Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

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This week: Is it too early to start holiday shopping? Plus, 10 things to do before buying your first home, when we overpay on purpose, 4 tips to help you break a lease, and 10 natural air fresheners.

1. Is It Too Early to Start Shopping for Christmas Gifts?

[Narrow Bridge Finance] You probably already know the answer to the question posed by this post: No, it’s not too early to start holiday shopping. In fact, even if you’re still weeks away from your first shopping trip, you should start planning now.

Advice in this article includes setting a budget, setting aside money and using the extra time to be more thoughtful and less impulsive when it comes to gift giving. Check out the aricle for more.

2. 10 Things You Should Do Before Buying Your First Home

[One Cent at a Time] We’ve written a lot about homebuying, so I’m always curious as to the steps others recommend.

This post suggests learning the homebuying process, checking your credit, polishing it up, being aware of your debt-to-income ratio and a lot more. Even if this isn’t your first house, it’s a good checklist.

3. When We Knowingly ‘Overpay’

[Planting Our Pennies] This article is about another subject I’ve discussed often — supporting your local merchants.

These days it’s easy to assume the Internet is the only place to shop. But this author uses the experience of visiting her local bicycle shop to remind us that there’s more to shopping than price. Give it a read.

4. 4 Tips to Help You Break a Lease Without Owing a Fortune

[PT Money] No magic advice in this story, but if you’ve ever paid major money to get out of an apartment lease, you’ll appreciate the step-by-step.

The advice includes reading both the lease and the local law, negotiating with the landlord, subletting and, if nothing else works, moving on. The main takeaway? Breaking a lease doesn’t always mean you’re automatically on the hook.

5. Breathe Easy: 10 Natural Air Fresheners

[Wise Bread] I have three cats and a big dog, so I’m no stranger to strange, and often unpleasant, smells.

Some of these natural air fresheners, like vinegar, kitty litter and baking soda, were no surprise. Others, however, like vodka, I never would have thought of. For more, check out the article.

What do you like?

We’re always on the hunt for talented personal finance writers and interesting sites. If you’ve got a favorite, let us know below or on our Facebook page! You can also talk to us about anything you’d like simply by hitting “reply” to your daily email update. (Not subscribed? Fix that right now!)

Stacy Johnson

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