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Women are earning more and taking more responsibility for managing money, but a majority of us aren’t confident about our choices.

According to the Allianz Women, Money and Power Study, six in 10 (61 percent) women wish they had more confidence in their financial choices. Almost two-thirds (63 percent) wish they knew more about investing and financial planning.

Personal finance blogger Melanie Lockert wants to help. Or, rather, she wants to encourage women to help themselves. The upcoming Lola Retreat will be a place where women can talk openly about money: how to earn it, save it, invest it and enjoy it.

 


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Just got back from Phoenix, where they’re already drinking cold beverages. Here in Anchorage it was 1 degree when we got up.

Depending on where you live you might be sipping a fancy lemonade or wrapping your frozen fingers around a mug of cocoa or coffee.

The choice is personal, but if you win this week’s giveaway the beverage won’t cost you anything. That is, if you like Starbucks — which a lot of you do, if previous giveaways are any indication.

 


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Did you know that you can hack any ATM machine? You can! Or so those Nigerian scammers would have you think.

Half a dozen messages in today’s spam filter read as follows:

 


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Still visiting my daughter and drinking the weird water of Phoenix. She and my son-in-law cope by using a reverse osmosis system to turn the hard H20 into something approaching potable agua.

Probably I’d get used to it if I lived here; for now, I cope by turning it into iced tea.

What I really resent, though, is the weirdly random stains the mineral-saturated water makes in the toilet bowls. I made it my mission to eliminate them.

And, as Abby noted in “The beauty of a clean toilet,” I succeeded. That’s because I had a secret weapon.

Oh, vinegar: Is there anything you can’t do?

 


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I’m not going to be with my sweetheart today, except in spirit (and by phone). That’s because I came back to Phoenix to lend a hand after my son-in-law broke one foot and badly sprained the other.

Since I won’t have a holiday of my own, I’m focusing on other people’s Feb. 14 follies. For example, did you know that some people buy Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets?

Not making that up. Couldn’t make that up.

 


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Found money in 2016.

I waited a little longer than usual to count my found money. For those unfamiliar with the concept: All year long I pick up coins from lots of places: stores, sidewalks, parks, the return bins of Coinstar machines.

Usually I add up my found money around Thanksgiving, then add some more and donate it to the Food Bank of Alaska. This year I decided that the holidays are when people most like to donate to food banks, so why not wait a while?

Here’s what I found this year:

 


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