This is one of my least favorite times of year. Sure, the summer heat has finally broken and we wake up to the crisp, cool air of fall, which is awesome. But with the sunshine, a little rain must fall. And that rain comes in the form of Halloween and the end of daylight savings time. I won’t spend a lot of time on my dislike of the ghoulish holiday, because I’m pretty sure I’ve shared those details with you before. Let’s just say that kids dressed up in the cutest of costumes and running door-to-door in search of candy is darling. Adults dressed up is just wrong. And adults dressed up, drinking cocktails, and carving pumpkins with knives is really wrong. Of course, take the costumes out of the adult equation, and suddenly I’m all for it.

What’s harder than stomach­ing grown men and women dressed like Shrek is saying goodbye to the long days of summer. No longer can I work at my desk (I mean, surf the Internet) till seven, and still have time for a bike ride around the lake or a little gardening. Now, even if I leave at five, night is falling and the best I can hope for are those amazing autumn sunsets we get here in Texas.

Of course, if I were smart, I’d take advantage of the darkness to do things like clean my house, cook some meals, read a few books, or pay my bills. An even more ambitious undertaking would be to get my finances in order. There’s nothing like combining math (another least favorite subject) and the lack of sunshine to send me over the edge. But luckily, we have a special personal finance section in this issue, and I’m positive that it will not only help me, but lots of you as well.

In fact, when I have conversations with people about money, I rarely, if ever, hear anyone say they know exactly what they’re doing with their money, that they’re happy with what they’re doing with their money, or that they’re ahead of plan for their retirement. If that’s you, I would love to hear your strategy. If it’s not you, I’d suggest you get comfy on the couch and read up on our helpful suggestions.

But I might also suggest that before embarking down the fi­nancial path, if you’re in a relationship that involves shared bank accounts (or at least shared money), you read our interview with noted couples therapist John Jacobs first.

Money is one of the largest of the many relationship stressors,­ and Jacobs has good ideas on how to handle most of them, as well as some thoughts on the way relationships are changing in general.

And finally, here’s your chance to get even with me. Every two weeks you have to (I mean, get to) listen to me tell you what’s on my mind. Now you can tell me what’s on yours. Through October 31, we will be conducting a reader survey so that we can determine if the magazine is interesting to you and meeting your needs. So it’s important that you take part. Plus, it’s a perfect way to take advantage of those long, dark nights that are fast approaching.

All you have to do is sit down in front of your computer, go to, and start answering away. We’ve even made it easy for you by making most of the questions the multiple-guess type. So don’t delay. Log on and start telling me what you think!

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