Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Babysitter cheat sheet

Many people, when leaving their kids with a babysitter, will just scrawl their cellphone number down and leave it at that. Most of the time, of course, this is fine, but cellphone reception isn't perfect, and it's notoriously bad in many of the places that might require a babysitter (e.g. in movie theaters). For peace of mind, if nothing else, write out a babysitter cheat sheet and tape it to the inside of one of your kitchen cabinet doors. This should include, among other things, your address and home phone number. Remember, you know this, but in a pinch your babysitter might not. If you have neighbors nearby who would be likely to help in an emergency, include their names and phone numbers. And, of course, any special instructions such as food allergies.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Credit-card cleanup

An article over at Bankrate discusses closing credit cards. I've always had the habit of getting my credit-report periodically and closing all of the cards I rarely use. (This is even easier now that you can get your credit reports for free, which you should do anyway to check for accuracy.) It also discusses -- this part was new to me -- when you shouldn't close cards. Apparently lenders like to see a low ratio of debt to available credit, so having open cards with low balances is actually helpful to your credit scoring.