Take 5 — A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

This week: How to slash next year's tax bill, where your dog will be vacationing this year, why you're not rich, IRS debt collection and how to sweat less this summer.

Take 5 — A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

1. “3 Ways You Should Start Slashing Your Next Tax Bill Now”

[MSN.com] “Whatever you owe to or receive from Uncle Sam this year, you can make next year better by looking forward and starting to chip away at your next tax bill. It’s easier to lower your tax bill by planning ahead than by scrambling around at the last minute. So take the following tips as a starting point.”

This MSN story is actually a Money Talks News 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 putting a dent in next year’s tax bill? Tips include organizing to itemize, increasing your retirement account contributions and learning about potential tax credits.

2. “Where Will Fido Go on Vacation?”

[The Dollar Stretcher] “Just like motels and hotels where you have stayed, kennels for your pet offer a range of service, comfort and price. The basic amenities are room and board. Hopefully, there is ample outdoor space for your dog to run around and play. Some places may also offer grooming and other special services.”

This story provides the basics on the available options when you need to get away, but your animals need to stay. It includes putting your pup in a kennel, having someone care for them at their house or having them visit yours.

Since we have a dog and two cats, none of which are fond of leaving the security of home, we always opt for having a friend stay at our house, something they also enjoy since we have a pool and other fun stuff to do. If we didn’t do that, we’d probably use Rover. But I wish we could take our furry friends with us when we travel. It’s amazing how much we miss them!

3. “13 Reasons Why You’re Not Rich”

[AOL] “There are two types of people that go to the mall regularly. Young people that spend their money foolishly, and old people that need a comfortable place to walk around and get exercise. Malls aren’t the best way to buy things because there’s likely a cheaper alternative and you can probably get better service elsewhere.”

This is a decidedly tongue-in-cheek look at self-defeating financial behavior. One example is quoted above: sport shopping at the mall. Other sins include looking to possessions for happiness, always getting the latest and greatest tech and thinking of debt as normal. Check it out for more, then read my article, “The 10 Commandments of Wealth and Happiness.”

4. “Want to Collect Debts for the IRS? The Bar Is Pretty Low”

[Debt.com] “The federal government wants a company it fired two years ago — and sued three months ago — to take your money. The IRS says it doesn’t have the manpower to collect long-overdue taxes. I guess they’ve got their hands full with the ‘routine’ audit Donald Trump claims to be suffering.”

As it turns out, you can’t actually collect debts for the IRS. What this article is really about is the low quality of the companies named by the IRS to collect taxpayer debts. It’s a good read; check it out.

5. “7 Ways to Sweat Less This Summer”

[Wise Bread] “Our bodies protect us from overheating by sweating. But sweating a lot is not always convenient or pleasant. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to keep drier this summer.”

This one caught my eye because I’m a resident of South Florida, which means a sweltering summer isn’t coming soon, it’s now. Ideas include putting deodorant on at night before bed (never heard that one before!), keeping a personal fan around, avoiding hot food, wearing breathable fabrics, sleeping on a cool pillow and more.

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Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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