towel dunked in broth and more. Got a chewer in your house? Check this one out. I wish I’d seen this when my best friend, Lola, was still a puppy.

3. 4 Reasons I’m Not Shy About Asking What My Date’s Credit Score Is

[Credit Sesame] “As unromantic as it may sound, dating is also a time to find out a person’s money management style. Today’s singles know how important responsible financial management is, and how finances affect every other aspect of life. There’s no reason not to ask about credit score.”

The four reasons to ask about your date’s credit include the fact that financial arguments are a leading cause of divorce, your partner’s credit can hold you back when it’s time to borrow, you may end up helping your partner deal with their debt, and bad credit behavior may be indicative of other issues.

While the notion of asking someone about their credit score seems decidedly unromantic, it’s hard to argue with this author’s logic.

4. 10 Reasons to Repair Your Credit This Tax Season

[Debt.com] “Why wait a day longer to start repairing your credit, the sooner you begin the sooner you will feel the benefits. Not only will your FICO score rise when you begin to repair your credit, but by paying off debts or getting current on outstanding bills, you will be saving yourself interest payments in the future.

While this article offers 10 reasons tax time is also a good time to work on your credit, it boils down to two: First, you’re already dealing with your finances, and second, you can use your refund to start a debt destruction program. Check out the post for more information and maybe some inspiration.

Click here and learn to slash your taxes with our new tax course!

5. 5 Home Renovations That Could Hurt Your Home’s Value

[Wise Bread] “It’s true, certain home improvements will actually make it more difficult to sell your home. And when it’s more challenging to move your home, you’ll most likely have to reduce your asking price.”

We recently published 8 Home Improvement Projects That Pay Off Big and have also done 4 Home ‘Improvement’ Projects That Can Hurt Your Property Value. What this article suggests you refrain from doing is adding a pool, creating a permanent home office, turning a garage into a bedroom, adding a bunch of landscaping and painting rooms in non-neutral colors.

Interesting factoid: My house has every single one of those five features.

Stacy Johnson

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