Shortly after takeoff, the pilot circled over the Great Salt Lake, tipping the wings ever so slightly so we could witness the unusual reddish-purple color of the water -- a phenomenon, he explained, that occurs when a particular species of algae meets up with a certain bacteria. It was quite fascinating.
Just as he was bringing the plane level ...Read more
If I asked you to deduct your monthly expenses from your monthly income, I have a feeling you'd look pretty good on paper. The mystery for many people is why they can't get through a month without using a credit card to cover unexpected expenses, such as a prescription for a sick child, a quarterly insurance premium or a wedding shower gift.
So, this is a first for me. Honestly, Heinz ketchup is about as common a product as any in the Hunt refrigerator. So why on earth would I even think of making it myself? If you haven't read this in the news, brace yourself.
The U.S. is experiencing a ketchup shortage. Not kidding. Ketchup! And specifically, our favorite brand, Heinz.
Seems ...Read more
While we have lots of DIY cleaner recipes in our "Everyday Cheapskate" arsenal, a reliable upholstery cleaner was missing. Now we can check it off the list with this new handy, effective DIY recipe for homemade upholstery cleaner.
You'll need: Fels-Naptha laundry bar soap, borax and boiling water (the former two are available in most ...Read more
It's time once again to reach into the mailbag to answer a question from my dear readers. It's kinda my favorite day, which should give you an idea of how much I love to hear from you. While I cannot respond personally to all of your messages and letters, know that I read every one, selecting those to answer here that I believe will have a ...Read more
Not only do houseplants bring warmth and a sense of calm to a home, but they are also an inexpensive way to decorate. Keeping your beautiful houseplants looking healthy and green is the challenge. The most common question is: Why do the leaves turn brown?
According to the Smart Garden Guide, there are many reasons why the leaves on your indoor ...Read more
Dear Mary: We would like to enlarge our small two-bedroom bungalow. Our kids are reaching the teen years, and we need more space. We have always budgeted our money.
We have $6,000 in our emergency fund and drive two paid-for cars, and our only debt is our mortgage. We have college savings accounts for our kids and tithe to our church. Our ...Read more
Discovering that you'll be getting a tax refund is certainly not the worst news you've had in your life. In fact, it's easy to see a tax refund as some kind of gift from the universe. You might even be feeling kinda proud of your forced savings account, to which you knowingly contribute every payday while living from paycheck to paycheck and ...Read more
These days, it's practically inevitable that you or someone close to you will face a period of unemployment. Consider these practical tips while dealing with the financial and emotional toll of leaving one job and searching for another.
DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
Losing a job can cause shame, humiliation and embarrassment. You may feel depressed...Read more
Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda or bicarbonate of soda, is an alkaline compound that, when combined with acid, produces harmless but useful carbon dioxide gas. When used to bake biscuits or cake, the small bubbles of carbon dioxide gas become trapped in batter, causing it to inflate, or rise.
Baking soda is well known for its ...Read more
Whether you're aware of it or not, you have a money temperament. Everyone does. It's the way you naturally think about money, behave with money or react to money. To loosely assess your money temperament, and to have a little fun with it, consider the following scenario and choose the response that's closest to what you would do.
Your rich ...Read more
Dear Mary: My husband and I have been out of debt for approximately five years. It's great. The problem is we now seem to spend a lot of money needlessly just because we can. We have so much money over and above our living expenses that it is easy to be reckless.
We keep just enough in savings ($2,000 or so) for emergencies but never get beyond...Read more
Dear Mary: My question is about life insurance. My wife believes that I need life insurance because I am the sole breadwinner in the family and we have a baby daughter.
I am not sure it is important right now, as we just bought our first house. Our financial situation is very tight, and we will be having a lot of minor improvements on the house...Read more
A credit score is a three-digit number between 300 and 850 generated by a mathematical algorithm (a mostly secret formula) based on information in your credit report, compared to information on tens of millions of other people. Like it or not, the resulting number is said to be a highly accurate prediction of how likely you are to pay your bills...Read more
A big coordinated garage sale in my neighborhood gave me a surprising wake-up call. It's one thing to see a family's stuff spread out in the front yard, but quite another to see a whole neighborhood's castoffs at one time. All I could think as I walked from one yard to the next was all the money wasters that led to this colossal display of stuff...Read more
That slow cooker you keep on reserve for the cold months of winter is a perfect solution for summer, too -- especially during these days when you just cannot look another takeout meal in the face. Think about it: A slow cooker creates very little heat and costs only pennies a day to operate. And with energy costs skyrocketing, slow cooking is ...Read more
Do you ever notice how your hair hurts when you haven't washed it in a few days? Hey, washing and styling can be so time-consuming! It's not just you; greasy hair pain is a thing.
There's a legit reason for this, having to do with oils that your scalp produces naturally accumulating around the hair shaft. A great dry shampoo can stem the tide. ...Read more
In the same way there are rules in life for things like how to drive a car, how to cook a meal or how to manage your money, there are a few simple rules for how to wash white clothes to keep them looking brilliant and clean. And if they happen to get a bit dull, gray or yellowed, there are rules for how to restore the brightness of washable ...Read more
There are many reasons not to carry credit card debt. The most obvious is that it's really expensive. And here's a reason often overlooked: It seems so much harder to work for money you've already spent.
But what if you do not carry any credit card debt at all? There are some who would say it is perfectly reasonable to use credit to pay for ...Read more
Dear Mary: We live in Nevada and own a second home in Arizona. My husband wants to sell the Arizona property and then use the proceeds to pay off our credit debt, auto loan and home equity loan on the Nevada property -- about $165,000 total.
I disagree. I think we should rent the Arizona property to generate income and benefit from its future ...Read more