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This Week Around The Web

1. Don’t Pay to Lose Weight — Get Paid Instead

Money Talks News — Forget Weight-watchers or The South Beach Diet, get competitive with your dieting program and win a few bucks. Nancy found three programs that let you “make a weight loss bet.” You simply set your goal and if you meet it you cash in — if you don’t, you lose out.

As an example, she discusses a “team” of five people that took a weight-loss challenge through the website HealthyWage. They lost 252 pounds combined, and won $10,000. Not bad for shedding some extra poundage. Here’s a way you can save money by losing weight.

2. Top 5 Things That Are the Biggest Waste of Money

Money Crashers — Amy says the unnecessary expenses most financial websites tell you to cut, like fancy coffee drinks and gym memberships, will save money. But the alternatives people choose, like the ubiquitous K-cups for morning coffee, are not saving you enough money.

For example, she compares a Dunkin Donuts brand K-cups to a Dunkin Donuts one pound ground coffee bag. The K-cup container provides 12 eight-ounce cups at $0.75 per cup. The bag provides 40 eight-ounce cups at  $0.22 per cup. This is marketing at it’s finest. You rarely see drip coffee makers (or ground coffee) being advertised — K-cups and other coffee pods are everywhere.

3. When Should You Really Become Debt Free?

Frugal Rules — Paying off debt is tough. It wears people down. But John says don’t give up. When he was paying off his debt, he started questioning whether all the sacrifice were worth it. He realizes now that it was worth all the sleepless nights.

He views debt as an “emergency” situation. He remembers his heart racing and feeling “vulnerable.” That’s why he believes you should become debt free as soon as possible, and provides “5 Ways to Start Killing Your Debt Now.” Debt.com provides a step-by-step guide to getting out of debt.

4. Are Your Daily Actions Working For You, or Against You?

Blonde on a Budget — A few years back, guest blogger Anthony realized his daily actions, namely “impulsive spending”, were dooming his finances. At the time though, these purchases didn’t seem like a big thing. He was only spending around $20 — but it was everyday. As time wore on, it became apparent that these purchases were a huge thing.

So he changed his habits. Instead of doing small damaging things, he now does small things that bring “a positive outcome.” He says this philosophy can “be applied to every area of life, from health and fitness to savings accounts.” He provides advice on how you can implement this strategy, such as picking one thing to focus on each day so you don’t get overwhelmed.

5. 8 Ways to Put More Money in Your Budget

Money After Graduation — Bridgette offers some practical tips here. You can use the complete list or just hand pick a few. They’re all helpful. The first one: “track your spending”, is the most basic tip, but it’s also the one most people loathe. Probably because it takes time and effort. But you can make it easier by using a free online money management tool like PowerWallet.

The third way is “over-estimate variable expenses.” When you do that, you’ll almost always have extra money at the month’s end. That will lower your stress level and provide a financial cushion in case you need that cash for other expenses.

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