expensive http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3458/all en-US 4 Really Expensive Places to Spend Your Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/4-really-expensive-places-to-spend-your-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-really-expensive-places-to-spend-your-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beach_christmas_snowman_48436354.jpg" alt="Finding expensive places to spend your holidays" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With Christmas Day falling on a Sunday this year, most workers will get at least a three-day weekend. Many companies even shut down for the entire week from Christmas to Jan. 2, providing as many as 10 days off in a row. That makes this a better year than most to plan a holiday getaway.</p> <p>Unfortunately, you may not be the only one with that idea. Demand for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hotel-room-booking-tools-every-frugal-traveler-should-know">vacation rentals</a> and experiences during the holiday week drives prices up. And sure, you could find relative bargains in all the popular destinations, but just for fun, let's look at what it would cost to pass the holidays in the grandest of styles at the merriest of destinations.</p> <h2>1. Manhattan</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/manhattan_new_york_31052676.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>What could feel more like a classic American holiday than spending it in the city of <em>Miracle on 34th Street</em>, <em>Elf</em>, and <em>Scrooged</em>? If you spent Christmas week at the Ritz-Carlton on Central Park, you could walk to the Wollman Rink and to 5th Avenue to admire the shop windows, and stroll the Union Square Holiday Market. You could exchange gifts under the Ritz's gorgeous lobby tree.</p> <h3>What'll It Cost You?</h3> <p>For a week, more than $32,000. A <a href="http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/new-york/central-park/rooms-suites/premiere-suite">Premier Park Suite</a> at the Ritz-Carlton is $4,500 a night. Ice skating for four at the Wollman Rink is $100. Four orchestra tickets to the <a href="http://www.nyc.com/broadway_tickets/radio_city_christmas_spectacular.75774/">Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular</a> are $660. Four tickets to <a href="http://www.nyc.com/broadway_tickets/holiday_inn_the_new_irving_berlin_musical.1314383/">Holiday Inn</a> on Broadway are $800. A <a href="http://www.centralpark.com/guide/activities/horse-drawn-carriages.html">carriage ride</a> through Central Park is $140. Two deluxe photo packages at <a href="http://macys.com/santaland">Macy's Santaland</a> are $120. For shopping, restaurants, taxis, and entertainment? The sky's the limit.</p> <h2>2. Disney World</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/disney_world_florida76576235.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Any time that kids are out of school is a popular time to go to Disney World, sending both the price of lodging there and wait times through the roof. Special <a href="https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/magic-kingdom/mickeys-very-merry-christmas-party/">holiday shows, parties, and decorations</a> abound as Disney strives to present the happiest holidays, well, on earth.</p> <h3>What'll It Cost You?</h3> <p>More than $34,000. To stay in a Park View deluxe suite the Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort during the holiday week is <a href="https://reservations.fourseasons.com/choose-your-room?hotelCode=ORL354&amp;checkIn=2016-12-23&amp;checkOut=2016-12-30&amp;adults=2&amp;children=2&amp;promoCode=&amp;ratePlanCode=&amp;roomAmadeusCode=&amp;_charset_=UTF-8">$3,950 a night</a>. Add $450 for the <a href="http://disneyworld.disneyfloralandgifts.com/product/dreamingofadisneychristmaskit.do">Dreaming of a Disney Holiday</a> room package, which fills your suite with gifts and snacks from Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto. Five-day park hopper tickets for a family of four run about $1,700, and tickets to Mickey's Very merry Christmas Party add another $400. Because of the holiday crowds, consider engaging a <a href="https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/vip-tour-services/">VIP Tour Guide</a> for at least one day, at a cost of $3,600 for six hours, so you can skip lines and zip from park to park through secret entrances.</p> <h2>3. Courcheval 1850, France</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/skiing_mountains_snow_12320623.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>You could jet off to Vail for a holiday in powder, but why limit yourself when you could go to the Alps and perhaps find yourself hot-dogging alongside royalty?</p> <h3>What'll It Cost You?</h3> <p>More than $54,000. A five-bedroom chalet with a <em>private ski lift</em> at Courcheval 1850 goes for about <a href="http://www.lapogeecourchevel.com/eng/chalets/chalet-l_amarante/">$7,600 a night</a> during Christmas week. (If that's not big enough, there's a $12,000-a-night place there that sleeps 12 and comes with its own butler. Haven't you always wanted a butler?) Five days of skiing there for a family of four will be just over $1,000, which is actually quite reasonable.</p> <h2>4. Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/man_snorkel_ocean_81051433.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Not everyone dreams of a white Christmas. Some people dream of white caps hitting the shore as they sip cocktails out of pineapples and wear leis. For that kind of person, who is also independently wealthy or has a ton of SPG loyalty points, a stay at the Princeville St. Regis would be the perfect holiday sojourn. You can zip line and hike on the resort's 2,500 private acres, kayak the Hanalei River, swim in the pool and the ocean, and <a href="http://www.stregisprinceville.com/pdf/StRegisSnorkelandDiveMap.pdf">snorkel or dive</a> without leaving the resort.</p> <h3>What'll It Cost You?</h3> <p>More than $45,000. The 1,800 square foot Presidential Suite (yes, it comes with a personal butler) is just over $6,000 a night. Playing 18 holes on the resort golf course is $200 per guest. A 90-minute Bespoke Oceanside Couples Massage is $700. Stand-up paddleboard rentals are $160 per person for two days.