Fast words make for bad ads

Dear Heloise: I’m concerned about loan companies whose ADVERTISEMENTS use words like “speedy,” “now,” “quick” (sometimes styled as “quik”), “fast,” “express,” “zippy,” “dash” and “rush.”

These words are meant to impart a sense of urgency in the consumer. This is fine for selling inconsequential, sundry items like, say, a toaster, but for financial products, I urge consumers to take the time to READ all the terms of loans, car title loans, payday loans, etc. Don’t get caught up in the glossy marketing, catchy jingles and pretty models you may see in the advertising.

Know the due dates of all payments, and exactly how much this money will cost you — it can be a staggering amount!

Quick cash is convenient, but it can come at a high price. — Dan R., Wichita Falls, Texas

Wonderful advice. Need extra cash? See if you have something you can sell outright, or pick up a part-time job.

— Heloise

WATCH AND LEARN

Dear Readers: Got a maintenance issue in your home with your washer, heating system, etc.? Observe the repairmen in your home so you can learn what they are doing and how they are going about fixing the problem.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, either. Learn the terminology of repair work. Also, read the owners manual before calling, or at least before the repairman comes.

— Heloise

HINT FROM HIM

Dear Heloise: I make a list of items I run out of frequently and categorize them:

* Food staples: milk, bread, eggs, lunchmeat, vegetables and fruits.

* Personal-care products: cotton balls, bar soap, rubbing alcohol, hand lotion.

* Household items: bath tissue, facial tissue, window cleaner, trash-can liners.

Having a list helps prevent me from running out of these items, and the family can update the list daily.

— Robert P.,

Evansville, Ind.

Great, Robert! Another reader lists all her necessary things on a spreadsheet application on her computer, and she’s even included some tried-and-true hints and problems/solutions! (Thank you, Sherril G. in Santa Ana, Calif.)

— Heloise

FREE TO ME

Dear Heloise: The first floor of the department store is fun for me — all the cosmetics, fragrances, tools, tips and tricks! I love getting one-on-one service from the beauty advisers, so I go when the store usually is not busy, like weekday mornings.

Here’s what I’ve learned: There are free samples to be had! The samples aren’t advertised, and you have to ask for them, but I can score mini perfume vials, great travel-size lipsticks and even hair-care products.

I’m never greedy, and I always thank the advisers who’ve helped me, and I may love the sample so much that I buy the full size! — Holly W. in Philadelphia

The advisers always are happy to help — and they have the newest products!

— Heloise

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Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.