Retailer Discounts Can Have Strings Attached Dear Mary: Recently we purchased a new stove at Sears. My husband agreed to sign up for what we thought was a Sears credit card to save 15 percent on the price. I was surprised by his decision because that's not our normal practice. We use credit, …Read more. Random Household Hacks You know what makes me smile and feel smart at the same time? When I know how to perform some random act that makes it easier to accomplish little things around the house. Or on a trip. Or in an area of life! Enjoy some of my favorites: Speedy re-…Read more. What You Must Know if You Insist on Using a Debit Card How do you pay for stuff? Do you hand over cash? Write a check? Pay with a credit card? Or do you use a debit card because the payment is automatically deducted from your bank account? Most people use a combination of paper, plastic and electronic …Read more. Secure Your Future Before Assisting Others Reading the email message from Joann reminded me of the safety speech flight attendants give before takeoff. If I've heard it once, I've heard it a thousand times. " ... In the event of a loss of cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will automatically …Read more.more articles
Stay Away from the Bottomless Pit of Self-Pity
Do you ever find yourself buying stuff just to make yourself feel good? I know that feeling all too well. And I, like our first reader today, know how to create that good feeling in more constructive ways, like saving and not spending.
NIP SELF-PITY IN THE BUD. I have cut down on my spending and have eliminated impulse buying. I am making inroads, but I get depressed about my finances since I don't seem to be pulling out of debt as fast as I would like. To help combat these feelings, I decided that every time I got depressed about indebtedness, I would go online and transfer $10 into my online savings account. Doing something positive cheers me up, and it kicks my depression out the door. — Delores, California
GREETING CARDS' ADDED BENEFIT. The Gideons International — yes, the organization that places Bibles in hotel rooms — also sells all-occasion greeting cards on their website at Gideons.org. For $3, you receive your card and a tax-deductible receipt (for more than half of the cost of the card). With the purchase of each card, two New Testament Bibles are placed somewhere in the world, in more than 193 countries. — Judy, California
CLOSET NAIL FILE. Take a large emery board, and punch a hole in it with a hole-puncher or an ice pick. Then, thread a long string through it, and tie it to the rod in your closet. If you feel a snag on your fingernail while getting dressed (which is when you catch your clothes on the snag), you can quickly and easily file your nail and get rid of the snag.
PAINT REMOVER. I have had luck rubbing Murphy's Oil Soap at full strength directly on the paint stain on my jeans. The stain comes out even when my jeans have already gone through the washer and dryer. — Jan, Massachusetts
SEASONAL SHOWER GIFT. For bridal shower and wedding gifts, I like to give the new couple hand towels or placemats and napkins with holiday themes. Many new couples can't afford to decorate their bathroom or kitchen for the holidays, and this gift is always a hit. — Sue, California
SAVE MONEY ON VACATION. When you're on vacation and you arrive at your destination, go to the local Costco (check Costco.com for locations all over the world), and check out gift cards for local restaurants and attractions. You can buy these at 20 percent off and use while there on your vacation. — Gretchen, California
CLEVER WAX PAPER. My 94-year-old mother uses the plastic (sometimes they are wax paper) bags from her breakfast cereal boxes on which to knead and roll out dough. I think she is absolutely brilliant. She has never lost her depression-era training from childhood. I continue to learn from her all the time. — Dawn, Washington
Would you like to send a tip to Mary? You can email her at email@example.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723. Include your first and last name and state. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com and author of 18 books, including "Debt-Proof Living" and "Tiptionary 2." 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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