Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

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1. Find Your Hidden Spending Habits and Save

[Wise Bread] There are many spending traps that cause people to throw away money each month – whether it’s loading up on unneeded cleaning supplies or splurging on too many grocery store meats. Find out what your weaknesses are and work on curbing them. Read Tisha Tolar’s post to identify your spending habits and find ways to beat them.

2. 5 Questions to Ask Before Buying from Daily Deal Websites

[Money Crashers] Sites like Groupon and Living Social often have great deals. But if you don’t use these five steps to determine whether the purchase is a smart one, you could end up wasting money. Ask yourself what the total cost will be, rather than what the deal’s discount is, and consider the terms and conditions, for example. Click on the link for more.

3. Downsize Your Life for the New Year

[Bargaineering] Here’s an approach we don’t always talk about – downsizing. According to Miranda Marquit, it isn’t always about moving to a smaller home. You can downsize by making your life simpler, whether it’s clearing out clutter or learning to say no to more responsibilities in your hectic day-to-day schedule.

4. 9 Dangerous Financial Products

[Frugal Nation] From prepaid debit cards to the 10-year CD, there are some financial products that could be risky, costly, or both. Donna Freedman highlights some banking incentives that consumers should steer clear of. Read on to know what they are and why she believes they could be a bad idea.

5. The Top 15 Cheapest New Cars of 2013

[20 Something Finance] Here’s an interesting read on 15 inexpensive cars to look out for this year. The metrics consider price, annual fuel costs, and warranty info – plus more. Smart ForTwo locked in the No. 1 spot, but there are 14 other economical options right behind it.

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