I’ve received a lot of e-mail lately about very specific financial situations. Remember: I’m not qualified to give financial advice. I can share my experiences with you, and I can summarize the things I learn, but I’m not a trained financial adviser. And I don’t have time to reply to every e-mail. If you want people to kick around ideas with, drop by the Get Rich Slowly discussion forums. The forums are a great place to get feedback on your situation, and to share your financial success stories.

Here are some personal finance stories I’ve liked recently:

  • At 43 Folders, Matt Haughey shared his adventures in $40 eyeglasses. “Overall, I couldn’t be happier with the process of buying glasses online. I’m happy to have several backup pairs and different styles to fit my mood. About the only drawback is that there is almost too much selection online.”
  • I’ve been doing more research about keeping our house warm. I have several things I’m going to try. As it happens, USA Today just posted an article on this subject today: Is heat sneaking out of your home?.
  • At TheJobBored, Brian has some advice on how to think like management (and how doing so can help your career). “Are you one of those people who is always complaining that management doesn’t have any idea what’s really going on in your company?…Learning to think like management — or at least making an effort to understand why they think they way they do — can be one of the most important things you can do to get ahead in your career.”
  • Don’t call me a grinch just because I didn’t get you an iPod,” says Sally at Wealth by the Penny. She advocates thoughtful gifts. “Are you really experiencing ‘the holiday spirit’ if giving is an obligation, if you give solely because it’s what you’re supposed to do? And what are you really giving? Something that will truly delight the person who receives it, or just another bit of junk that will add to the clutter of their lives?”
  • Finally, Jennifer Derrick at Saving Advice has an article after my own heart. She describes how she takes frequent vacations on a limited budget. As you might guess, she sets goals — she doesn’t carry a lot of debt, she prioritizes spending, and she doesn’t travel in luxury. Great article.

It sounds like it might be time to batten down the hatches. Rumor has it Portland is in for some snow and maybe even a wind storm. I’ve got my fingers crossed that our trees stand strong…

This article is about Spare Change