Budgeting in style. Don’t overdo it, subtlety is key — Hints from Heloise

Dear Heloise: I love to LOOK STYLISH, but I don’t have a lot of money. Do you have any hints to help? — Mary T. in Illinois

Hi, Mary! It’s great to look “pulled together,” and even better when you can do it on a budget and all year long, even in the heat of summer! Here are some hints for you:

▪  Low-key colors for clothing are best. Shocking pink and orange aren’t subtle or refined; black, navy, buff, ivory and white are more elegant. Along those same lines, loud prints and patterns are too busy-looking.

▪  Minimize gaudy jewelry. Have a few quality pieces: A simple watch, a signature bangle bracelet, a sparkly pair of diamond or zirconia stud earrings and a stylish strand of pearls are good basics for a jewelry wardrobe.

▪  Stylish people rarely follow trends in clothing. Their wardrobe pieces are classic, well-made and timeless. This includes shoes.

▪  You don’t need to have a lot of money to look like you have a lot of money. Keep your clothes tailored, and make sure they fit properly.

▪  Don’t overdo it. Subtlety is key.

— Heloise


Dear Heloise: To make vacation preparation easier and less stressful, I created a spreadsheet with two columns. The first column is a list of things I need to take: Electronics, tickets, personal-hygiene items, etc.

The other column is for things I need to do: Adjust the thermostat, stop the mail, notify the neighbors, etc.

When it’s time to get ready, I print out my spreadsheet, add to or delete from the lists as necessary, and I feel assured that I am not forgetting anything. — John G., Fort Wayne, Ind.


Dear Heloise: Many doctors’ offices request that patients not wear perfume or cologne during their appointments.

Such scents can cause allergic reactions in those so afflicted. — Karen M., via email


Dear Heloise: I want to pass on a hint for all of the loose-change-saving readers. Before you bring your change to the bank, please check to see if it accepts coins, and how the bank would like to receive them.

The bank I work for accepts only loose coins. If you bring them in rolled, we have to unroll them to run the coins through the counting machine.

Save yourself a lot of time: Check before you roll! — Mary S., Huntington, Ind.


Dear Heloise: As I am getting older, it is hard to handle the large shampoo and conditioner bottles. I transfer some from the bigger bottles into the travel size, which for me is a good size. — Penny in Columbus, Ohio


Dear Heloise: I love that your mother (the original Heloise, 1919-1977) had the wisdom to know that family comes before housework.

I was lucky to be a stay-at-home mom. I endured housework and enjoyed gardening, cooking and the PTA. The happiest time of my life was raising my children and amassing a lifetime of memories! — Jaclyn E., via email

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 I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.