Our book group read Main Street by Sinclair Lewis this month. The discussion yesterday was excellent, exploring ideas of poverty, class mobility, and the nature of success. Coincidentally, I’ve stumbled on a number of articles with similar themes lately:

First up, Akemi at Yes to Me has some advice for those who have lost jobs recently. Since she came to the U.S. in 1995, she’s been through two layoffs. She draws from her personal experience to suggest ways to manage the loss and to move on to new situations.

At the end of December, Doc Gurley’s blog shared 10 insider tips for “dosing” (reducing) your drug dollars. The high costs of prescription medication are a huge concern for many people (including my mother). Gurley — who is anything but brief — has a lot to say about how to keep costs down. (See also former GRS articles such as: an expert tip for saving on prescription drugs and check for coupons and rebates before having your prescription filled.)

Earlier today, Trent at The Simple Dollar reviewed Adam Shepard’s Scratch Beginnings. Shepard started with $25 and the clothes on his back, with the intent to save $2500, buy a car, and live in a furnished apartment — all within a year. The response from Trent’s readers is similar to those here at Get Rich Slowly when I interviewed Adam Shepard last February. Some people are inspired by his story, but many see it as irrelevant because the author is young, white, and male.

Perhaps a more authentic version of homelessness — including its roots, its nature, and how it can be overcome — can be found at Down But Not Out, the website of Ronzig, a former homeless drug addict in Toronto. He writes:

I used to be a successful and wealthy businessman, but I was homeless for 10 years. Before that, I was the owner of two Century 21 Real Estate offices with 100 employees. I had recently received an award for having the third highest sales volume for all of Century 21 of Canada and I was doing small real estate developments when I met Marlene and fell in love. She introduced me to crack cocaine and that was the beginning of my downfall.

I’m glad I spent 30 minutes reading this. It was fascinating.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you to this long and thoughtful article at The Common Room, which discusses Shepard’s Scratch Beginnings and Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed.

This article is about Spare Change