It looks as if today will be a record day for traffic at Get Rich Slowly! The current record is 48,244 visitors on 31 July 2007 (while we were on our trip to London and New York). 08 January 2008 is a close second with 47,749 visitors. At only 1:30 this afternoon, we’ve already had 42,673 people swing by! (Most of them are coming from this Laura Rowley article to my list of alternatives to Microsoft Money.)

It’s actually been a great week here: high-quality articles, excellent (and plentiful comments), and high traffic. It feels good to see things humming along like this even while I’m absorbed in my book project. Thanks, everyone, for contributing to the conversation. There’s still a chance (a slim one, but a chance) that this will be a record week. From January 4th to January 10th this year, 215,977 people visited the site. So far this week, 176,612 folks have stopped by.

Enough stats geekery! Here’s a round-up of some of the best personal finance articles I’ve read recently:

First, Kevin at No-Debt Plan has an excellent article on how knowing experts could save or make you money. He argues that the larger and more diverse your social network, the more better off your finances are likely to be. I agree 100%. This won’t always be true, of course. But from my experience, the people with the widest social networks (not smarmy networks, but actual networks) have access to all sorts of knowledge and expertise that others don’t. This is a great post.

In one of the best examples of how money is about so much more than math, Lazy Man writes about the wedding that wasn’t. He flew from California to Florida to attend a friends wedding. On the day of the event, the bride’s grandfather died. The wedding was cancelled, despite the enormous costs already incurred. Was this the right decision? The entire article contains much more detail and color, and is a perfect illustration of how financial decisions aren’t all about logic.

Reminder: On Friday, October 23rd, Chris Guillebeau and I will attend a benefit dinner and auction to support Sisters of the Road, a local non-profit that fights homelessness and poverty in Portland. If you’re in the Portland area, you’re welcome to join us (and our wives) for this event. Registration is $85 per person and includes dinner, drinks, an auction — and a lively hoe-down. There’s more information at The Art of Non-Conformity.

MLR at My Life ROI answers the question, “How much do the wealthy really pay in taxes?” He writes that he hears constantly how the wealthiest Americans are being crushed by an incredible tax burden, but the numbers imply don’t bear this out. MLR argues that taxes in this country are essentially flat (except for the lowest income earners). For more on this topic, see my recent article exploring the truth about taxes.

At The Wall Street Journal, Jason Zweig notes that the drought of credit is hampering economic recovery. Consumers are borrowing less and spending less. But the real reason I’m highlighting this article is because I played “matchmaker” to help its production. Zweig contacted me looking for somebody who had used a home-equity loan to finance “fun”. As it happened, I had just spoken with my carpenter about this very thing, so I was able to put the two in touch with each other. (By the way, if you live in Portland and need a good carpenter, I can hook you up!)

Finally, here’s a round-up of this week’s personal finance carnivals:

Have a great weekend, everyone! Mine will be filled with food, family, and friends. We have book group on Sunday, will see Kris’ aunt and uncle tonight, and tomorrow we’re going to a dinner party. (And sometime in there, I need to finish chapter three of The Book and write an article for Monday.)

This article is about Spare Change