Profitable Ideas: Deceptive Discounts, Value-Boosting Renovations, and More

A weekly roundup of some of the best personal finance articles from around the web.

With deceptive ‘discounts,’ retailers are manipulating us to spend more. Here are the worst offenders. (Washington Post). Retailers are very good at making us think we got a bargain.

Is instinct eroding your financial health? (Morningstar). We all play the comparison game, but we don’t all play it well.

6 affordable renovations that will instantly boost your home value (Money). If you’re going to put some money into your home, here’s how to do it profitably.

Credit card signatures are about to become extinct in the U.S. (NY Times). Signing for our purchases has become laughably irrelevant.

4 simple steps for naming beneficiaries and why it matters (Ticker Tape). Use this as a reminder to check your various beneficiary designations.

Personal Capital vs. Mint: The ultimate money app showdown (Mr. Money Wizard). I have to agree that Mint does a poor job tracking investments, but I’m a long-time Mint user and value the app for its budget capabilities. Which online budget/money-tracking app do you use?

4 things we think we need today that won’t matter at all in the long run (Hack Life). Thinking about what’ll still matter to us down the road can prevent a lot of needless effort, worry, and spending right now.

Dreaming of a frugal Christmas? It’s easy — if you start now (The Simple Dollar). Great advice. Do you have your own personal Christmas club account?

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

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