As many of you know, former GRS staff writer Adam Bakeraka the Babe Ruth of blogging — has spent the last few months on a cross-country RV tour. Adam and Courtney and three-year-old Milli have been living in a 31-foot gas-guzzler sponsored by Adaptu, a new online money-management tool.

Note: Have I mentioned Adaptu before? I can’t remember. It’s like Mint, but with a larger social component. Would you guys like to hear more about it? I can get the scoop from Adam.

Adam and his family started in Baltimore in January, and have followed a slow, wending U-shaped course along the edges of the United States. Over the past month, they’ve been making their way up the west coast from San Diego. Yesterday they reached Portland, where they’ll stay until Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit, which starts in ten days. (Yikes! Is it that soon? We’re not ready yet!)

Rather than shell out for a campsite, the frugal Bakers will spend the next two weeks at Rosings Park (which is what Kris and I call our little acre). I’m excited to show Adam and his family around Portland. Plus, I’m hoping he and Courtney can teach me how to play Agricola and Dominion. And maybe I can squash them at Carcassonne. Today, though, both Adam and I are cloistered (Ha! Carcassonne joke!) in our respective offices, hard at work writing about personal finance.

Baker's RV parked in front of Rosing Park
Baker’s RV, Kris’ flower garden, and the ever-present Oregon rain.
Milli tells me how old she is
At dinner, Milli tells me how old she is. That muffin is nearly as big as her head.

By the time the World Domination Summit rolls around, Adam and I will be joined by another personal-finance blogger. Erica Douglass is bringing her 51-foot RV up from San Diego, and she’ll park it in front of the real millionaire next door‘s house. (Adam met the RMND’s son last night.)

In actual personal-finance news, here are some recent stories about money from around the web:

First, Fiscal Fizzle enumerates the benefits of renting. A number of GRS readers have been surprised to hear that if I were to go back in time, I’d probably rent. It’s true though. The decision whether to own or rent isn’t clear cut — either can be a good option — and Wojo’s list does a good job of explaining why sometimes renting is the best choice.

Over at Bible Money Matters, Peter urges readers to create a total financial-picture spreadsheet — just in case. “This week I’ve been putting together a spreadsheet that lists our financial life — all in one place,” he writes. The spreadsheet includes bank account info, a list of major assets, and so on. At the end of his post, Peter shares the spreadsheet he created.

Andrew the social-media elf will be hosting another Tweetchat session this afternoon (which is Wednesday). Today’s topic discussion is all about charitable giving. How much do you give? Which charities do you support? Any advice for people just beginning to explore this aspect of personal finance? To participate, follow @GRSblog Wednesday afternoon at 4pm Pacific (7pm Eastern) and join the discussion at the #moolah hashtag! (Here’s more info about the GRS Tweetchats.)

I’m a huge fan of index funds — low-cost mutual funds designed to track the movements of stock market indexes. JLP from All Financial Matters likes them too. He recently pointed to an article at Financial Planning that argues one simple point: Indexing works. (For the record, though, I cannot decipher the graph in the article. The Y Axis isn’t labeled, and I’m not sure what it’s supposed to represent.)

Next, Card Ratings asks, “Are credit cards addictive?” The article doesn’t cover credit-card addiction so much as it explores the world of compulsive spending. Still, it’s interesting. (Five Cent Nickel has a response that discusses why people spend too much.)

Finally, Free Money Finance is a big believer in the basic rule of personal finance: To build wealth, you’ve got to spend less than you earn. (Reporters hate hearing it — they’re always looking for new! interesting! ways! to approach personal finance — but it all comes back to this fundamental principle.) Last week, FMF outline his case that the income needed to become wealthy is far lower than most people think. You know what? He’s right. Sure, a bigger income helps (and you all know that I’m an advocate of making more money), but for most people, cutting costs is the surest path to saving money and building wealth.

Request from the technical elves: Some folks have reported that they’re being asked for their zip code whenever they try to access Get Rich Slowly. The technical elves say it’s probably from the auto-insurance finder in the sidebar. They’ve made some tweaks, and the problems should be gone. Please let me know if you’re still being asked to enter your zip code when you come to GRS.

This article is about Spare Change