HELP­FUL HINTS

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST/TELEVISION - HELOISE Send a money- or time-sav­ing hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San An­to­nio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email Heloise@Heloise.com

DEAR READ­ERS: Sorry, what num­ber did you leave on my voice­mail? Here’s the Heloise Hint when leav­ing a voice mes­sage on a recorded phone line (could be land line or cell­phone): Speak clearly, slowly and suc­cinctly.

State your name and call­back num­ber at the be­gin­ning of your mes­sage and again at the end. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to re­play the mes­sage to get that in­for­ma­tion.

Try to be brief and get to the point. This is es­pe­cially true for busi­ness-re­lated mes­sages.

DEAR HELOISE: To make cer­tain my kids can find the in­for­ma­tion nec­es­sary for my health care or my life in­surance, I send them copies of each pol­icy. That should save a lot of time in case of an emer­gency or in the event of my pass­ing.

— Mag­gie D., via email DEAR READ­ERS: It can be dif­fi­cult to de­cide if you want to buy or lease your next car or truck.

If you are in­ter­ested in leas­ing a ve­hi­cle, do your home­work. A lower monthly pay­ment is one rea­son some peo­ple lease. Or they may want a new car ev­ery year or so. They may want to see what it drives like for a year be­fore ac­tu­ally buy­ing one. To­day’s lease is not the lease of old.

You must read all the in­for­ma­tion on leas­ing, be­cause there are a lot of rules. Rules may vary from state to state. Read the fine print. Don’t sign on the dot­ted line just be­cause the sales­per­son tells you what the con­tract says. If you still have ques­tions, ask a trusted ad­viser.

DEAR HELOISE: We had a morn­ing low of 19 de­grees in San An­to­nio a while back. I thought about what would work best to pro­tect the pipes. Elas­tic stretch­able ban­dages I had ac­cu­mu­lated came to mind. They were the per­fect width to cover the ex­posed pipes, and the hook-and-loop clo­sure at the end was per­fect for se­cur­ing.

I had three ex­posed pipes, and the ban­dages were easy to in­stall and pro­vided pro­tec­tion for the pipes. At the end of the win­ter sea­son, they can be washed and stored.

— Sandra T., via email

DEAR HELOISE: We al­ways buy sheets with a ver­ti­cal stripe or pat­tern. That way, it’s eas­ier to fig­ure which end goes at the top of the bed.

— Mary­beth B., via email

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