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Are smart thermostats worth it?

Welcome to Thursday, money nerds. My name is J.D. Roth and I’ll be your host as we explore some of the best recent articles from the world of personal finance. Ready? Let’s dive in!

“My ever-changing relationship with my clothes.” [Frugalwoods] — “This post isn’t about money, but it is about how material things can take on too much importance in our lives. How we can define ourselves by what we own–by what we buy.”

Are smart thermostats worth it? [Consumer Reports] — “Some people might find that a simpler thermostat suits their needs better than a higher-end model with automation. People who understand and appreciate how smart thermostats work — essentially letting their house get warmer or colder sometimes — tend to be satisfied with them.”

The affordable housing crisis explained. [Bitches Get Riches] — “The United States is currently in an affordable housing crisis…It is now significantly harder for a 25-year-old American to make rent than it was for me ten years ago when I was that age. And if they’re struggling to make rent, it’s exponentially harder for them to save up a down payment to buy a home.”

How to spot fake reviews on Amazon. [Wired] — “The overwhelming majority of fake positives are five-star reviews, and false negatives tend to be one-star reviews, so you are more likely to find legitimate reviews in the middle. Canny fake reviewers understand that overselling is a problem and may award four stars rather than the full five, but no one is paying for two- or three-star reviews.”

To close things out today, here’s a fun story from TV show 60 Minutes. It’s a 14-minute segment explaining how a retired couple from rural Michigan discovered a loophole in the state lottery — and made millions of dollars for themselves and their friends.

I’ve always wondered if something like this were possible. It’s seemed to me that there must be instances where gambling odds are such that a person could come out ahead if they placed their bets properly. Now I know this does happen from time to time. Fun story.

That’s it for Thursday. I’ll see you tomorrow as we head into the weekend…