I was looking at my personal library last night, and marveling at how many books we have. Despite my reduced spending on them, and despite the fact that we’ve sold many back to bookstores, we still have a lot. It made me wonder: would it actually make sense to purchase an Amazon Kindle? Or would it be a waste of money?

To find out, I asked my Twitter followers. Kindle users love the device, but most people can’t see how it makes economic sense. I can’t either, but am still strangely drawn to the idea. Let’s ignore the Kindle for now and think about personal finance. Here are some recent stories from around the web:

Many GRS readers (and a few of my friends) rave about Crazy Aunt Purl, which is ostensibly a knitting blog. Today Sarah pointed me to Laurie’s most recent post, which describes how she could afford a trip to Madrid. (Scroll down past the photos for the actual story.) She writes:

One of my coworkers stopped me in the hallway the day before I left for vacation. “Where are you off to this time?” she asked. “Madrid,” I said. “How in the world do you afford all this?” she asked, in a voice that implied I was about to embark on a three-month voyage to the moon. “Well,” I said, “I don’t buy stuff.”

Laurie explains how she learned to live within her means, and how she’s able to afford expensive vacations. (Hint: she prioritizes spending!) My favorite line? “It’s just math, not voodoo.” I’ll have to remember that one.

On a related note, I’ve written before about the real millionaire next door to me. (He’s agreed to do an interview, by the way!) He’s a down-to-earth guy that lives frugally. You’d never guess he had wealth. While browsing the archives at Soul Shelter (a great blog), I came across an older article that tries to explain why millionaires buy espresso machines. The point? It’s okay to spend for quality and value, especially if it will reduce costs in the long run.

Next, several readers have pointed out that American Express will be paying some card holders $300 to close their accounts. “We sent the offer out to a select number of card members,” said Molly Faust, a company spokeswoman. “We are looking at different ways that we can manage credit risk based on the costumers overall credit profile.” What do you think of this?

Finally, Dawn at Frugal for Life shared 11 ways that she cut down on grocery bills. I know that all personal finance blogs (including Get Rich Slowly) run “how to save on grocery” articles, but I like this one because it’s not theoretical. These are real things that Dawn does to save money at the grocery store.

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