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home : columns : dear harriette September 28, 2016

Thrifty reader needs financial advice
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am about to reach five-figure savings. I've worked toward this goal for years through frugality and postponing pursuing my master's degree. I do not have a financial adviser of any kind, and I have just been letting the savings sit in a savings account. I look at online blogs about investing, and I feel like I would jeopardize my savings by trying to make more money investing in something I don't know much about. -- Sitting Duck Savings, Raleigh, North Carolina
Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Anderson Jewelers

Dad wants to make rules for ex's new husband
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Parents must reveal financial situation to kids
DEAR HARRIETTE: This summer, my husband and I went overboard on spending money. Between vacations, summer camps and overzealous back-to-school shopping, we have found ourselves pretty low in the barrel. Our children have been asking for new clothes and toys, and we are unable to deliver. We are focusing on keeping food on the table, the mortgage paid and saving again. How can I talk to my kids about having less money to spend in terms they can understand? They are elementary- and middle-school-aged, and they seem to think we have a huge surplus of income. -- Scraping By, Jackson, Mississippi
Monday, September 26, 2016

Friends and family resent off-the-grid reader
 DEAR HARRIETTE: I love going off the grid. I feel like we are so constantly accessible that it makes me feel free when I don't have a phone on me. I don't do this for days at a time, just 12-hour blocks. It makes me feel completely refreshed.
Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fresh or frozen, produce offers nutritional benefits
DEAR DOCTOR K: I'm trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, but I don't have time to go to the grocery store every week. So I stock up on frozen produce. Am I missing out on any nutritional benefits by eating frozen instead of fresh?
Saturday, September 24, 2016

Reader brings late father into family argument
DEAR HARRIETTE: My brother and I lost touch for more than six months. We had always been inseparable siblings, but a few little arguments led to ignored calls. I called him a few days ago and left a voicemail, saying our late father would be disappointed in how we were acting. That finally got a reaction from him. However, instead of seeing that family should come first, he berated me for bringing our father into our argument. 
Friday, September 23, 2016

Possibly pregnant reader ponders paternity
Thursday, September 22, 2016

Girlfriend's snoring keeps reader up all night
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Neighbors steal reader's electricity
DEAR HARRIETTE: I finally got around to some landscaping work I was planning on doing around the house. As I made my way to the back of my house, I saw an extension cord plugged into my outdoor outlet.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Reader wants employee to calm her nerves
DEAR HARRIETTE: I just hired a recent college graduate for her first full-time job. She's been doing a good job, but I can tell she's nervous about the three-month trial period that my company enforces.
Monday, September 19, 2016

Father's outburst changes boyfriend's opinion
Saturday, September 17, 2016

Reader questions run-down office space
Friday, September 16, 2016

Reader contemplates getting new piercing
Thursday, September 15, 2016

Should reader take off ring during interview?
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Stepdaughter steals reader's clothing
DEAR HARRIETTE: I live in an apartment in Manhattan in New York City. One of my stepdaughters lives in a suburb, but she sleeps over whenever she goes out with her friends and misses the train back home.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Friend's tantrum mortifies reader
Monday, September 12, 2016

Mother overreacts to son's gesture
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have always been a "mommy's boy." I am turning 27 this year, and I thought it was finally time to give my mother her credit card back.
Friday, September 9, 2016

Friend puts off life until he loses weight
Friday, September 9, 2016

Reader feels compelled to wash feet at night
Thursday, September 8, 2016

Reader frustrated by family's tardiness
Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Reader convinced friend's allergy is fake
DEAR HARRIETTE: I believe my friend, "Anna," is making up a dairy allergy. When we are at restaurants, she makes a scene about how nothing can be cooked in butter or coated with cheese. However, if we go out for ice cream or desserts, she has no problem eating soft serve and chocolate crepes!
Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Reader carries on about carry-on bag
Monday, September 5, 2016

Don't discourage son's romantic gesture
Saturday, September 3, 2016

Chauffeur duty leads to uneasy relations
Friday, September 2, 2016

Enthusiastic support embarrasses brother
Thursday, September 1, 2016

Smelly shoes destroy domestic bliss
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Nose job did not correct reader's self-esteem
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have always felt insecure about my nose. I saved up enough money to have my nose made smaller and straighter. My parents definitely weren't supportive of me changing the nose that my heritage gave me. After going through with the surgery, I like my nose even less. The issue now is, I used all of my plastic surgery money on this first correction.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Reader needs humane pest deterrent
Monday, August 29, 2016

Football widow craves attention from husband
DEAR HARRIETTE: It is football season again, and I am about to lose my husband for about seven months because he watches football games five nights a week. This is a tough time for me; I am not big fan of the sport, and we got into huge arguments last year because I tried to schedule family events during the season.
Saturday, August 27, 2016

Reader stuck between friend and employee
Friday, August 26, 2016

Dear Harriette by Harriette Cole
DEAR HARRIETTE: I lost my place of residence two months ago, but I was able to stay with my family and friends until I came up with a way to sustain myself during this turbulent time of my life.
Thursday, August 25, 2016

