By mid-October, the rains have usually come to Oregon. Not this year. It’s been bright and clear and sunny. The days are amazing. As a result, we’re getting unusually beautiful fall color in the trees, and for once I understand what it must be like to live someplace where this is a regular occurrence. It won’t last long, though. There’s rain in the forecast for the weekend!

Meanwhile, here are some great personal-finance articles from around the web. (Three of which are from Big Media publications. Yikes!)

First, Fortune is reporting that Americans have finally started saving again. “As dark as the next three or four quarters could be, the U.S. economy appears to be undergoing a more lasting, and ultimately uplifting, shift. Americans who for decades have spent an increasing share of their incomes and taken on more and more debt are now, for the first time in years, saving instead.” It’s about time!

At Consumerism Commentary, Flexo has some thoughts about emotions and money, and when to keep them separated. “Human beings do not make logical decisions when it comes to their personal finances,” he writes, and he’s right. As I always say, money is more about mind than it is about math. The more we take control of our bad habits and behaviors, the better our bank accounts look.

Popular Mechanics (!?!) has a list of 19 ways to slash your utility bill. Many of these are familiar (use compact fluorescent bulbs, switch to a programmable thermostat, stop the drafts), these sorts of checklists are always great to have as winter approaches.

Finally, The New York Times reports that the yard-sale economy is on the rise. With more people trying to increase their income (and/or save money!), garage sales are increasing in popularity, becoming accepted by more and more people. But not by some local governments, which view them as a nuisance.

P.S. Oh yeah, I forgot! I took my own advice today and spent a little money on something I wanted. I paid $125 for an old door (and related hardware) to hang in the den. I’ve been wanting to renovate this room for a while, but have balked at the cost. But I want it and I can afford it, so I’m going to make it happen. (Frugally, when possible. Mostly I’m going to use salvaged materials.)

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