Dear Readers: Are you having trouble and spending more than you should? Do you buy things you really don’t need or can’t afford? How do you know if you have a problem controlling your spending? Here are a few behaviors that may signal that you have a shopping addiction:

* Buying things on a credit card that you never would buy with cash.

* Purchasing lots of items, hiding them in the closet and then never using them.

* Feeling a “high” from shopping.

Here are some suggestions to help if you think you may have a problem with shopping, courtesy of Shopaholics Anonymous:

* Make a list when you go to the store, and stick to it.

* Think when considering a purchase: Do I really need this?

* If you see something you want to buy, go home and think about it beforehand.

These are just a few of the many hints to help. You can overcome a shopping addiction! -- Heloise

P.S.: Here is my hint: Even if the item is on sale, ask yourself, Would I pay full price?


Dear Heloise: If someone you know is having trouble with remembering to take his or her pills, take a pastel sheet of paper and divide it into four sections. Label the sections “breakfast,” “lunch,” “dinner” and “bedtime.”

Put the pills on the page in each correct section. Beside each pill, label with the name and what it is for. The person can now see what is to be taken, when to take it and why. -- Cheryl in Ohio

This is helpful. However, if there are children around, you should not do this, because it is an accident waiting to happen. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: My best friend and I take pleasure trips and usually rent a car.

When selecting a car from a row of vehicles, we take pictures of any damage we see and a close-up of the license plate. When checking into our hotel, we have the license number for the registration card. -- Shirley, via e-mail

Great! Read on for another photo hint. -- Heloise

Dear Heloise: Have you ever been tempted to tear out a recipe from a magazine at the doctor’s office? I take a photo of the recipe with my smartphone. -- Marilyn in Lakeland, Fla.


Dear Readers: Grabbing a sweater in our sometimes-chilly office, even in summertime, does occur. The office sweater has no buttons, so keeping it closed can be a challenge. One assistant uses a brass paper fastener, commonly called a brad, and carefully clips the sweater closed! It looks like a little gold button. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: My neighborhood has a page on a social-media site. It’s great for announcing garage sales, new neighbors coming in, any issues going on, advertising for baby sitters, etc. We’ve found that this works great for keeping everyone informed. -- Karen in Illinois

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Please include your city and state.

2012, King Features Syndicate