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3 Reasons to Not Borrow from a Retirement Account 3 Reasons to Not Borrow from a Retirement Account Dear Mary: I am thinking of taking a loan from my 40l(k) retirement account to pay off my credit-card debt. I can repay the loan with payments taken directly from each of my paychecks, without any …Read more. An Ounce of Prevention Means Money in the Bank Today's topic is not pretty, but unless you have $8,000 earmarked for dental care, it could prevent a lot of pain — both dental and financial. Periodontal disease is an infection that affects the gum tissue around the teeth, the fibers that …Read more. How to Save a Bundle on Prescription Eyeglasses How to Save a Bundle on Prescription Eyeglasses In the interest of full disclosure, let me say right up front that when I first heard that we can now order our prescription eyeglasses online, I scoffed. I rolled my eyes. What next? Mail-order …Read more. Four Steps to Financial Confidence Four Steps to Financial Confidence For a good deal of my life, I lived under a dark cloud of worry that I would end up financially destitute. A survey conducted by Harris Interactive for Allianz Insurance Group reveals that I'm not the only one. In …Read more.
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5 Ways To Prevent Colors From Fading

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Dear Mary: There are liquid laundry detergents on the market specifically for washing dark colors, but they're expensive. Do you have any tips for washing dark colors inexpensively? — Avis T., e-mail

Dear Avis: Follow these steps and you can wash your dark clothes with the same laundry detergent you use for your whites and brights.

1. Inside out. Washing and drying are tough on the outside surfaces of the items and cause dark colors to become dull and rough, so wash and dry colored items inside out. If you hang these items in the sun to dry, leave them inside out. Sun is brutal on colors.

2. Cold water. If you want to prevent your colored clothing from fading, wash it in cold water. Detergents have come a long way in the past several years, and most do as well in cold water as they do in hot or warm water. The warmer the water the likelier it is to pull color from the fibers and wash it down the drain.

3. Short cycle. You want colored laundry items to spend as little time as possible exposed to water and detergent. That means no soaking and a short wash cycle, no longer than six minutes. That is plenty of time to get those dark items clean.

4. Under-dry. Over-drying can cause colors to fade. Pull clothes from the dryer or the line while they are still slightly damp.

5. Use vinegar. Add a cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle of your bright or dark colors to help "set" the colors and to prevent premature fading.

Dear Mary: Can you explain the difference between a contingency fund and a freedom account? — Beth B., e-mail

Dear Beth: Your contingency fund is a pool of money that you keep in a safe place for a dire emergency.

It should be enough to pay all of your bills and living expenses for six months with no paychecks. Every household needs a contingency fund.

Your freedom account is a separate checking account that you open in your bank or credit union and designate to be your freedom account. The purpose of your FA is to help you to turn your irregular and unexpected expenses into predictable monthly expenses. It's like a Christmas club account, if you remember what that is.

I'll use auto maintenance as an example of an irregular expense. Statistics say it costs about $765 per year to maintain and repair a car. You anticipate this with your FA. Divide $765 by 12 to get $65. Treat this as a new monthly expense by depositing $65 into your FA. Now when you need tires down the road, the money will be there in your FA to pay for them. Do this for all of your irregular expenses and you'll break free from dependence on credit.

Do you have a question for Mary? E-mail her at mary@everydaycheapskate.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com and author of 18 books, including "Can I Pay My Credit Card Bill With a Credit Card?" To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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Comments

1 Comments | Post Comment
Good advice about protecting colored clothes in the wash. But I think you have a typo on #5. We should put the vinegar in the rinse cycle, not the wash cycle. Vinegar, being acidic, will neutralize the alkaline detergent. You don't want this to happen until after the detergent has done its job. That is part of why it works -- it reduces the build up of soap that helps to dull fabric. Don't worry if there's a faint vinegar smell when the clothes come out of the rinse -- it'll be all gone when they're dry.
Comment: #1
Posted by: V W
Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:21 PM
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