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thI figured that would get your attention. The $100 in question comes in the form of Amazon scrip, and two such gift cards will be given away during Ally’s monthly TweetChat on June 24.

That’s tomorrow, in case you aren’t keeping track. The topic is one with which all of us could use some schoolin’.

“Protecting Yourself Online” is just what it sounds like: the latest on security and how to protect your identity and your digital assets. As the Ally wonks note, you wouldn’t give your car keys to a stranger or leave your home’s windows and doors open – yet plenty of us are fairly unguarded online.

According to Consumer Reports, 62 percent of U.S. citizens have done nothing to protect themselves when using the Internet. That’s understandable, since digital security can be a very confusing topic – and since well-publicized data breaches make it look as though no one can really guard against determined hackers.


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new-bookI like Liliana Vasquez’ style. Not just her sartorial sense, but her common sense. Here are a couple of examples of the blogger and author’s advice:

“Labels don’t define us – they’re just little pieces of cloth that tell you how to take care of your garment.”

“Remember: Style can’t be bought. It comes from confidence and creativity.”

“Age is nothing but a number, but our style has to evolve as we get older whether we like it or not.”

“You don’t have to adhere completely to the fashion world’s rules to curate your own style.”

Vazquez, who blogs at The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style, from her smart, practical and, yes, thrifty advice. “The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style: Secrets to Shopping Cheap and Looking Chic” is this week’s giveaway.


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th-1Yet another holiday invented to make you spend money! Just what we need, right? But I’m sorta-kinda okay with National Splurge Day, as long as the splurges are done frugally.

In fact, I think you should splurge on something today – but that you should do so in as cost-effective a way as possible, and with an eye toward postponing future splurges.

Does that mean you can never have nice things? Not at all. In fact, what it means is that you can likely get those nice things faster – but only if you’re willing to grow up, wise up and stop ignoring future goals in favor of fun-right-now stuff.


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thA post on my daughter’s website might get under some writers’ skins. Not mine – and not just because she’s my daughter.

Why I refuse to have a donate button” helped me clarify something that’s been twigging me lately: the proliferation of “please pay me” buttons on personal websites.

Newspapers and other sites are experimenting with paywalls to recoup at least some of the costs associated with professional writing (and, presumably, professional standards). So why not bloggers?

To my daughter, at least, the pay-to-read mentality comes across “as either grandiose (let’s face it, none of us is the NYT) or greedy.”

“Asking readers for money just seems crass,” Abby writes. In part that’s because she associates pay-me buttons with paid content, aka “sponsored posts,” aka “stuff some company pays you to run.” While she acknowledges that not everyone would feel this way, Abby says she’s less likely to return to a blog with a donate button unless “there is a good reason why the person actually needs help.”

To some extent I can see the purpose of a button: It’s like paying for a magazine subscription. Sites that put out great stuff have writers who put great effort into the posts.

Lots of sites don’t.


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thIs arranging for regular delivery of items you use often – pet supplies, diapers, medical supplies and, yes, TP – a frugal hack?

Usually. Merchants like Amazon, Wag.com, Target and Drugstore.com will cut you a break on the prices and let you set the terms/quantities.

Although a super-couponer can often beat the subscription prices, not everyone’s willing to do that consistently (even with help from a site like CouponMom.com or a grocery app like Favado).

So it’s better to get a pretty good price all the time then a swell deal every so often.

For more on this, see my latest post on Money Talks News. “Does it pay to have diapers, toilet paper, dog food delivered to the door?” explains the ins and outs (and a few other advantages) of subscription services.

Although I’d taken a bit of a break from Money Talks News recently to work on a personal project, I’m now back in the saddle. Here’s what else has run lately:


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