th 1 150x150 Thrift shops, free museums and a $100 Tweetchat. Today is Thrift Shop Day, and the Savers/Value Village folks say we’re all about saving the Benjamins. The company’s new survey revealed that 47 percent of U.S. residents shop at la segunda, and more than one-third of us say they shop secondhand more often now than they did three years ago.

Is it the economy? Or is it that more and more people are realizing how much fun it can be to prospect for marked-down items, some of which you won’t find anywhere else?

Well, 52 percent of those surveyed say “it feels like a treasure hunt” and 35 percent love finding “truly unique” items. If you’re a retro-fashionista, secondhand stores are the place to find vintage shoulder-pad suits, cargo pants or the perfect bridesmaid’s dress to wear to the prom or (with appropriate attitude) to a wedding.


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th4 Ally Bank might give you $100.I 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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What’s going on.

th8 Whats going on. Summer is in full swing in Anchorage, by which I mean the garden is planted and the clouds came back.

A little rain, even, although not nearly enough. After weeks of relentless sun I have to admit that it was good to see “normal” weather again.

Some people refer to clouds and rain as “state fair weather.” I don’t agree. State fair weather requires low-40s temperatures plus enough wind to blow the rain sideways. What good are carnival rides and barbecued turkey legs when it’s actually nice out?

But as with every summer, I’m losing track of time in a huge way. Look at the clock and it’s 6 p.m. The next thing you know it’s 10:30 – who let that happen?

Losing track of blogging, too, i.e., I haven’t written much lately. Let’s play catch-up.


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th 2 Five years and counting.  In 2010 I was living in Seattle but traveling a lot. Having recently obtained a college degree in midlife and quit an apartment management job, I was happy finally to be able to go places: Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, London, Phoenix, Anchorage.

Although I made my living writing for MSN Money, I wanted another place to sound off. On April 30, 2010, I started this website as my playground for words.

I couldn’t have imagined the changes that would take place in five years’ time. But really, how many people can accurately predict their futures?

Now I’m no longer living in Seattle, working for MSN Money or traveling very much. Still got the degree and the website, though — and a wonderful relationship.

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of my first post, I’m having a really big Friday giveaway.


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Go win these gift cards.

th6 Go win these gift cards.Whenever I see a chance to win gift cards I tend to enter. Sometimes I even win.

Whenever I see a chance for readers to win gift cards, I tend to share. Here are two chances to win Home Depot and Amazon.com cards. The former is pretty easy; the latter takes a bit of work but there’s a chance at a pretty decent payoff.

Savings.com will be giving away $3,000 worth of Home Depot e-gift cards today through Wednesday. Between 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. EDT each day, go to the Home Depot page at Savings.com and enter your e-mail address.


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