Best Inexpensive, Home & Family

Remember the Best Inexpensive Stroller?

One of the best money management tools I know is this Rule of Thumb: Match quality with need. In other words, don’t buy

Home & Family, Mary's Life

Selective Focus Makes Life Good

I kinda’ let the cat out of the bag the other day, when I told you that the hubs and

Dear Mary, Kids and Babies

Every Kid Should Have a Real Bank Savings Account

Dear Mary: My son is saving cash in envelopes. That seems kind of cumbersome. What is your opinion? Why not

Best Inexpensive, Home & Family

The Best Ever Cheap Dishwasher

I need to just admit this up front: I am a dishwasher snob. Not only is a dishwasher on my

Mary's Perspective

Your Consumer Behavior is Keeping You Broke

You know what I love? Walking into my supermarket the day after Thanksgiving and hearing the best Christmas music ever.

Mary's Perspective, Money and Finances

Financial Planners and Other Mysteries of Life

I am noticing a growing trend in my mailbox—readers in search of financial planners or advisors. Or assistants. The problem

Food & Recipes

Cooking with Coffee

I must admit that I am not a fan of the fancy flavored instant coffee mixes. But as an ingredient in

Clothing and Accessories

If the Shoe Fits, Get it Fixed

To some people a cobbler is a lovely fruit dessert, best served warm. To others it is a shoemaker who

Home & Family

So You Are Not Quite Ready to Live in a Cave

Would you walk into Home Depot carrying a big sign with your name, email address, your Social Security number, the

Mary's Perspective, Money and Finances

Keep Your Money and Your Attitude in the Black

When I am not writing about personal finance and consumer debt, I knit. Something about the gentle rhythm of yarn

Food & Recipes

Every Busy Cook Needs This Go-To Recipe

I may be the only person in the world for whom this has happened, but I doubt it. On a

Home & Family

How to Turn Your Electronic Stuff Into Cash

Trade in your phone. The average American gets a new mobile phone every 12 months. It’s a good bet you’ve

Dear Mary

Hope and Help for Troubled Debtors

Dear Mary: A year ago, I emailed you about the mess I was in with payday lenders. Although I had

Holidays and Special Occasions, Mary's Perspective

The Kid With a 60-Page Christmas List

I’ll never forget the day I asked one of my young piano students what he wanted for Christmas. It was

Food & Recipes

No Lunch Left Behind

I’ve made my share of school lunches over the years. And just when I got really good at it (which

Dear Mary, Money and Finances

3 Reasons to Not Borrow from a Retirement Account

Dear Mary: I am thinking of taking a loan from my 40l(k) retirement account to pay off my credit-card debt.

Best Inexpensive, Home & Family

How to Save a Bundle on Prescription Eyeglasses

In the interest of full disclosure, let me say right up front that when I first heard about ordering prescription eyeglasses

Mary's Perspective, Money and Finances

Four Steps to Financial Confidence

For a good deal of my life I lived under a dark cloud of worry that I would end up