A Holiday in Montana

Montana wasn't a state I ever gave much thought to until I found myself staring out the window of an Amtrak train at the seemingly unchanging scenery of big sky country. As the train rattled down the tracks I started to wonder if we were even moving—the scenery seemed to repeat itself every 30 seconds like the fake background behind a car in an old movie. It's hard to explain it, but the miles upon miles of emptiness gave me a sense of reverse claustrophobia.

Out of Town Guests Mean BLANK For Your Budget (What Is, ‘What Budget’)

What we spend when friends are in town.

Cheap Vacation Not Cheap, But $2,723.77

Cheap accommodations and a kitchen to make our own meals gave me an in —I could justify a vacation. It would be inexpensive! It was not inexpensive. It was $2,723.77.

I Am Currently Away From the Office

New York magazine has a list of some of the worst kinds of vacation email auto-responders, and says if you must have one, it should simply say that you're out of the office and will return on [x] date. Plus maybe another contact for emergencies.

Death by a Thousand Small Purchases?

So Mike/Readers, if I may ask: What tricks do you use to make sure you're properly stocked/organized/under control and avoid overspending dumb money because you're not prepared. — S.M.M.

Is This the Best Way to Ask for Time Off Or Only the Second Best?

How to ask for time off.

How Heidi N. Moore Does Money

We all do money differently. How do you do money, Heidi N. Moore, Marketplace NYC bureau chief and Wall Street correspondent?