Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

This week: How to retire early, 10 reasons not to procrastinate, lessons from purposely destroying your credit score, the cost of being a bridesmaid and what you need to know about commodities.


1. How to Make Early Retirement a Reality

[Credit.com] “Sometimes you might feel as though you are chained to a job for the next 20, 30 or 40 years and there’s no way out. If that describes you, I have some great news. It’s not necessarily true. If you are willing to think outside the box and take decisive action, you can retire decades earlier than you otherwise might think.

Since I’m now 60 and obviously still working, this advice is too late for me, but maybe it isn’t for you. The steps offered by this article could be used to achieve any goal. They include defining exactly what you want to achieve and by when, converting it into a written goal, then creating a plan to achieve it. See the article for more.

2. 10 Ways Procrastination Costs You

[The Dollar Stretcher] Stephen Richards, in “Overcoming Procrastination,” wrote “Habitual procrastinators will readily testify to all the lost opportunities, missed deadlines, failed relationships, and even monetary losses incurred just because of one nasty habit of putting things off until it is often too late.”

A few years ago I decided to put a small, simple safe in my house for the few valuables I keep here. Guess when I finally did it? A few days after someone broke in and stole the only thing my father left me, an inexpensive watch.

That’s one example of how putting things off can cost you. This article has a lot more, from procrastinating on home repairs and maintenance to planning a budget. You should check it out. At least, when you get around to it.

3. I Purposely Paid My Credit Card Bill Late & Accidentally Discovered a Credit Score Hack

[Credit Sesame] “I wanted to find out exactly how quickly and how low my score would drop if I maxed out a credit card, made a late payment and carried a balance over a month. In addition, I wanted to track how quickly my score would rebound to its starting point once I brought the account current and paid it down to zero.”

The author started with a 705 credit score, then within a month dropped it down to 598 by running up a balance and paying late. A month later, they paid off the entire balance. Result? In just one month, their score bounced back. In fact, it ended up higher than it started out.

Interesting experiment? Yes. Would I advise you try it yourself? Absolutely not. There were simple reasons this person’s credit score recovered quickly. Check out the article for an explanation.

4. I’ve Been a Bridesmaid 4 Times. Here’s the Real Cost

[Debt.com] “When I set out to compare the costs of “bridesmaiding” to the costs of “groomsmanning,” I assumed that bridesmaids would spend more on appearances for the ceremony, while groomsmen would spend more on the bachelor party. Anecdotally at least, I was proven to be half right. But in an endeavor like a wedding, are the only costs financial?”

I’ve never considered whether groomsmen paid less than bridesmaids for the honor of participating in a wedding. Judging by the fact they often have to buy dresses, shoes and professional makeup, I just assumed bridesmaids paid more. This author found that assumption correct.

Despite the title, this article doesn’t really list the exact cost of each wedding appearance. Nonetheless, it’s a decent read. And while the author starts her narrative by saying she’d prefer not to do it again, she ends by admitting that one can’t really say no, at least if you can possibly afford it.

5. 8 Things Everyone Should Know About the Commodities Markets

[Wise Bread] “Investing in commodities is not for beginners, but it’s helpful to know some of the basics of how they work and how they may impact other parts of your portfolio — and even your day-to-day life.”

Over the years, I’ve written many times about investing in risky stuff like commodities and stock options. (Spoiler alert: don’t even think about it.) This article offers a primer so you can understand what commodities are and how they work. It’s well done, although the author seems more sanguine about investing in commodities than I am. He essentially says, “be cautious.” I say: “run the other way.”

Stacy Johnson

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