Strange weather here in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. We had a nice mid-August hot spell, which is to be expected, but ever since, it’s looked very much like autumn: rain, wind, and clouds. Coupled with our late spring, this is wreaking havoc on our tomatoes, as Saturday’s garden update will reveal. But we’re still harvesting blackberries! The mind boggles.

Speaking of mind-boggling, here are some great money stories from around the web:

First, ABC News has a short piece explaining why you shouldn’t “rent-to-own”. This sort of scheme can be convenient for those with poor credit, but “in the long run it is a lousy way to buy something,” says consumer correspondent Elisabeth Leamy.

Several people sent me the story of two California girls who are trying to fight city hall. Katie and Sabrina Lewis have been selling surplus produce from the family’s garden at a roadside stand, which is a violation of local laws. I have mixed feelings about this. I applaud the kids’ initiative, and I love to see people taking steps to make extra cash. But I also can see why the city feels it needs to stand its ground. Interesting stuff.

SHP pointed me to an article from MP Dunleavey at MSN Money. Dunleavey wonders if debt is your destiny. She says that credit changes the way we think, and that if you’re broke already, chances are you’ll remain broke.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that when a purchase and the payment for it are closely linked — as when you spend cash — you are more aware of how much you spend and tend to spend less, says Dilip Soman, an economist and professor of marketing at the University of Toronto.

Dunleavy recommends using cash, tracking your spending, and not playing games with your money as the best ways to fight against a mental addiction to debt.

Finally, Free Money Finance offers his advice on the best way to get a raise. It’s not the typical recommendations, but it’s what he founds works for him.

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