Dear Readers: The slower pace of summer allows us time to reflect on what we’ve achieved so far this year, and what GOALS we can still set.
One way to look ahead is to create a dream or vision board. This is a collection of clippings from magazines and newspapers of motivating pictures and words and phrases, along with tangible samples (your friend’s subway ticket from New York City, or a concert ticket, postcard, keychain or refrigerator magnet, for example), which are adhered to a poster board that is typically displayed in your office or bedroom. 

Visualizing your goals can help you focus on them. A fun way to get started? Host a party; get some magazines together, several pairs of scissors, some poster board and rubber cement. Add delicious cheese and wine, set some GOALS and then make them happen. - Heloise
P.S. Don’t focus on one subject, like travel; cast a wider net: career, family and personal achievement.


Dear Heloise: I had a card payment due on the ninth; that was a Sunday. I assumed I could make the payment on Monday. Wrong! I incurred a late fee. 

I contacted the company on its website’s live chat and explained my situation. The representative could not have been nicer. 
He waived the fee (happy customer!), but let me know that the payment is required by midnight Eastern Time on the due date (regardless of the day of the week that it lands on) in order for it to be considered on time. - Julie W., New Braunfels, Texas
Companies may have different policies on Sunday payments; glad your situation worked out well! You also can set up automatic bill payments with the company, or through your bank. - Heloise


Dear Heloise: Possibly the greatest cellphone and tablet accessory ever: The gooseneck phone or tablet holder. This thing is incredible. 
It clamps on to a wooden armrest or bookshelf, and it has an adjustable, flexible gooseneck that grabs and holds on to your device. 
You can sit on the couch or bed and adjust the holder to exactly where you want it to be, and watch a video or comfortably chat on the phone, hands-free - I love it! And they are cheap (less than $20). No more cellphone elbow or text neck! - Johnny T. in Ohio


Dear Heloise: What’s the difference between the words “elicit” and “illicit”? They sound similar. - James J. in Houston
James, good ear! These words are called homophones, because they sound so similar, but they have different meanings.
“Elicit “is a verb, meaning to draw out: The comedian is trying to elicit laughter from his audience.
“Illicit” is an adjective, meaning illegal or forbidden: She could be arrested for selling illicit copies of those books. - Heloise

Traveling on the card

Dear Heloise: There’s no shortage of CREDIT CARD companies offering rewards if you sign up for their card. I know it can be confusing, but if you plan to travel, chances are you’ll need a credit card or two. Pick one that offers you free points for airfare, hotels or car rentals, or just plain cash. Please remember that there is no “perfect card,” but there might be a card that’s perfect for what YOU need. 

Many cards offer a point for every dollar spent, but some offer two or three times the points for travel, dining at restaurants or booking with certain airlines. Some cards offer a “sign-up bonus,” but only after you’ve reached a spending minimum. 
Look for cards that have a low annual fee and NO foreign transaction fees. Do not sign up for a bunch of credit cards - just a couple that suit your needs. Otherwise you might damage your credit rating. - Sydney M. in New York


Dear Heloise: According to the Federal Trade Commission, imposter scams are on the rise. Someone may call impersonating an official from the IRS, Social Security or some other federal agency and demand payment. Many times, they use threats of fines or imprisonment if you don’t pay right then, and they often request a wire transfer or a prepaid card. Say, “NO!” then hang up on them. Report all fraud of this kind to the FTC at online. - Albert H. in Florida


Dear Heloise: My kids often get scrapes and scratches outside while playing, so I usually clean the area and cover with an adhesive bandage. The problem comes when I remove the bandage. To make it easier on all of us, I wait until bath time, and the water soaks the bandage off without any fuss. - Glenda D., Carlsbad, N.M.


Dear Heloise: When you plant a rosebush or even a single cutting from a rosebush, always put a banana peel about 1 inch from the root area to stimulate the growth of the rosebush. This actually feeds the plant and helps it by providing the potassium it needs. - Caylee P., Portland, Ore.

(c)2019 by King Features Syndicate Inc.