Other ways to put value into a wedding gift

Dear Heloise: How much should I spend on a wedding gift? My sister is getting married in a month, and I’m not sure how much to give to the bride and groom. They really prefer cash to gifts because they’ve lived together for over two years.

I’m in my third year of college, and as a college student living on a very strict budget, I can’t give much. My sister knows this, but she still expects a gift of some kind. My mother said I should at least give the cost of my dinner at the wedding, but the cost of the dinner is $150 per person. I don’t have an extra $150! What should I do? — Kevin C., Mineola, New York

Kevin, no, you don’t need to give the cost of the dinner. It should be based on what you can afford. I was once a college student, and I know funds are limited. Tuition, books and lab fees are increasing all the time.

So, if funds do not permit you to make a monetary gift, ask if there is something you can do to help with the wedding. After all, your time and labor are valuable. Can you run errands for your sister, pick up people from the airport, help with decorations, or make centerpieces?

After you graduate and have a job, perhaps you can take them out to dinner to celebrate their wedding anniversary. — Heloise


Dear Readers: Now is a good time to check your wooden deck or patio for termites. Look for damage like a fine powder or holes. You may see these along stud lines in a wall or underneath furniture, the deck or the steps. If you see any of this, contact your exterminator ASAP. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: While many people wash their hands after they put away their groceries, a large number don’t remember to wash their hands before putting their groceries away. I go to the store and handle items that have probably been handled by more than a dozen people.

The pandemic should have taught us all a lesson on how easy it is to pick up bacteria that’s harmful. You might be a very clean person, but not everyone else is. Wash your hands often throughout the day. — L.E., in Oklahoma


Dear Heloise: I had a check washed for $2,000. In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the crooks are really lazy; they’re too lazy to steal the checks from individual mailboxes. They prefer to steal them from the blue Postal Service mailboxes. They have the key to the mailbox and steal armloads of mail in one stop.

It seems as though the same key fits many mailboxes, and they don’t use bleach or acetone to wash the check. It’s all done on computers and smartphones now. They scan the check into the computer, then Photoshop the check. They even use a banking app to deposit the check or try to cash it. They buddy up with someone who has an actual bank account and use this bank account to cash the check and move the money around.

Fortunately for me, my bank made it good. — J.S., in Baton Rouge, Louisiana


Dear Heloise: I was married in 1958, and we had no money to speak of. So, I had to get creative with shopping. Most of all, I had to stop telling myself, “It’s only $1,” or “I won’t miss those $2, so why not buy it?” It’s amazing how those $1 and $2 purchases add up.

When my daughter was in college, she needed to get a few items from the drugstore, so I gave her $20. She came home in shock when she discovered that $20 didn’t go far. It was the best lesson she ever got in money management. — M.B., in Illinois


Dear Heloise: Our beaches are getting littered with all sorts of trash as more and more people go to the beaches to play and cool off in the heat. If any of your readers are heading off to a beach somewhere, please ask them to bag up all their trash, especially plastic items. They should also pick up and throw away any trash they happen to find on our shores.

Our waterways have become a national disgrace with pollution and garbage scattered everywhere. It’s our country, so let’s keep it clean. — K.H., in Minnesota

Send a money-saving or time-saving hint to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.


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