Thanks to everyone who offered advice on my car troubles. It’s too bad most of the repairs were already completed when the article went live — you guys could have saved me some big bucks. But I’ve learned for next time.

Soon, I’ll look for a reliable independent mechanic in my neighborhood. I already have a couple leads, including some from the Car Talk Mechanics Files, which several readers recommended. I also like the idea of creating a separate account devoted exclusively to auto expenses: both for repairing my current vehicle and saving for a new one. Great tip.

  • In the Get Rich Slowly discussion forums, sschow wonders what holds us back from achieving our financial goals. Low-paying jobs? Poor investment decisions? Bad spending habits? “Personal finance is easy, so why aren’t we all rich?”
  • Have you ever wondered what it means for a stock to pay a dividend? At All Financial Matters, JLP recently examined the ten highest-yielding Dow stocks. While this information is fun in a stats-geek sort of way, he also provided a quick crash course in dividend yields and what they can tell an investor.
  • Lily at The Honest Dollar got on her soapbox last week to post a manifesto in defense of personal finance bloggers. I agree with her: We’re not experts. We make mistakes. But I think we’re doing out best to learn what works, and to share that information with others.
  • Finally, at MSN Money, Liz Pulliam Weston offers 10 way to simplify your life in 2008. I’ve already begun to embrace many of these: use direct deposit, get true overdraft protection, consolidate your accounts, create a bill calendar, etc. Great advice, as usual.

Oh, by the way — the heat in my car works now that the coolant system is fixed. It had been out for a month, but I’d put off taking the thing in. Maybe if I hadn’t procrastinated, the problem could have been nipped in the bud.