Dear Mary: I know, and probably have known for sometime now, that I have a shopping addiction.
I have always spent money carelessly and recently had a job where I started paying some of my bills with money I stole from my employer. I need help desperately. I have confessed to my husband and need some professional help.
-- Kit, email
Dear Kit: I know so little about you or where you live, but I do know your situation has spun out of control.
You embezzled money from your employer, which is a felony.
My best advice is that you immediately find a Debtor's Anonymous meeting in your area.
There is no charge for this. Just go there knowing that you will be immediately overwhelmed by what you hear. Stay through the entire meeting, then return the next day and every day until you begin to recover. Then keep going.
At DA, you will learn so much but only if you keep showing up.
Your life will change in ways you never dreamed possible.
At some point, you must go to your employer with all of the money you stole, and you must confess what you did. How this will be received is unknown, but it's something you must do.
Please stop what you are doing right now and go to DebtorsAnonymous.org. Look on the left side of the webpage, and click on "Find a DA Meeting."
Dear Mary: My two grandkids will be graduating from high school in a couple of years. Since they were born, I have put aside
I'm wondering the best way to give it to them.
Should I give them the entire amount at once, or hold some in reserve to dole out once they are in college as a sort of "stipend" on a monthly or yearly basis?
Both are responsible kids who are doing well in school.
-- Bill, Minnesota
Dear Bill: Do you want to give the kids money to buy something like a computer? Or are you more interested in doing something that will impact their lives in a much bigger way?
One idea would be to use this money to open investment accounts in their names (go to a website like Vanguard.com or Fidelity.com for information and help with opening custodial accounts), then add to them each year, rather than give cash to the kids.
This would be a great way to teach them about the risks and rewards of investing in a practical, meaningful way.
Do you have a question for Mary? Email her at mary@everyday cheapskate.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630.