Dear Mary: My brother-in-law told me about a plan he is involved with regarding DRIPs (direct reinvestment plans). I would pay him a token fee ($10) which would enable me to buy a single stock in a company without the hassle of paying a stockbroker a commission. I could then “sell” this information to someone else, thereby regaining my initial payout to him. I am interested in buying stock, but do not have much to invest. This sounds like a pyramid scheme, but he insists it is working for him. What can you tell me about DRIPs? –Johanna, email
Dear Johanna: The word “DRIP” is an acronym for “direct reinvestment plan,” but “DRIP” also describes the way the plan works. With DRIPs, an individual like yourself buys stocks directly without going through a brokerage. Then dividends that investor receives from a company go toward the purchase of more stock, making the investment in the company grow little by little. Continue reading
If you willingly pay an annual fee for a credit card that earns airmiles (most reward cards do come with a hefty price), you might want to re-think that decision. The problem is airlines are changing the rules to shorten the time before miles expire. Several years ago I learned this the hard way.
It looked like junk mail but for some reason I opened the envelope from United Airlines. Turns out it wasn’t junk, but I have a sneaky suspicion whoever designed this mailer hoped I’d toss it in the shredder. It was notification that my 38,000 MileagePlus miles would expire on New Year’s Eve if I didn’t activate my account by adding more miles to it before the stroke of midnight. Quite frankly, in the hustle and bustle of the season, booking a flight just so I could log a few more miles wasn’t exactly on my Christmas list.
It’s not easy to rack up 38,000 air miles. Either you have to actually put $38,000 on a qualifying credit card or fly a lot on that airline, which is how I earn miles. Thankfully, I wasn’t so loyal that I’d purposely book a United flight at a higher price, just to earn the miles. Having enough miles in my account to actually book a free trip someday was like a trophy to me. But knowing the miles were about to evaporate got me thinking in a new way. Continue reading
Have I told you lately how much I enjoy it when you fill up my inbox with your clever tips, tricks and solutions? Well, I do. It allows me to take a guilt-free break now and then to ponder and wonder why I didn’t think of that.
CANDLE REMADE. I had a peppermint-scented Christmas candle that was inside a metal container. It had been made that way, so you couldn’t take the candle out of the container. The wick had burned down to the bottom, making a narrow well, but the sides of the container still had a lot of the candle wax. I didn’t want to throw it away, as the container was very festive and the candle’s scent was really nice. So I placed the container on an electric candle warmer (an electric mug warmer would serve the same purpose.) After everything melted, I took out what was left of the wick and replaced it with a small taper candle. I removed the container from the warmer and let the wax harden. Voila! The remade candle is once again usable. The taper candle provided a new wick and was much easier than trying to dangle a string over the container. --Lynn B., Texas Continue reading
Got big heating bills this winter even though you keep the thermostat set at “Brrrrrr”? Science may be able to offer you a better and cheaper way to stay warm at home. But first a few facts:
Feeling warm or cold has nothing to do with air temperature. We get warm from our surroundings that have been heated by infrared radiation. The sun produces harmless infrared lightwaves that are invisible and responsible for making us feel warm.
While I don’t personally know of anyone who has been camping out in a Walmart parking lot for the last week, I do know lots of people who are storming the sales at malls and stores today. Me? I’d rather be any other place—like Yo Gabba Gabba LIVE! Or maybe in my kitchen stirring up a few batches of decadent Caramel Corn and Peanut Brittle.
Honestly, I can’t think of a better way to kick off the holiday season than with my two favorite decadent holiday treats! Continue reading