Dear Readers: Today’s “sound off” is about scammers who use charities to fool people.

— Heloise

DEAR HELOISE: Please warn your readers of the charity scams that are now very popular with thieves. Someone calls, is very friendly on the phone and wants you to donate to some worthy cause such as a children’s charity, homeless animals or some medical cause, for example.

If they want you to donate, have them mail you information on their charity so you can think it over. Never let anyone pressure you into giving out personal finance details. Better yet, simply say, “I take no solicitations over the phone” and hang up. Don’t listen to anything they have to say after your refusal to discuss the matter.

— Frank H., Washington, D.C.

Fast facts

Dear Readers: Here are some uses for old credit cards:

Wash and cut into strips. You can use them to scoop out face creams.

Use the strips as a replacement for collar stays.

Remove a bee’s stinger by scraping the edge of a card across the skin at the wound site.

Scrape gum off carpet or tile after placing ice on the gum.

— Heloise

Travel planning

DEAR HELOISE: When my husband and I got married, we decided that we would travel the world. We lived on his income and saved my earnings. At the end of the year, we sat down and decided where we’d like to travel. One year he’d pick a place, and the following year I would pick the place. The money left over was always invested. We’ve been married over 30 years, have seen the world and have a wonderful nest egg for retirement.

I recommend that all young couples who are planning to get married should sit down, decide what they want and work out a plan to ensure their dreams come true. Build some flexibility into your plans, and never mind what others are doing.

— Hattie, San Antonio

Lipstick

DEAR HELOISE: Lipstick is so expensive. I usually scoop out what’s left of my lipstick and put it in a small plastic tub from the dollar store. I microwave the container with the lipstick. This melts the lipstick, making it easy to blend colors. Use a lip brush to apply the new color.

— Myrna F., Lady Lake, Fla.



Plastic vs. fabric

DEAR HELOISE: I know a lot of states and cities have banned plastic bags. I understand the reasoning, but I can’t say I like it. I always reused my plastic bags, but now I’ve had to use cloth bags, which I don’t like. I have to make sure I have enough bags with me when I shop. I hate it.

— Gloria J., Portland, Maine

Well, readers, what do you think about plastic versus cloth bags?

— Heloise

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Sent hints to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5001 or email Heloise@Heloise.com.