I have a theory that most of us would be more than willing to let go of the stuff that's cluttering our homes if we knew these things would serve a worthwhile cause or help someone else. And I know too well the conflict.
It's nearly impossible for me to let go of things that are not worn out or broken -- clothing or household items that are ...Read more
Any time I can eliminate or lower my stress level when traveling, I'm a happy camper. I am always on the lookout for travel tips and tricks. Now I can't wait for my next flight so I can try today's first great reader tip!
ARRIVALS FOR DEPARTURES
Dear Mary: I travel a lot, and sometimes if I'm in a time crunch getting to the airport, I pull ...Read more
My vacuum sealing machine is one of my favorite kitchen appliances. I vacuum seal fresh fruit to extend the use by at least two weeks, often much longer. I vacuum seal meat before I freeze it to stave off freezer burn, which keeps it perfect for a year or longer. I could go on and on about how my FoodSaver (www.everydaycheapskate.com/...Read more
I like an organized home. When things get all chaotic and messy, I find that my mind kind of gets that way, too. But when everything has a place -- and everything is in its place -- I feel a sense of peace. I can think straight, relax and enjoy.
I like an organized garage, too. At least I've enjoyed the pictures I've seen of garages that ...Read more
I'm one lucky gal. My husband's favorite menu item is pasta -- any shape or recipe. He would opt for a pasta dish every meal of the day if that were an option. And that's great because he is as tall and slim as the day we married. While he has no desire to actually prepare pasta, I love to cook. Add these things together and it's pretty much a ...Read more
Has this ever happened to you: While searching for the Valentine centerpiece you stumble across the Christmas wrap you bought at the half-off after holiday sale two years ago?
Or you discover six partially full peanut butter jars in the pantry while putting away the new one you just bought because you were just sure you were all out?
Or how ...Read more
There are few things as comforting as slipping between super soft, comfy flannel sheets on a cold winter night. But not all flannel is created equal.
The problem with flannel and other raised fiber fabrics like fleece and knits is the heartbreak of "pills," those little raised balls that develop, creating a lumpy surface. The solution to the ...Read more
The past 12 months have been tough on many people, and higher living costs have made it extremely difficult to build savings. So at this point, your best bet is to look ahead to 2023 and develop a plan that allows you to make great progress with your savings, no matter what that means for you.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY
Saving money is a curious term ...Read more
A number of years ago, I met Kathryn and Galen. They'd won a contest sponsored by Woman's Day magazine. The prize? A money makeover and financial coaching with ... me! From our first meeting, we became fast friends. Not only were they drowning in debt but Galen was also dealing with a protracted season of unemployment. Their financial situation ...Read more
Could you use an extra $1,200? That's exactly what you'll have in a year if you can find a way to whack just $25 from your food bill each week. But there's not one single way to reduce food costs. The key is to use a combination of strategies.
EAT THE SALES
Build your grocery list from the sale ads. If it's not on sale, don't buy it -- at ...Read more
Here we are, a week into the new year! Along with taking the tree down and putting the decorations away for another year, there are several things you should do now while the holidays are still fresh in your mind.
1. Gather all your leftover paper goods into one place -- the gift wrap, cards, tags, bows and ribbons, plus all the stuff you ...Read more
CREDIT UNIONS VERSUS BANKS
Dear Mary: What is the difference between a bank and a credit union? -- Justina
Dear Justina: Great question! A bank is a for-profit financial business run by paid board members that's primary purpose is to make profits for the shareholders.
A credit union is a nonprofit financial business that's owned by its ...Read more
It's amazing how saving a little here and a little there can add up to big savings. Each of these great reader tips doesn't really save much on its own. But added up over time? In a way that changes your attitude and keeps you focused? That can really make a difference.
Don't believe me? Think about the amount of cosmetics you've tossed because...Read more
In my book, "Raising Financially Confident Kids (Revell, 2012)," I devoted an entire section on ugly attitudes of entitlement. It's a common malady among children these days. The more children have, the more they want, and the more they feel entitled to have it.
Ugly attitudes of entitlement in childhood often show up as mountains of debt in ...Read more
"True wealth is about taking control of your future and making conscious decisions about what you really want in life," say authors Marc Eisenson, Gerri Detweiler and Nancy Castleman in their book "Invest In Yourself: Six Secrets to a Rich Life."
To create a rich life, these three respected consumer advocates encourage readers to diversify ...Read more
With the first anniversary of The Marshall Fire* on our minds, it's a good time to reevaluate our own individual readiness for the unexpected. Are you ready? Could you find your documents and your kids and be out of your home on short notice? Or if you were sequestered in your home for an extended period of time, do you have basic provisions to ...Read more
Today's selections from my virtual mailbag come from mothers who on the one hand are facing completely different dilemmas, but on the other are exactly alike in that they want the very best for their children.
Dear Mary: My biggest budget busters are enrichment activities for our four children. I want to spark their joy for living by providing ...Read more
Have you ever figured how many hours you'll have to work to pay for the new car of your dreams or fancy restaurant meal? Perhaps you should, suggests one of my readers who starts out today's batch of clever reader tips:
CURB THE URGE
My husband and I have finally found a way to curb our runaway spending. When we see something we want (eating ...Read more
One of the benefits of getting out of debt and working 90-hour weeks (perhaps I exaggerate but only a little) is having the means to actually take a vacation. And we did -- two glorious weeks in Europe.
What an amazing experience. And by "amazing" I refer to the $9.50 dental floss. I'm not kidding. Somehow in my haste to make our flight, I ...Read more
Affluence is not measured by your annual income. Affluence is determined by how many of your resources you manage not to spend -- the amount of income you keep.
The idea that you should live below your means is obvious, isn't it? It's not like this is the first time you've ever heard of the concept. You know that cutting spending is hard work. ...Read more