I haven’t read (or seen) Twilight, but Forbes magazine thinks the fictional characters in that universe have read Get Rich Slowly! According to a recent Forbes slideshow listing the richest characters in fiction, Carlisle Cullen (who is apparently a billionaire vampire) is a huge fan of Get Rich Slowly. This may or may not be the case. (Kris and I use a lot of garlic.) I’d rather think that the richest character in fiction — Scrooge McDuck — is a fan of this site. Because heaven knows I’m a fan of his!

The world's richest duck   Carlisle Cullen reads Get Rich Slowly
GRS is a Scrooge McDuck fan; Carlisle Cullen is a GRS fan.

Outside of anthropomorphic ducks and blood-sucking billionaires, here are some of my favorite finance articles from around the web this week:

First up, this thread at Hacker News is interesting. It’s all about actual experiences (and best practices) for salary negotiations. I’m a huge fan of salary negotiation; it’s a skill that can make tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars of difference to your net worth over a lifetime.

Last week, Trent at The Simple Dollar contemplated the difference between leisure time and idle time: “Leisure time is time spent engaged in an activity for my own personal enjoyment or growth. Idle time, on the other hand, is time spent on whatever activity happens to be at hand. In short, I try to find room in my life for genuine leisure time and avoid idle time.” Me too. Like Trent, it wasn’t until I learned to convert idle time to leisure time that I was able to begin meeting my personal goals. There’s a place for idle time — but not much of it.

Kiplinger has a timely article about what to do if you can’t pay your taxes. Short answer: Minimize the damage by filing anyhow and paying as much as you can. The more you put things off, the worse things get.

Related note: I was nervous that I’d have a huge tax bill this week, so I’ve been accumulating cash. But my accountant just informed me we’ll have a large refund instead. This is why I’m willing to pay him to do my taxes. Now, with that refund and the money I accumulated to pay my expected tax bill, I suddenly have a nice windfall. We may not have to delay our next trip until autumn 2012 after all!

Speaking of travel, I learned a ton from this Ask Metafilter question about how airline pricing works. I’d noticed that ticket prices fluctuated, but never understood why. (I’ve also noticed that prices of things in my Amazon cart fluctuate.) Turns out it’s because of yield management. If you have the time, this post (and the articles it links to) are very informative. (Also related: Is Europe’s economic crisis a budget travel opportunity?)

Finally, on a completely non-financial note, I really liked this essay from Austin Kleon: “How to Steal Like an Artist“. Kleon outlines what it takes to be successful writer or artist — or anything else, for that matter. I really enjoyed this.

This article is about Spare Change