At a couple of my other sites, I’ve mentioned that our Nintendo Wii died recently. “What happened?” people have been asking. “How did it die?” I don’t actually know what caused the problem, but it stopped reading discs. (I suspect it died from overuse or from cat fur — or perhaps from a combination of the two.)

The repair process has been simple and only moderately expensive. If your Wii dies, you visit the Nintendo web site to do a troubleshooting walkthrough. If the help documents can’t fix the problem, the site gives you a repair order number, and Nintendo mails you a shipping label. If your machine is no longer under the one-year warranty (ours was not), you must pay $82.50 to ship the Wii to a repair center to have it fixed. You’re able to track the entire repair process via various web sites.

Our Wii is on its way back to us. Kris can’t wait to get back to her daily Wii Fit routine. I can’t wait to do some Dance Dance Revolution. While we’re waiting, perhaps we should check out these personal finance stories:

First, Huntington Beach Independent columnist Cindy Arora isn’t a natural saver. But she’s trying. She’s found that saving now isn’t that easy. She’s reading personal finance blogs and personal finance books, and she took a class on budgeting and saving. Still she finds it tough. “Personally, saving is not second nature to me,” she writes. This piece is short, but it’s thoughtful, and demonstrates the sort of personal reflection I think is important as we build successful financial systems in our lives.

Next, Brett at The Art of Manliness suggests five personal finance discussions to have before getting hitched. He says that couples should:

  • Review their credit history and debt together.
  • Discuss financial goals.
  • Decide whether to have joint or separate finances.
  • Draft a budget together.
  • Decide who will be in charge of the family finances.

Meanwhile, No Credit Needed writes that having a plan allows him to enjoy spending money. He says: “When I talk to my friends about living on a budget — and saving for the future — they always assume that I’m missing out on the fun things in life.  On the contrary, I’m enjoying my life now, more than ever.” This article was perfect for me: I’ve been struggling to let myself have some “fun money”, and it may be because I haven’t been able to define my long-term goals.

Finally, I want to pitch an article from Get Fit Slowly, my fitness blog. I argue that by changing your habits, you can change your life. Though this article is about health and fitness, not money, the ideas are applicable to all areas of life that you want to change, including personal finance.

This article is about Spare Change