Recently a friend contacted me in a panic. She needed $586 immediately or her vehicle would be repossessed.

When I called, she also noted that she needed something to get her family through until payday. Could I loan her as much as $800?

I hesitated for a moment. Then I stopped what I was doing, moved some money from one account to the other and got myself over to Western Union (which thoughtfully tacked on a $44 wire fee).

Before you call me a sucker, hear me out. Then call me a sucker.

read more

Recently my daughter noticed she was having trouble swallowing. This perplexed her until she realized what day it was: Jan. 21, the anniversary of the day she wound up in the ICU back in 1998.

What put her there was Guillain-Barre syndrome, an auto-immune disease that attacks the peripheral nervous system and, in Abby’s case, paralyzed her right up to her eyeballs and nearly killed her.

read more

Garden gnomes. So charming. So whimsical. So innocent.

That’s exactly what they want you to think.

The diminutive dudes are dangerous, says author Chuck Sambuchino. Yet we invite them into our yards — which are conveniently close to our doors. A little too close. Sambuchino has written the definitive guide to fighting back against the cheery little lawn goblins:

The gnomes hate our freedom. They’ll do anything it takes to bring us to our knees. At which point we’d still be a lot taller than they are, but slightly more vulnerable, I suppose. Would you take that chance with your loved ones?

read more

I want to go to Cardiff, Wales, while I’m in the United Kingdom. The train fare from London made my head spin: $83.50 to $131 each way.

Who’s for the MegaBus?

read more

Maybe you were one of the 1,378,938 folks who recently bought a $20 Amazon gift card for $10 from Living Social.

If you haven’t already spent it, here’s a way to turn that $10 investment into as much as $18.40:

read more