Dear Mary: I am a big fan of your column and love the tips and advice that you share with us. My wife and I have been married for 25 years and have been practicing the frugal lifestyle since before we were married. We have recently received an inheritance that we want to be extremely careful with. My question to you is how do I go about finding a competent and trustworthy advisor?
We each have an IRA account but mine is through a former employer (almost 5 years ago). I need to set up a new IRA and transfer my (meager) funds from the old one to the new. I also want to put some of my inheritance into it. Is there an unbiased source for information and evaluation of IRA plans and other investment vehicles? Enthusiastically yours, Gary.
Dear Gary: You are certainly on the right track with 1) realizing your need for professional advice and 2) looking for “unbiased” advice, which to me means advice that is in your best interest, not the advisor’s.
The services that financial planners offer can vary widely. Some financial planners/advisors assess every aspect of your financial life—including savings, investments, insurance, taxes, retirement, and estate planning—and help you develop a detailed strategy or financial plan for meeting all your financial goals. Other professionals call themselves financial planners, but they may only be able to recommend that you invest in a narrow range of products and securities like stocks and bonds. Continue reading
I had this great idea, years ago, to buy a ton of ground beef (OK, more like ten pounds) and then browned all of it—all at once. That way I could divide it up into one-pound portions, freeze it and have it all ready to go when a recipe called for ground beef. Great idea! Did it work? Well, sorta’ if by “working” you mean taking a long time, making a huge mess of my stove and kitchen and having to do it in batches because who has a frying pan that big—and basically vowing to never do THAT again.
Last week, when I received today’s first great reader tip in my email box, I couldn’t believe it. Why didn’t I think of that? What a great idea and yes I am going to do this. Can’t wait. Continue reading
Posted on May 7, 2013
Everything I know about buying and selling clothes on consignment I owe to my friend Kathleen, a remarkably well-dressed woman. She shops exclusively in consignment stores, but only those that are located in upscale areas. And boy, can she dress. She’s a consignment seller, too. In fact, I’ve known Kathleen to buy an outfit from one of her favorite consignment stores for a special occasion, then turn around and sell it back into consignment the next day. See what I mean? She’s very clever.
The consignment process is simple. The store sets its criteria for accepting merchandise, and sets the price—usually 50 percent of the new retail price. Expect a consignment shop to have very high standards for what they will accept: Must be a current style, must be brought in clean and must have no visible wear, holes or stains.
If you are a seller and your items meet the store’s criteria, your items will be put on the sales floor and displayed for 30 to 60 days. Once sold, you will receive 30 to 50 percent of the purchase price depending on that store’s policy. Continue reading
Nok-Out and I met quite by accident. In searching for ways my readers could deal with offensive odors, we found each other online. I’ve used it continuously in my home since then and have recommended it to readers facing serious and potentially expensive odor issues. Not everything in life can be doused in bleach. But Nok-Out? No problem!
So today I thought I would sum it all up by giving you my top eight reasons that I am hooked on Nok-Out. It’s a smelly world out there and I don’t want to live in it without Nok-Out. Continue reading
I love the concept of a “double-duty dinner.” Basically, it’s a dinner that also yields a second meal for later in the week. This is not a leftover meal, but a completely new menu for the second dinner.
Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph, the mother daughter duo at WeLaughWeCryWeCook.com, blog came up with a way that one cooking effort yields two absolutely amazing meals. I gave their plan a go this past weekend and served the best ever Tri-Tip Beef Dinner I have ever had in my life, followed by to-die-for French Dip Sandwiches the following day. “Prepare to amaze yourself,” says Becky. She’s right. I did.
I bought two tri-tip roasts in one package at Costco. You can also find them packaged this way at Sam’s Club. Most supermarkets carry this cut of beef. However, if you cannot find tri-tips roasts, try London Broil or another similar cut of beef. You’ll want about 4 pounds without bones. Continue reading