Kris and I are in the middle of a long weekend of food and friends. Every autumn is like this, and we love it. We’re starting earlier than normal this year, and I hope that’s a harbinger of things to come. (This has been one of my favorite summers, and I’d love to continue this “lucky” streak.)

This morning, we’re both in the kitchen preparing food for various gatherings. I made my famous clam chowder the other night. This morning, I’m making two loaves of the easy-and-cheap homemade bread I shared last summer. Kris is baking cookies. Once everything is in the oven, we’ll head outside to pick the last of the apples and blackberries. I feel so Little House!

While Kris and I are enjoying life in the big woods — er, big city — here are some recent money articles from around the web:

A lot of people believe they’re immune to advertising. A lot of people are wrong. I’ve been meaning to write a review of Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational, a book that demonstrates just how easily our minds are manipulated. I haven’t found the time, but Jeff Atwood over at Coding Horror recently posted his own review, which describes 9 ways marketing weasels try to manipulate us. One of the foundations of my financial philosophy is that smart money management is more about mind than it is about math; this review is an illustration of that principle.

The most recent issue of Newsweek has a feature article on Wall Street’s new gilded age. “A year after the crash, a few financial giants are back to making millions,” the article notes, “while average Americans face foreclosure and unemployment. What’s wrong with this picture?” I’m a raging capitalist, but this sort of stuff makes me angry. If we’re going to have capitalism in the United States, let’s have capitalism. But if we’re going to bail out the banks, then let’s bail out the citizens, too. As it is, this is just further evidence that we live in a corpocracy and not a democracy.

Speaking of “raging capitalism”, Chris at The Art of Non-Conformity has a great article that makes the case for the $100 business. “I think most small businesses can be started for less than $1,000, and many of them for $100 or less,” Chris writes. “I know this in part because I’ve done it several times, but I also know countless other people who’ve had the same results.” I’m a firm believer that many people could help their financial situations by following advice like this.

Finally, I’d like to begin highlighting money “carnivals”. A carnival is a collection of the best articles from a variety of sites. A new blog hosts each carnival every week. Exploring these can be a great way to find new ideas about money. Here are this week’s carnivals:

I loved compiling that list; it felt like I was cataloging back issues of my favorite comic books. Have a good weekend, everyone! Spend time with family and friends, and don’t forget to be grateful for everything you have.

This article is about Spare Change