Blown Out Vacuums and Teen Clothing Allowance

Dear Mary: Back in 2012, you posted an article in Everyday Cheapskate regarding blowing out your third Hoover Wind Tunnel and electing to go with the Shark Navigator. At the time, I wasn’t in need of a vacuum, but I printed off the article and archived it in a folder I hold for future reference.

Recently I’d become so disappointed in the way my current vacuum was performing, I talked my husband into purchasing a Shark Navigator. Taking you at your word, we put the product together when it arrived last week, and then my husband left for a business trip. The morning he left, I pulled out my new Shark and began tearing the house apart to do a deep clean while he was away. OH. MY. GOSH. I was not only awe-stricken, I could not believe what was happening. That Shark performed way beyond my expectations and I was amazed at the dirt that was coming out of what I thought was a fairly clean home. I kept calling my husband telling him he would never believe what was happening; as well as kicking myself in the rear-end for not purchasing this item many years earlier.

I just wanted to take a moment to write you and tell you how thankful I am that you wrote that article; as well as to let you know how much I enjoy reading all your information. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and information with the rest of the world. I look forward to many more years of helpful tips and information. Kind regards, Robyn

Dear Robyn: I’m smiling because I can identify exactly with you on this! I was so embarrassed to see what “Sharky” was getting out of my carpets, but I got over it. In fact, now I kinda’ think of the canister full of dirt as a badge of cleanliness! I feel like Housekeeper of the Year every time I empty it.

I ended up giving my first Shark to my kids, which in truth was just an excuse to buy one with the Lift-Away feature. Then I decided that I really needed yet a third so I could have a vacuum on each of two floors in my new home in Colorado. I’m going through that “shock and awe” thing in this house and it’s kinda’ fun. 

Before I tell you what I’m up to right now, let me just say that I purchase my Sharks myself. No one from the company that makes Shark has ever contacted me, nor I them.

Recently, I read about a brand new product from Shark. It’s not a vacuum; it doesn’t produce any suction or heat. It’s a scrubber for carpet and hard floor surfaces. You can bet I was skeptical. No suction? No heat? I couldn’t figure out how that could possibly do anything but make a big mess. I’ve taken this thing on a couple of test drives but haven’t fully assessed everything supposedly can do. And with that I’m going to make you wait. I’m not ready yet to share. So stay tuned.

Thanks for your kinds words. Your feedback means the world to me.

Dear Mary: When I bought my teens clothes for school, they wanted to go to all the trendy shops. After thinking about it for a while I decided I spent about $10 per week on clothing for each child. I decided to up their allowance by $10 per week and told them they now had to buy all their own clothing.

Suddenly discount and re-sale shops were the place to be! I solved two problems at once—I no longer had to fight with them about what I could afford and they learned what they could afford to buy. Robin

Dear Robin: Brilliant! You taught them to figure out what they could afford, which is a great life lesson they will have forever. But you gave them much more than that. You gave them confidence and the power of delayed gratification.

Raising your kids to be financially responsible is one of the best gifts you will have ever given them.

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