Profitable Ideas: Whether Frugality Takes Too Much Time, Winning the War on Clutter, and More

A weekly roundup of helpful personal finance articles.

How much time do frugal strategies take? Five time-tested techniques (The Simple Dollar). You may be surprised at how little time it takes to save a lot.

For applicants to elite colleges, early is often the ticket to admission (MarketWatch). It’s a big decision, but taking too long to decide could cost you.

Here’s how long you should keep your tax returns, according to experts (Time). Different forms may require different time frames—frustrating, but important.

How self-tracking helped me conquer my bad shopping habits (The Billfold). This writer went pretty far to analyze her spending, and it paid off.

Amazon wants to get to teenagers before the banks do (Bloomberg). Selling to customers who don’t qualify for credit.

40 years into the war on clutter and we’re still overwhelmed by stuff. What’s going on? (Boston Globe). The war on clutter has been a long slog, and guess who’s winning.

Here’s how to prepare your kids for ‘adulting’ (CNBC). Talking to your kids about money can go a long way toward preparing them for the real world.

Save money and reset your financial life with a shopping ban (NY Times). A spending fast may sound radical, but maybe a radical step is just what your budget needs.

What are your thoughts on any of the above? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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