Take 5 — A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

This week: how envy keeps you poor, why women don't seek enough financial guidance, four expenses to cut, 50 ways to deal with debt collectors and how to build credit.

Take 5 — A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

1. “7 Easy Ways to Build Credit When You’re Starting Out or Starting Over”

[MSN.com] “Credit is one of those things you don’t want to be without. But the credit game is a Catch-22. You need a good credit history to snag the best deals on loans, yet it’s very difficult to get credit without a borrowing history. So what’s a consumer to do? Here are seven simple moves.”

This MSN story is actually a MoneyTalksNews story. We’re highlighting it in case you didn’t know that in addition to seeing our stuff on our site, you can also read and watch some of our most popular stories on some of the world’s most popular websites, including MSN, Yahoo, AOL and others.

So how does one go about building credit? Tips include becoming an authorized user on someone else’s account, getting a co-signer, applying for a secured credit card, getting a department store credit card and more. If you’re tired of not getting the credit you deserve, check it out.

2. “50 Things Anyone Dealing With a Debt Collector Should Know”

[The Dollar Stretcher] “Getting a debt collection call is never fun. Even in a best-case scenario (it’s your debt and you can pay), that outstanding account can cause a headache or two. And if the debt’s contentious, not yours or just too darn high, the situation can become (or at least feel) a lot more dire. But knowledge is a superpower when it comes to dealing with a debt collector in any shape or form.”

We’ve done plenty of stories on debt collection, but none with 50 bullet points. If you want an education on your rights regarding debt collection laid out in a succinct and simple list, this is the article for you.

3. “4 Little-Known Ways to Cut Expenses When You’re in Debt”

[AOL] “Everyone’s needs are different; therefore, everyone has different expenses and priorities. It would be impossible for me to list all of the ways you could cut back, but I do have four ways you might want to consider. No matter what strategy you use, always remember to keep things realistic and obtainable. Nothing is worse than setting yourself up for failure before you even begin.”

If there’s one thing I’ve covered extensively over my career, it’s cutting expenses to destroy debt. (I wrote my first book on the subject 17 years ago.) So when I see “little-known ways” in an article title, I can’t help but look to see if there’s anything new.

This article suggests these “little-known” ways to save: canceling private mortgage insurance, cutting your utility bills, paying less for insurance and never shopping to relieve anxiety. Good suggestions all, but none we haven’t suggested umpteen times. (Need proof? Check here, here, here and here.) Nonetheless, this is a well-executed article and worth checking out.

4. “Men Are More Likely to Seek Financial Advice Than Women”

[Debt.com] “It turns out that women are good savers — better savers than their male counterparts — but would rather skip the financial talks regardless of who they are talking to. They don’t want to talk to their partners, their friends, or even professionals.”

This article was based on a survey suggesting women were less likely to seek help with their finances than men. I was surprised. I’m a man, and I tend not to ask for directions when lost, don’t read the instructions unless I have to, and just generally seem to be leaping before looking.

5. “6 Ways Envy Is Keeping You Poor”

[Wise Bread] “Unlike greed, gluttony, sloth, pride, lust, and even wrath, envy can be debilitating. It can take over your every thought, and turn a once happy person into someone obsessed with another’s possessions, qualities, or day-to-day life.”

According to this author, out of all the Seven Deadly Sins, envy can make you doubt yourself, waste money, hate life, hurt your career, drink and drug, and create a downward spiral that leads to more envy. I certainly wouldn’t doubt it.

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