Dear Readers: Today’s Sound On is about having self-control with credit cards.

“Dear Heloise: My husband and I decided to pay off our credit cards, get out of deep debt and stay out of debt because we’ll both be retiring in three years. It hasn’t been easy, but we knew we could do it with a little self-control. Before either of us bought anything, we’d ask ourselves, ‘Is this purchase necessary?’ ‘How will this benefit us?’ and finally, ‘Can we live without it?’

“We cleaned out the house and had a huge garage sale, sold our large house and bought a small home that has less upkeep. We’re happier now than we’ve ever been, with less ‘stuff,’ and we have more time and money to travel, pursue hobbies and enjoy life. I only wish we had done this 30 years ago!”

Jack and Karen F., Cape Coral, Fla.

Dear Readers: Here are additional uses for bank teller envelopes:

● Store one in a car’s glove compartment to keep coupons and gift cards inside.

● Keep extra change inside one for toll booths.

● Use as a catchall for receipts, loose papers, candy wrappers, etc.

Dear Heloise: Every home needs a fire extinguisher, but what kind and what size, and do you know how to use it? If your fire extinguisher has a plastic operating lever, replace it with one that has a metal operating lever so that it doesn't clog or break during use. Make sure you get rechargeable extinguishers serviced at least once a year. If you need to use your extinguisher, be sure to pull out the safety pin before using, and try not to panic. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, not at the flames.

Luke T., Royal Oak, Mich.

Dear Heloise: I want to try a dating site online, but I never know what to write. Have you got any hints?

Mary Ann G., Tempe, Ariz.

Mary Ann G.: Start by staying away from cliches, even if you really do like “walks on the beach at sunset.” Stay positive and upbeat, and above all, be honest. Ask your close friends to help you with your personal profile. Also, choose your photos wisely.

Dear Heloise: Scammers are using a new ploy to steal from the unsuspecting public, and it involves job interviews. The "interviewer" uses an online videoconferencing service and asks the viewer to download a file explaining more about the job. What is actually being downloaded is malware that will access your password, financial information and whatever else they want. If in doubt, call the company directly to see if it is legitimate.

Victor N., Sacramento

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to

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