Kris and her sister went “thrifting” this afternoon. I tagged along. While they shopped for cheap clothes and kitchenware, I hunted for personal finance books.

Thrift shops and used book stores are outstanding places to find self-help books of all sorts. If you arm yourself with a list of the titles you want, you can usually find three or four good books for about ten bucks. I made a fine haul today, including Po Bronson’s What Should I Do With My Life?, which several readers recommended during our discussion about choosing a career.

Speaking of which, last month Penelope Trunk at Brazen Careerist wrote that “do what you love” is bad career advice. “No job will make your life complete. It’s a myth mostly propagated by people who tell you to do what you love. Doing what you love will make you feel fulfilled. But you don’t need to get paid for it.”

In other topics, Jim at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity doesn’t often write about the psychological aspects of money — he’s more of a nuts-and-bolts guy — but earlier this week he shared four ways to make it harder to spend money. He suggests that you:

  • Keep track of everything you spend.
  • Hide your credit cards.
  • Tell somebody you’re spending (so they can keep you in check).
  • Make it a game — when you want to buy something, try to buy it for less.

Finally, here’s a fun story from the Frankfort (Indiana) Times. Self-described penny pincher Paul Brant recently purchased a brand-new 2008 Dodge Ram pickup truck for $26,670. In spare change. Brant had been saving his change since 1994. This is a fun story, though it doesn’t quite add up — he’d have to save nearly $200/month in change to make this work.

I’m off to start that Po Bronson book. It looks interesting…

This article is about Spare Change