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Pay Off a Mortgage Early, Affording a Smartphone, and JCPenney’s Gimmick

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A few times a month, Lance from Money Life and More will stop by to share some of the best articles from across a variety of publications, including other blogs and mainstream media.

I am excited to be starting a new series here on Consumerism Commentary! The goal of my new series is to share articles I’ve read over the last week or two that I feel deserved a second look. If you haven’t already read these articles I highly suggest you check them out if they sound interesting to you. If you have already read them, go ahead and take a second look! Let’s get straight to this week’s articles!

Jacob from iHeartBudgets is up first this week! He wrote about the common argument about whether or not you should pay off your mortgage early. Rather than taking a particular stance, Jacob looks at the benefits of both sides before deciding on a unique decision for himself. Luke suggestions considering the math and discounting the emotional benefit of paying off a low-interest mortgage early.

Holly at Club Thrifty asks a legitimate question: Can you really afford a smartphone? If you have a traditional smartphone plan you definitely know why she asks the question. Smartphone plans have become very expensive lately with all of the add-ons of texting, data and anything else cell phone carriers can think up!

Money Beagle examines the simple reason JCPenney’s pricing gimmick failed. As you may have recently read, JCPenney’s CEO got the boot and their old CEO is returning. It sounds like they’ll be shifting back to their old strategies and I think Money Beagle hit the reason why dead on in his article.

Travis explored a question I’ve always wondered about myself but never investigated. Is buying in bulk at Costco really cheaper? Travis compares and then shares the prices on 6 items he regularly buys at both Costco and Walmart. Will you be surprised by the results?

Finally, Carrie Smith at PT Money shares 25 insanely easy ways to manage your money and get back on top. Tackling all 25 steps at once might seem a bit daunting but you can start by applying just one or two and then moving down the list as you pick up speed. I’m sure most people could pick up at least a couple great tips from this list.

I hope you enjoyed reading (or rereading) these stories as much as I did!

Published or updated April 14, 2013. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Lance is the author of the blog Money Life and More. Growing up with an entrepreneurial spirit, Lance recently graduated from college with a degree in business accounting, and with his CPA certification, works in corporate accounting. Follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Cejay ♦1,521 (Half-Dollar)

I applaud Jacob for his decision on paying down his mortgage. When we decided to “snowball” our debt everyed we talked to was all for us paying off student loans and credit cards. But when we started saving to pay off our mortgage we heard so many naysayers that we started to question our decision. In the end we decided the financial freedom we were after could only be accomplished by being debt free. So we paid off the mortgage and have never looked back.

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avatar Lance

I’m glad you did what was right for you just like Jacob is doing what is right for him.

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avatar Jacob

Thanks Cejay. Paying off your mortgage can be unpopular, but really, if you’re at a place where you can do that, nevermind the haters, do what’s right for you! It’s not like you’re blowing your extra cash at the casinos, you’re just there being a epicly-awesome frugal human being :)

I opted for a hybrid strategy because I don’t want a majority of my investment in real estate. I think of it as diversifying :)

Lance, Luke, thanks for sharing my post, much appreciated.

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avatar qixx ♦1,813 (Half-Dollar)

I prefer to pay off debts when i can and have one less bill. The freedom and more simple financial situation for me beats the opportunity cost.

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avatar Jacob

Thanks so much for mentioning Travis’s article!

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