Supporting Small Businesses…Saturday

Small businesses have and will continue to play a vital role in helping communities thrive. In the past small businesses have typically been our local bakery, florist, dry cleaners, barber shop, candy store, and the pizza and sandwich shop. Present day, small businesses now include online artisan and jewelry boutiques, clothing stores, food trucks, pop-up shops, nail salons, and pet walkers, to name a few. To honor the contributions small businesses make to help sustain local communities, and to encourage …

Top 4 Gift-Card Scams to Avoid This Holiday Season and Beyond

As the most popular holiday gift, gift cards — millions of them — will be exchanged this season. Unfortunately, though, they often wind up in the hands of scammers. Because they provide an easy and virtually untraceable payoff, and consumers have heeded well-publicized warnings about the risks of sending payments by wire transfers and prepaid debit cards, gift cards have become the preferred payment method among fraudsters. Among the reigning gift-card scams: Payment ploys. Whether the claim is that you …

Take Credit: Avoid Debit Card Dangers this Holiday

AARP Fraud Watch Network warns holiday shoppers of debit card risks The 2013 Target data breach was the nightmare before Christmas for many holiday shoppers and Target store customers. Millions of debit card accounts were hacked, as fraudsters stole customer names, card numbers and even personal phone numbers and email addresses. While both debit and credit cards can become victim to fraud, credit cards offer greater consumer protections that debit cards lack. If a credit card is lost or stolen, the …

Use ‘Slice’ to Keep Track of Online Shopping

I love discount online shopping.  In fact, some days I worry I’m addicted to it. I’m a member of the popular deep discount  “members only” clothing and home goods websites Gilt Groupe, Rue La La, Haute Look and One Kings Lane.  I say “members only” with a smile, because anyone who signs up becomes a member. Every day, and twice a day during the holiday shopping season, these sites send me emails highlighting items that are discounted 50 percent or more. …

Anti-Black Friday? Celebrate Buy Nothing Day

I saw this great cartoon the other day. “Black Friday: Because only in America, people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.”  Funny, but true. Now don’t accuse me of being a humbug. I like to celebrate the holidays just as much as anybody else. Although when it comes to gift giving, I do prefer a somewhat more measured approach than is apparently the American norm. I like to think of the …

Nursing “home”

What do you think of when you think of a nursing home? A massive cafeteria with uninteresting food? Drab walls and long fluorescently lighted hallways? Well, there is a project that hopes to change all that – Here is an article from the Washington Post today that I found very hopeful – because after visiting my great-grandmother for years as a child in a very conventional nursing home, even I knew something didn’t seem quite fair about her “home.” The …