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July 22, 2013

DICK WOLFSIE: Better save than sorry

My wife is always leaving me lists ripped out of magazines or printed from the Internet. She puts them on my desk chair, or in the bathroom, or as a placemat at the dinner table. The last one she planted was the “25 Best Restaurants in Indianapolis.” I looked it over and we have not been to 12 of them. The other 13 we’ve never even heard of.

The newest list I have been subjected to is AARP’s fourth annual “Great Ways to Save Money.” For those who don’t want to wade through the 99-item list or who can’t find their bifocals, the editors summarize their findings this way: “The key to saving is spending less.” Not exactly a groundbreaking concept, but more insightful than their recent mall-walking article with advice on how to improve your time circling the shopping center by moving your legs faster, stopping less to shop, and not taking a nap on a bench.

Lists of anything bore me. Google will point you to “100 Ways to Invest your Money,” “100 Ways to Make a Burger” or “100 Ways to Pass the Science Regents Exam.” But, search for “List of 101 Ways” to do something and you get 101 ways to murder your boss, impale a zombie, or cook worms. Much better reading. Trust me.

Mary Ellen thinks we could save big bucks if I just followed a few dozen of AARP’s hints. One suggestion was to pour grape Kool-Aid into the commode tank to see if there is any seepage into the bowl. My wife, unbeknownst to me, had already implemented this idea, and one morning I looked into the toilet and immediately made an appointment with the urologist.

No. 1 on the list actually cost me real money. It suggests getting only 50-dollar bills from the bank because people will be less likely to spend them. I did try this, but the clerks at stores kept making change for me, and that kinda ruined everything. The few 50s I did save ended up in the washer and dryer, like all my pocket money does, so instead of destroying several one-dollar bills, I now have three 50s the size of Monopoly money.

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