Daughter lashing out after friend's death
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dear Harriette by Harriette Cole
DEAR HARRIETTE: Overweight and self-conscious, I decided to make a lifestyle change. I threw out all of my junk food at 2 a.m. and decided I'm through with excuses -- I am going to bring my body back to health.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dear Harriette by Harriette Cole
DEAR HARRIETTE: I got invited to attend a book club by one of my friends. She thought it would be a great way for our friends and the women in the neighborhood to meet one another. I was all for it, and I never turn down a chance to read and discuss books. However, when I got there, I was immediately offered booze and gossip. 
Monday, August 22, 2016

Daughter needs extra time in the restroom
Saturday, August 20, 2016

Pastor wants to spend church money wisely
Friday, August 19, 2016

Reader needs advice for taking grad school exams
Thursday, August 18, 2016

Husband's narcissism ruins marriage
Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ex won't stop texting reader
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Cat sitter discovers allergy to cats
Monday, August 15, 2016

Making friends as an adult is difficult
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a stay-at-home mom who just moved to a new town. In an effort to meet friends, I joined the PTA and went to a mid-summer meeting of the mothers. I was greeted by a friendly woman who took me under her wing. We went out to lunch the next day, and she was incredibly charming. Today, I got a text from one of the other mothers that said that "Christy" has hurt all of them and has no friends. That's why she was so immediately drawn to me. I was told to watch out.
Saturday, August 13, 2016

Parents need to set better example for kids
Friday, August 12, 2016

Employers treat cleaner like a second-class citizen
Thursday, August 11, 2016

Twins may be too inquisitive with strangers
Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Reader considers not attending friend's event
Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Father needs to spend more time with children
Monday, August 8, 2016

Reader lacking support for career goals
Saturday, August 6, 2016

Reader needs advice for son facing police
Friday, August 5, 2016

Reader doesn't want to take kids to visit brother in jail
Thursday, August 4, 2016

Reader watches over ex-fiancee's house
Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Recent graduate nervous about relocation
Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Teacher wants to follow passion for dance
Monday, August 1, 2016

Husband's phone calls worry reader
DEAR HARRIETTE: In the past few months, I've realized that my husband always has an excuse to be on the phone. He claims it's one of his relatives or the office calling, but I feel like this is too frequent to be work and family. I trust my husband to a degree, and I just want to get to the bottom of this. Is work really so stressful? Has he been trying to get a promotion? Could there be another woman? 
Saturday, July 30, 2016

Exercise is good for your brain as well as your heart
Friday, July 29, 2016

Friend's makeup scares off potential employers
Thursday, July 28, 2016

Reader wants son's camp to post more pictures
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Reader wants to maintain clutter-free home
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am currently downsizing my life after realizing I have too many things in my possession. I recently donated 10 bags of clothes, and I threw away at least 10 bags full of garbage -- and I live in just a one-bedroom apartment! 
Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Writing about death drains publication staff
Monday, July 25, 2016

Reader flipping out over son's safety
Saturday, July 23, 2016

Dad insists on talking business after work
Friday, July 22, 2016

Reader wants to connect with single brother
Thursday, July 21, 2016

Reader wants better connection with grandmother
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Reader resents being expected to cook
Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Catcalling employees must be stopped
Monday, July 18, 2016

Teen reader wants to make more money
Saturday, July 16, 2016

Teen reader wants to make more money
Friday, July 15, 2016

Stepsister should find her own source of employment
Thursday, July 14, 2016

Reader having trouble including new boyfriend
Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Reader wants to talk issues, not fads
Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Reader eager to connect with new co-workers
Monday, July 11, 2016

Dog acts up while reader is on vacation
Saturday, July 9, 2016

Reader refuses to stay in house with guns
Friday, July 8, 2016

Son's obsession with money worries reader
Thursday, July 7, 2016

Nontraditional wedding causes confusion
Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Friends do not value reader's books
Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Harriette shares Independence Day thoughts
Monday, July 4, 2016

Reader needs help with firing receptionist
DEAR HARRIETTE: I work at a small stone company. Recently, I've been noticing my receptionist has been slacking. She forgets appointments, doesn't answer every phone call and doesn't forward emails or calls. I know it is time to fire her, but I've never had to do this. I've held my position for only a year, and I don't know what to do. I read online that you can either tell the employee a white lie to make it easier or just be completely honest while firing someone. Should I let her down easy or tell her the truth? I don't want her to resent me forever. -- You're Fired, Memphis, Tennessee
Saturday, July 2, 2016

Reader wants to go on spontaneous dates with boyfriend
DEAR HARRIETTE: Going on dates with my boyfriend has turned into a chore. We always do the same dinner or same movie theater. I have suggested doing an active date, and he always wonders why we can't just get dinner instead. He doesn't want to go on dates that are out of his comfort zone. This can't be about money, because I could pay for rock climbing or kayaking. We could even make food and have a picnic in the park! 
Friday, July 1, 2016










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