Opening the wallet full of money.
Mary's Perspective

What Do You Need to Be Happy?

When a University of Michigan survey asked people what they believed would improve their quality of life and make them happy,

Raising Financially Confident Kids Book sitting on a white shelf with basket of bright colored tulips
Kids and Babies, Mary's Perspective

Values are More Often Caught than Taught—Plus a GIVEAWAY!

Bents, characteristics, abilities, and tendencies are the conduits through which you can pass your values to your kids. But exactly

Dear Mary

Ask Me Anything: How to Unshrink a Sweater, Do We Have to Pay Taxes? and More

I love it when I open my email to find a question that makes me go, Oh boy, do I

Mary's Life

Follow Up: Spring Clean Kitchen Challenge

Did you accept the challenge Spring Clean Kitchen Challenge? It’s been six weeks since I wrote about our big kitchen

older man hot and sweaty heat of summer
Home & Family

Super Cool Ways to Beat the Heat

There are lots of ways to stay cool when the temps of summer soar—most of them holdovers from our childhoods.

Home & Family, Money and Finances

How Not to Feel Poor on a Fixed Income

It’s no secret that more and more people—especially seniors on fixed incomes—are sinking deeper into credit-card debt. Why is this?

a smiling cartoon shark dressed in business suit as pawn shop owner
Money and Finances

Your Own Personal Loan Shark

Imagine paying outrageous amounts of interest to a greedy finance company and loving every minute of it. Or how about

holding hands bride and groom at a wedding
Dear Mary

What Happens to My Credit When I Get Married? 

While planning a wedding and their new life together, most couples aren’t thinking about how marriage might affect their credit.


Your Cordless Stick Vac Needs a Bath—Photo Tutorial

Rarely do I gush. But gush I do over my Eufy Cordless Stick Vac*. Can’t help it. Eufy is so

cat of the sort maine coon lying on sofa
Home & Family

How to Get Rid of Stubborn Household Odors

From pet odors to the smell of cigarette smoke, rotten food, burned popcorn and all manner of other stinky stuff,

Outdoors and Garden

How to Make All-Natural Weed Killer—Super Easy and Better Than Roundup!

I often wonder why is it that weeds have no problem at all with drought-like conditions. They don’t require a thing—not

staycation famiy camping in the backyard.
Home & Family

Plan a Staycation Now!

This summer, a cash shortage need not eliminate the idea of a family vacation. Clever and creative parents can turn

IKEA dishwasher
Best Inexpensive, Home & Family

Best Inexpensive™ Dishwasher

Just this past week I heard from my dear reader Penny who is frustrated in the face of needing to

Using a smartphone to find a treasure is an activity known as geocaching
Kids and Babies

Free Stuff to Do With Kids This Summer

Got more time than money for family entertainment this summer? No problem. There are lots of things you can do

elderly woman with two adult daughters
Home & Family

End-of-Life Preplanning Brings Joy and Peace of Mind

Planning for their parents’ end-of-life expenses is about the last thing most adult children want to deal with. At least not

money flying around out of thin air
Mary's Perspective, Money and Finances

5 Rules to Grow Rich

At the tender age of 11, I made a solemn vow that when I grew up I was going to

Requests for Best Inexpensive (TM) options from dear readers depicted as file drawer in computer
Best Inexpensive, Home & Family

Readers Show Up in Droves with Best Inexpensive™ Requests

About my inbox—it fills almost faster than I can read, so I create file folders for varying subjects. When a

Trade school student painting car
Automobiles, Tips

How One Reader Got a Free Auto Paint Job, Plus Lots More Great Reader Tips

Want to learn more ways to save time and money every day? Your fellow readers are ready to share their

Morning cup of coffee, gift, newspaper, glasses and bowtie on wooden desk for breakfast on happy fathers day
Gift Guides

Father’s Day 2018 Gift Guide

I’ve been holding onto the coolest gift idea since last Christmas and it has not been easy. I’ve wanted to