Like a hibernating bear, I feel like I’m waking from a long winter’s nap. For the past few months, I’ve been dormant, not just at Get Rich Slowly but at my other sites as well. I’ve had so much happening in my personal life that it’s been tough to find the mental energy to write about money (or anything else). Now I’m ready to get back to work.

As part of that, it’s time to call for another round of reader submissions. I’ve always said that it’s your contributions that make this site great. Get Rich Slowly isn’t about me — it’s about the community, about helping to solve each other’s problems. I’m just the guide.

If you have a reader story or an “ask the readers” topic, please send it in. April and I have been working together (along with the GRS technical elves) to streamline the process. As part of that, there are now dedicated submission pages and email boxes for collecting your contributions.

If you’d like to submit something to Get Rich Slowly, visit one of these pages:

I look forward to reading the latest round of articles!

Also as part of my escape from hibernation, I’ve begun to read other personal finance blogs again. It’s about time! Here, then, are some recent articles I’ve liked from around the web:

First up, here’s a belated goal-setting tool for the new year. Many folks I chat with tell me they have trouble setting goals. They don’t know what they want to do with their lives. Well, Scott at Living Your Legend has created a free goal-setting guide that you can download and print. If you’re having trouble finding direction, this tool may help.

Via Jim at Bargaineering, here’s an article at Wired that seeks to answer the question, “Are name-brand batteries worth the cost?” The short answer? Yes, they are.

In a similar vein, Ed at Five Cent Nickel wonders is travel insurance worth the cost? He, too, concludes that the price is worth it. I’ve always been wary of travel insurance, but was forced to buy it for my trip to Peru. I searched and searched until I discovered a company called World Nomads, which seems to have great rates for reasonable coverage. Kris and I are paying a combined $280 for our upcoming trip to South America, for instance.

Let’s go for the trifecta. Rebecca at Money Crashers has yet another “is it worth it” article. She wonders are discount grocery stores worth the savings? She says that for careful shoppers, they are.

Finally, over at Saving Advice Amy Roseveare, an “image consultant”, shared a great list of how to save money on clothing. As she notes — and as I’ve learned first-hand — losing weight can be costly. (But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.) My favorite piece of advice? Spend more on the things you wear the most. It took me a long time to learn this, but I’m glad I did. I buy most of my clothing at thrift stores, but I’m happy to pay a premium for nice boots and a nice rain jacket. (I do live in Oregon, after all.)

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