Everyday cheapskate: Car leases and laundry detergents | Family

Dear Mary: My wife and I are having a disagreement. I want to lease a new car now, because ours is old and paying for repairs is like flushing money down the drain. She wants to keep it until we can afford to buy a better car. I hate car trouble and think peace of mind is something to be considered. I’m sure we can afford the payment, but she’s not. What should we do?

Dear James: I’d rather shove toothpicks under by fingernails than ever lease a new car again (which is a story for another time, but enough about me). Here’s my advice to you: Do whatever you must to keep the old car running for now. But for the next 12 months, live as though you are making $300 monthly lease payments — but make those payments to yourselves. Don’t even think about being late, just as

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Car leases and laundry detergents | Advice

Dear Mary: I’m so confused by laundry products, particularly detergents. Are powders better than liquid? Is the word “ultra” just hype? Thanks.

Dear Cindy: Here’s the scoop on laundry detergent: Typically, the word “ultra” means the product has been concentrated to fit into a smaller box. The problem is, unless you read the label and carefully measure and experiment to find the least amount that works for you, you’ll probably dump in the same amount you have in the past. Not good.

A product that has fabric softener added isn’t going to clean or soften as well, but it’s generally cheaper than buying two different products.

If a product says it has more stain fighters, it contains enzymes to dissolve stains better, but you’ll still have to pretreat heavy stains. Detergents with enzymes usually cost more than those without.

Typically, liquid detergents are more expensive and work better

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