A reporter from The Washington Post contacted me earlier today, writing: “I’m looking for folks whose salaries or wages have not been growing much in recent years, and how they have adjusted over the years. Have they had to make lifestyle adjustments? If so, what have they cut back on? Has it affected long term savings goals?” If you can help and would be willing to share your story, contact Annys Shin: [shina AT washpost.com]

Meanwhile, are a few of my favorite personal finance stories from around the web:

First up, Flexo at Consumerism Commentary has eight tips for living through a recession. He hits on a few of my favorite suggestions: go back to school, turn your hobby into a business, and sell your extra stuff. I think these are three things that folks often overlook when wrestling with their finances.

Have I mentioned GovGab before? This is the official U.S. government blog (no joke!), and it provides a lot of information about government resources. I highly recommend this site. GovGab recently provided help for the unemployed. If you (or someone you know) need information about unemployment, this is a great place to start.

Over at Behavior Gap, Carl Richards has some thoughts about the simplicity premium. He argues that people are rightfully willing to pay a little bit more to simplify their lives, especially their financial lives. This “simplicity premium” often costs less than being confused by complexity.

I often say that “money is more about mind than it is about math”. By this I mean that our financial decisions are more emotional than they are logical. A recent article from New Scientist backs this up. Mark Buchanan explains why money messes with your mind. He writes: “Money — supposedly a dispassionate tool of exchange — stirs up big emotions and mental strife. It’s time economists’ models took this into account.” Great stuff, and possibly worth a full blog post in the future.

Finally, Chris at The Art of Non-Conformity published an outstanding article this morning called, “Welcome to the Real World“. “The real world is not reality,” he writes. “It is not defined by facts. It is determined by the collective perception of unremarkably average people. They are the people in The Matrix who have taken the blue pill.” Great stuff.

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