The older I get, the more I crave the sun. I’m a life-long Oregonian, and I love the place, but I’m beginning to understand why people move to Phoenix. Or Miami. Or San Bernardino. This morning’s four-mile run in the spitting rain was enough to break the spirit of even the strongest man! I console myself with the knowledge that spring will soon be here, and then I’ll be living in the best place on Earth. (And at least the afternoon was sunny…)

I also console myself by reading great articles about personal finance, articles like these:

First up, No Credit Needed describes how to create a zero-based budget. “Your goal is to create a scenario where total income minus total expenses will equal zero,” writes NCN, and then he lays out the entire process. If you’ve been looking for a way to get started with budgeting, check out this article.

Bob Sullivan at The Red Tape Chronicles has some advice on how to save money on credit card bills. He writes that these aren’t just for people who carry a balance, but for anybody who uses credit. These three tips (“keep a clean card”, “when you pay (and buy) matters”, and “use auto-pay”) are actually rather clever. The “clean card” tip is worth a full post at GRS sometime in the future.

Steph Davis at High Places — who usually writes about rock climbing and base jumping — has some advice on how to live simply. She writes: “I have always been determined to keep the overhead low. To me, money and debt directly relate to freedom.” (Steph Davis has an awesome blog by the way. I’m not into outdoor sports at all, but I love her philosophy and advice. There’s some great stuff here. Check out the B choice.)

Finally, there’s an interesting conversation in the Get Rich Slowly forums. Deja Broke writes: “It feel like every time I find a way to save some money on something, it ends up costing me more in the long run, either in cash or aggravation. I’m starting to think I should just go pay full price at the store and be done with it.” The cheapest price isn’t always the best price. It’s worth it to me to pay extra for good service and for quality.

This article is about Spare Change