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This Week Around The Web

1. 7 Ways to Start Increasing Your Income in 20 Minutes or Less (But You Probably Won’t Do Them)

When Life Gives You Lemons Add Vodka — After asking her readers to take a survey, Sarah found out that most respondents were interested in ways to increase their income. So she shared some tips — although I can’t predict if you will do them or not.

She starts with negotiating a raise. That’s a tough one, but she does her best to coax you into trying. She goes on to “Post a Service on Craigslist” and “List a Craft or Product on Etsy” or “Baby or Dog Sit” among others. The reason she chose these things is, “They are simple, anybody can do them, and they take 20 minutes or less to get up and running.” But she believes most people won’t act on her advice.

2. 5 Ways Parents Can Reduce Student Loan Debt

One Smart Dollar — The big takeaway from this blog is preplanning for college expenses. Too many parents and students don’t think about repaying their student loan debt — they just think about qualifying for the loans. Sean presents some smart guidelines.

First off, start saving as soon as possible. Also, another important issue, “select the right school.” Not all kids can afford Yale. Hell, most can’t. Start at a community college and save money. And finally, figure out a payment plan before they graduate. As he says, “Make sure they have a plan in place so that they don’t go into default on their loans.”

3. Jobs that Require No Experience

Gajizmo — Some young people aren’t made for college. That’s cool. But finding a decent job that requires no experience or college education is tough. Gary wants to help out. But he points out as a warning that these jobs “may not be glamorous careers or even offer the best starting salaries…”

He starts off with some strong ideas such as oil field worker, real estate broker, police officer and bill collector. All reasonable options for aspiring workers. But there are some questionable jobs, such as cashier and, most notably “sandwich artist.” Making sandwiches for Subway is a stretch. Although he points out that you do get “experience at running a sandwich eatery.”  That’s not a bad thing.

4. How to Live on $1,000 a Month 

Money Smart Guides — Jon found an online game called Spent. This game challenges you to live on $1,000 per month. But during this brief game, “life keeps throwing you curveballs” such as a sudden car accident that drains your funds (unless you decide to leave the accident). Jon failed at the game — he ran out of money on the 12th day.

I failed at the game too. I think the only way you can succeed is to ignore your better judgment. The game inspired Jon to offer some tips on how to save extra money such as carpool with friends at work, find a roommate and cut back on your food bill. Sounds simple enough, but this game makes you realize how every little bit counts.

5. Chocolate and J. Crew: The Moment I Stopped Struggling with Money

Finance Girl — This blog compares weight loss and financial success. Natalie gained 28 pounds in college due to poor eating habits. She decided to shed the pounds and stopped eating so much. Recently she had an epiphany when thinking back on losing that weight. In college she worked out more so she could eat more, and now she works more so she can spend more.

Then it struck her —  “By trying to earn more money so I could shop, it was effectively like me eating a bag of Reese’s cups and trying to figure out how much I needed to run to burn it off.” Now she eats less (and healthier) and spends less. The weight goes down and the savings go up.

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