Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

This week: How to get more great ideas outside the shower, why you shouldn't compare yourself with others, how to live on $460 a month, a saver's guide to instant gratification, and what life was like before it was normal to borrow.

Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

1. A Saver’s Guide to Instant Gratification

[Frugal Fringe] “For anyone who thinks that savers are big losers who defer gratification and never get to enjoy life, here’s an introductory guide to the saver’s high.”

This author took a unique approach to the instant gratification of shopping by suggesting there’s also instant gratification we can achieve by not shopping. Not having to worry about emergencies, watching yourself get wealthier, looking forward to a bright and fun future: all sources of gratification for those who choose not to blow their hard-earned bucks.

Well said!

2. One Chair at a Time

[Budget Bloggess] “Abundance. That is all my generation (FYI: Gen X) has known – everything in excess and all the conveniences available 24/7. Don’t have it but want it? Don’t have it and can’t afford it? Meh, no problem, go out on a whim and buy it on credit. Am I right? The North American dream that stares us down, bold faced and demanding, tells us every day that’s the way life has to be.”

This is a story about the frugality of this author’s grandparents, but it might as well have been written about my parents. (You can read about my mom here.) It’s a touching, and enlightening, look at what normal people did before being normal meant spending money you don’t have.

If you’re one of the people who remember those days, read it and pat yourself on the back. If you’re not, read it anyway. You might learn something.

3. Living on Only $460 a Month? Really?

[Life and My Finances] “My absolute necessities will only cost me $460 per month. Now that is pretty cheap! Of course, I might need some clothes once in a while, and I still intend to have some fun and also give money to my favorite charities, but as for my absolute essentials – the bill is only $460. That is fricken awesome!”

This is from a young blogger who has paid off nearly all of his debts. The only thing left is his mortgage, which he plans to dispatch by year-end. Once that’s gone, he’ll be able to live on $460 monthly.

But don’t think he’s bragging. This article is really about how it feels to have that kind of financial freedom. It could certainly serve as a model for many of his peers, and mine, for that matter. Check it out.

4. Comparing Ourselves to Others Leads to Foolish Financial Choices

[The Micawber Principle Blog] “In a case of truth being stranger than fiction, Alan Greenspan, in his book ‘The Age of Turbulence,’ reports the results of an interesting study of Harvard graduate students. The students were asked if they would be happier making $50,000 per year if their peers earned only $25,000, or earning $100,000 per year while their peers earned $200,000.”

Can you guess the answer? This well-written post offers valuable insight into how we behave with money and why. It’s a good lesson.

5. How to Have More Eureka! Shower Moments

[Wise Bread]It is often quipped that the best ideas happen to someone, somewhere, while they are in the shower. And while many people do get inspired while scrubbing up, the perfect “ah-ha” experience can happen most anywhere. So the question arises: Why? And how can we encourage it to happen more often?”

I actually get more ideas while sleeping or bike riding than in the shower, but I can see how it happens. Things this author suggests to create more “Eureka!” moments outside the shower: Expand your horizons, dig in deep and relax. If these nuggets seem odd, they won’t after you read the post.

What do you like?

We’re always on the hunt for talented personal finance writers and interesting sites. If you’ve got a favorite, let us know below or on our Facebook page! You can also talk to us about anything you’d like simply by hitting “reply” to your daily email update. (Not subscribed? Fix that right now!)

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