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The Swagbucks rewards program has offered to sponsor a prize of 5,000 SB, enough for a $50 gift card of the winner’s choice.

This week’s giveaway is going to be a bit different:

  • It will last longer (11 days instead of five).
  • As indicated by the headline, the prize is bigger than usual.
  • You can enter only once and in a very specific way.

I’m calling this the “Dog Days of Summer” giveaway as a reminder of the ways that gift cards can help the heat-weary battle through the waning (but still steamy) season.

For example, you could opt for a $50 movie gift card and sit a cool, dark theater. Or get $50 worth of Starbucks scrip and sit there with a cool drink on the hottest afternoon.

Maybe you could get $50 worth of restaurant credit and avoid cooking on a particularly uncomfortable day, or choose Amazon gift cards and buy something to take your mind off that heat rash.

 


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th-1Personal finance geeks like to plan ahead: retirement, emergency fund, college plan, new-car-with-cash fund, et al.

We actually find this fun, or at least satisfying. You should try it sometime.

A lot of us will also set an amount to be spent for the holidays and other occasions important to us (mom’s birthday, an annual 10k, the Talkeetna Bachelors Auction and Wilderness Woman Competition, whatever).

But how many remember what I call the “milestone gifts” – weddings, graduation, babies, bar mitzvahs and the like?

This could come out of the “entertainment” section of your budget, but if you have a big family and/or a lot of friends then pretty soon you’d have no money left for the movies.

Gift-giving can be a very touchy practice. Is it the right present? Will they thank me but roll their eyes later? Is everyone judging my choice?

And, of course, the biggie: Did I spend enough?

 


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A good wash day.

Definitely turning into my mthother: I am now identifying sunny, windy days like today in terms of laundry.

For the past couple of months I’ve called every balmy and breezy morning “a good wash day.” Because that’s what it is.

This has been a particularly warm summer and DF and I have used the clothesline to the maximum. If it isn’t laundry we’re hanging out, it’s the bedclothes and pillowcases: They smell so marvelous after a few hours in the air and sun.

I’ll even cop to looking for laundry where there is none, e.g., “Is it time to do a load of towels and bathrobes?” or “Have we washed the comforter lately?” Failing that, I’ll put the bedclothes out for the second day in a row.

My mom would approve. Like us, she hardly ever used the clothes dryer. None of the adult women I knew did. Why add to the electric bill when sun and wind are free?

 


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card349 Readers of this site know that I’m quite fond of the Swagbucks rewards program. I’m happy to report that you can get 500 SB for signing up for Visa Checkout, a digital wallet service. (More on that in a minute.)

To get the extra SB credit, you must sign up today, Wednesday, Aug. 12. And to sweeten the deal, Swagbucks is offering an additional incentive if 100,000 members register. (More on that in a minute, too.)

Here’s how to qualify for the bonus:

 


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A tomato haiku.

thThe first tomato sandwiches of the year have been enjoyed. Maybe a little too much, since the sighs I made while eating sounded nearly coital.

But dang, there’s nothing like eating a tomato that five minutes ago was on the vine in your own greenhouse.

Hence the haiku:

Just-picked tomato

Fresh bread, mayo, salt, pepper

Jersey girl heaven. 

If this were New Jersey I wouldn’t need a greenhouse – just a patch of dirt almost anywhere. My childhood neighbor had one come up in the middle of the lawn, uninvited.

 


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