Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

This week: instant voter registration, why you buy, why you don’t save, how to fail as an entrepreneur and how to make money through social media.

1. Need to Register to Vote? Just Google It

[Credit.com] “If you haven’t registered — whether you think it’s just too much of a pain, you haven’t had the time, or you just don’t know where to start — you’re in luck. Google is here to help with a new widget that makes the process a lot easier.”

I hope you’re planning to vote in November; I can’t remember an election more electrifying. If you’re hesitating due to the perceived hassle of registering to vote, hesitate no more. As this article explains, all you have to do is Google, “how do I register to vote?” and you’ll instantly be hooked up with everything you need. It’s pretty cool — check it out!

2. The Emotions Behind Buying Stuff

[The Dollar Stretcher] “Sometimes people allow themselves a set amount of money in their budgets specifically for shopping on unnecessary items. Others spend without setting a limit. Despite the amount of rationalization people tend to believe they have over what they buy and how they decide to purchase things, there is an element of emotion that plays a role in the final decision.”

We’ve touched on this topic in stories like “8 Signs You’re a Shopaholic and What to Do About It,” but this post adds more information about how advertising, especially when combined with our weak human dispositions, gets us to spend money needlessly. If you want to ruin your next trip to Amazon or the mall, check it out.

3. The Science Behind Why You Don’t Save (and What to Do About It)

[Money] “The short- and long-term savings crisis isn’t only an issue facing low-income Americans — it is also a reality for many middle-class households. Needless to say, too many of us are living on the edge. So what is the problem? Why don’t we save?”

This article presents an interesting look into the reasons we don’t save (and, no, it’s not just about not having enough) and some simple things we can do to overcome our frailties and save in spite of ourselves. While the problems are varied and somewhat complex, the best solution is simple. Can you guess what it is?

4. How to Fail as an Entrepreneur — Even If You Make Money

[Debt.com] “According to a 2014 Gallup study on why new companies fail in the first five years, it’s that the entrepreneur didn’t organize enough to manage the money that their business was earning because they lacked the talent, knowledge, and experience necessary.”

As someone who’s been self-employed for decades, I’m a sucker for any title with the word “entrepreneur” in it. And what this story is highlighting is true: There’s more to success than sales. If you’re self-employed, or thinking of traveling this path, give this one a read. That being said, however, I’ll tell you a little secret. While sales isn’t the only thing, it is the main thing.

5. How to Improve Your Finances Using Social Media

[Wise Bread] “Social media is about more than just looking at friends’ baby photos, posting what you ate for dinner last night, and watching the most recent viral videos. It can actually help you improve your finances, land a new job, and reach your savings goals more efficiently.”

I’m not a big social media fan, but these suggestions are making me reconsider. They include “friending” your bank and credit card companies, finding deals, sharing goals and more. Stop taking selfies and posting to Facebook long enough to check it out.

Don’t forget to share your thoughts and reactions in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

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