Car Mats, Wastebaskets, Baseball Caps: Yes ... Gold-Trimmed Glassware: No! Car Mats, Wastebaskets, Baseball Caps: Yes ... Gold-Trimmed Glassware: No! Dear Mary: Twenty years ago I was lucky enough to receive a five-piece, service for 12, Spode Christmas Tree China (green band) from my mother. Since then, I have filled out …Read more. Sometimes You Just Gotta' Be Sneaky They don't call me the Queen of Costco for nothing. Truth be told, I love the place. And I buy large quantities of many items, but only because I'm also quite sneaky. I bring stuff home but then hide all but the minimal amount we need to get through …Read more. Get Paid to Donate Your Stuff If you itemize your tax return, you probably know that you are allowed to deduct the fair market value of items you donate to charity. But what's the fair market value of, say, a pair of shoes or a lamp? More than you might think. The law does not …Read more. What Do You Need to Be Happy? When a University of Michigan survey asked people what they believed would improve their quality of life, the answer given most often was, "More money." In their book "The Day America Told the Truth," James Patterson and Peter Kim asked, "If you …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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