Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

1. Getting Ahead by Lagging Behind

[Frugal Fringe] “[A]s you merge onto the freeway that leads to financial success, you’re going to reach an early realization: Either you or everyone else around you seems to have everything backward. Most of the traffic on this highway to the future seems to be speeding away in the opposite direction. So either you’re the one that’s crazy or all the others are.”

What the author is referring to is that financial independence requires living well below, rather than above, your means. While most people seem compelled to buy the biggest possible house, drive the most expensive car, and acquire the greatest possible number of physical possessions, the road to success leads in the opposite direction.

If you’re in the process of altering your mindset to achieve your financial goals this year, this post will help. Check it out.

2. 5 Unconventional Ways to Save Money in 2015

[Frugal Rules] “[I]t’s easy to save money when you do basic things like cut cable or stop going to the gym, but the unconventional ways I mention below are far more challenging and, dare I say, fun.”

I don’t know about fun, but these ways to save are definitely unconventional. They include getting rid of your TV, eating no meat, keeping your house at 58 degrees instead of 68, avoiding tolls by driving farther, and making and repairing your own clothes.

Too extreme? Read the post and decide for yourself.

3. What a Year Without Clothes Did for Me

[Frugal Woods] “2014 was a clothes-less year for me. Never fear, I wore clothing, I just didn’t purchase any. Quite simply, I wore what I had. This wasn’t one of those ‘I won’t buy clothes this year except for these five categories of things’ or ‘Well, I’ll just buy clothes I really need’ or ‘Underwear doesn’t count, right?’ Nope, my 2014 clothes ban was a no-holds-barred, full-court press, 100 percent no clothes buying year.”

While this may sound like another extreme way to save, money wasn’t the motivation for this author. She stopped buying clothes last year for other reasons, from reducing the time it takes to dress in the morning to separating her self-worth from physical possessions. This is another great article if you want to move your mindset away from consumerism.

4. Why I Love Taxes!

[KrantCents] “Why do I love taxes? Taxes are at the lowest rates right now, and it is expected to stay that way. Just look at what Mitt Romney or Warren Buffett paid in taxes. Their effective tax rate was about 15 percent. A rate normally used for some of the lowest earning taxpayers. It is the rate for dividends and capital gains. How can you pay lower taxes? You have to change how you do things.”

While I don’t necessarily agree with this author’s premise that everyone’s taxes are low or the reasons why (example: Romney and Buffett have access to a loophole that few qualify for), I had to check out the tax-lowering advice.

Essentially, this article is about paying less tax by making your money through capital gains (selling stocks, real estate, etc., at a profit) rather than with traditional income. This is because the tax rates for capital gains can be lower than those for W-2 income.

The fly in the ointment, however, is it takes capital, and a lot of it, to live off gains alone. Still, it’s an idea and post worth checking out.

5. The 5 Habits You Must Break to Become More Self-Confident

[Wise Bread] “If you search ‘how to be confident’ on Google, you’ll find a collection of familiar advice. Talk nicer to yourself. Think positive thoughts. Try something new. All sound guidance that can help boost your ability to be fearless, and that is, after all, what confidence is made of. But happy thoughts and kinder words aside, there are also some habits that can actually keep you from becoming more confident, no matter how positive you force yourself to be or how many new things you decide to try.”

So what habits are keeping a lid on your confidence? Trying to please everyone, living in the past, and setting yourself up to fail, among others. See the post for more.

Who do you like?

We’re always on the hunt for talented personal finance writers and interesting sites and authors. 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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