Home & Family, Shopping

How to Buy a Mattress

If you want to drive yourself nuts, go shopping for a new mattress. You’ll hear dozens of theories on coils,

Mary's Perspective, Money and Finances

How to Have More Money

You need more money. You need it now. So what are your choices? You have two: You can increase your

Gift Guides, Gifts

2017 Valentine Gift Guide—24 Fabulous Gift Ideas for Him and Her

  Friends. Valentine’s Day is less than two weeks away. I know, I can’t believe it either. Before you begin to


Rules for Buying a Car for All Cash

An automobile is a major purchase and the consumer purchase most likely to throw a major kink into your fragile financial


Beyond Laundry: 10 Ways to Use Washing Soda Around the House

It looks and feels for all the world like laundry detergent. White. Coarse. Powdery. A mineral mined from dry lake

Dear Mary, Kids and Babies

Parents’ Financial Decisions and Their Adult Children

Parents of adult children may believe it’s none of their kids’ business how they handle their finances and what they do

Money and Finances, Tips

8 Ways to Build a Cash Stash

Saving money is a curious term with two meanings: 1) To spend less, as in “I buy things on sale

Gift Guides, Gifts, Holidays and Special Occasions, Mary's Life

Look What I Got For Christmas!

I love gadgets and apparently I’ve not kept that a secret from my friends and family. I’m still excited about

Health and Beauty, Mary's Life

Tap Water: Good for Your Health and Your Wealth

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when it happened, but sometime over the past decade or so, the general population of

Mary's Perspective, Money and Finances

Why You Need an Emergency Fund and How to Get One

Last year, Mitch and Jenn had a string of bad luck. Mitch broke his leg in a skiing accident, Jenn’s

Gift Guides, Home & Family

Gadgets to Keep You Powered Up

It’s hard to imagine how we’d live our lives without all of the electronic devices we’ve come to depend upon. I’m

Dear Mary, Home & Family

With ATM Receipts and Legal Guardians, Leave Nothing to Chance

Face it, life is uncertain. We cannot know the future, but that doesn’t mean we should just throw caution to

Book Reviews

Good Intentions or Intentional Living?

Several years ago, I had the outstanding opportunity to be one of the speakers at the Willow Creek Association Leadership Summit.

Money and Finances

Good Reasons to Pay Off Your Mortgage

Mortgage-burning parties, like the Pony Express and covered wagons, are from a bygone era. There was a time when mortgage-burning parties were common. It

Dear Mary, Home & Family

From Credit Counseling to Contaminated Mascara—Readers Want to Know

There are so many things I love about my job, and right at the top is that my readers trust

Dear Mary, Home & Family

Fire Extinguisher Safety Zone, Super Useful Website and Handy Vacuum Tool, Too (with UPDATE!)

What do fire extinguishers, hard-to-find phone numbers and handy dandy cleaning tools have in common? Nothing other than the subject lines

Best Inexpensive

Best Inexpensive Small Kitchen Appliances

Recently, I heard from EC reader Douglas who wrote, Would you please repeat your column that describes the best inexpensive

Food & Recipes

Quick and Easy Designer Muffins

Tired of high-fat, high-cost fast-food breakfasts? I’ve got a fantastic solution: Quick and easy designer muffins. With a little improvising,

Home & Family

Make-It-Yourself Furniture Polish Cheaper, Better, Healthier

Not long ago I got a request from EC reader Kelly for a make-it-yourself furniture polish recipe. She said that

Dear Mary

Wool Dryer Balls: Safe for People and Dryers—Plus Privacy Trick

A couple of days ago I got multiple letters with questions about wool dryer balls. Are they safe? What if

Dear Mary, Money and Finances

When Money is at the Root of Marriage and Family Squabbles

Disagreements over money can tear marriages and families apart. In fact, unresolved money conflicts remains the number one for divorce.