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-really-expensive-places-to-spend-your-holidays&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%20Really%20Expensive%20Places%20to%20Spend%20Your%20Holidays.jpg&amp;description=4%20Really%20Expensive%20Places%20to%20Spend%20Your%20Holidays" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Really%20Expensive%20Places%20to%20Spend%20Your%20Holidays.jpg" alt="4 Really Expensive Places to Spend Your Holidays" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-really-expensive-places-to-spend-your-holidays">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-destinations-for-a-dreamy-winter-getaway">8 Frugal Destinations for a Dreamy Winter Getaway</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-luxe-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-in-winter">6 Luxe Travel Destinations That Are Cheaper in Winter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-save-the-most-during-a-hawaii-vacation">15 Ways to Save the Most During a Hawaii Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-worst-travel-values">The 7 Worst Travel Values</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-all-inclusive-vacations-and-cruises-worth-the-money">Are All-Inclusive Vacations and Cruises Worth the Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel alps Christmas destinations disney world expensive france hawaii Holidays manhattan new years new york city peak season vacation Tue, 08 Nov 2016 10:30:26 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1827230 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Scientific Reasons to Ditch the Luxury Brands http://www.wisebread.com/5-scientific-reasons-to-ditch-the-luxury-brands <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-scientific-reasons-to-ditch-the-luxury-brands" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young-woman-shopping-clothing-Dollarphotoclub_59172582.jpg" alt="young woman shopping" title="young woman shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Is it better to buy a Rolex than a Timex? What about buying a $50 bottle of wine instead of &quot;two-buck Chuck&quot;? They may be worse for your wallet, but buying these luxury items may actually mean you get <em>more</em> enjoyment from the product. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-little-words-that-will-get-you-the-best-price-every-time?ref=seealso">10 Little Words That Will Get You the Best Price Every Time</a>)</p> <p>Consider these five reasons the value of luxury is all in your head.</p> <h2>1. Your Brain Is Successfully Tricking You</h2> <p>For over 60 years marketers have recognized that the value of luxury is all in our heads. <a href="http://www.planetding.org/aboutme/files/PriceQuality.pdf">A 1949 article</a> noted a study where sales of women's pantyhose increased drastically when the retailer raised the price from $1.00 to $1.14, all because the higher price &quot;suggested higher value.&quot;</p> <p>So why is this the case? It turns out that increasing the price of the product actually changes the brain. According <a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/105/3/1050.full">to this study</a>, when a product's price goes up, it increases &quot;blood-oxygen-level-dependent activity in medial orbitofrontal cortex, an area that is widely thought to encode for experienced pleasantness during experiential tasks.&quot; So by purchasing a more expensive product, your brain physically changes and tells you that the product is better.</p> <h2>2. More Expensive Wine Tastes Better</h2> <p>Researchers <a href="http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/baba-shiv-how-wines-price-tag-affect-its-taste">did a study about wine</a> and found that more expensive wine tastes better. Subjects in the study tasted five different wines and were told they were being asked to rate the wine. The price of the wine was used to label the wine (instead of using A, B, C, D, E, for example). However, unbeknownst to the subjects, there were only three different wines, and two of them were tasted twice with one identified at a high price and one at a low price. For example, wine #2 was given to the same person, but it was labeled as both $90, its retail price, and as $10. What happened? The tasters rated the wine with the higher price as significantly better than the same wine priced cheaper.</p> <h2>3. A&nbsp;More Expensive Buffet Tastes Better Than a Cheap Buffet</h2> <p><a href="http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/OP/buffet_pricing">In a recent study</a> researchers examined what happened when about 140 diners ate at an Italian all-you-can-eat restaurant but paid different prices. The diners were charged either $4 or $8 for the lunch buffet of pizza, salad, breadsticks. They were then asked to rate how much they liked their food after they were done. After finishing, the diners rated their experience and people who paid the $8 price rated the buffet as being 11% better than those who paid just $4. And the amount people paid for the buffet didn't affect how much they ate.</p> <h2>4. We Have a &quot;You Get What You Pay for&quot; Mentality</h2> <p>How many times have you heard the phrase, &quot;you get what you pay for?&quot; You've probably even said this to yourself on occasions when you've purchased a cheaper option and had it break on you. Perhaps you bought a $1 flashlight instead of the $15 Maglite at the $1 flashlight broke on its first use? Or you went with the $2,000 company to paint your house instead of the $7,000 company and they missed part of the trim or didn't reinstall the gutters properly.</p> <p>In these cases you probably told yourself &quot;you got what you paid for.&quot; But you are far less likely to notice when the cheaper option works just as well. What's the problem with this? By ignoring all of the times when things go right (and the cheaper option works just as expected) and only noticing when things go wrong (that is, when the cheaper option breaks), you are cementing the idea into your brain that luxury priced items are better.</p> <h2>5. Even McDonalds Tastes Better With Different Presentation</h2> <p><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/23/pranksters-trick-foodies-mcdonalds_n_6035542.html">Two Dutch pranksters went to a food show</a>, cut up McDonald's food to make it look fancy, called it &quot;organic,&quot; and what was the result? Instead of realizing the food was McDonald's (and not something these foodies attending the show normally ate), they rated the the food &quot;fresh,&quot; &quot;rich,&quot; and &quot;delicious.&quot; Their perception that the food was extra high quality was based on looks rather the actual quality of the product.</p> <p>So what is the takeaway from all of this research? If luxury is all (or mostly) in your head, is that a bad thing or a good thing? If you're actually getting more enjoyment from something that you pay more for, this seems fair. But, is it wrong to charge more for the same product just so consumers value it more?</p> <p><em>Have you ever been tricked into placing more value on high-priced goods?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-scientific-reasons-to-ditch-the-luxury-brands">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-little-words-that-will-get-you-the-best-price-every-time">10 Little Words That Will Get You the Best Price, Every Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-when-youre-rich-dream-buys-that-arent-that-great">5 &quot;When You&#039;re Rich&quot; Dream Buys That Aren&#039;t That Great</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/learn-all-the-frugal-skills-you-need-with-these-9-great-video-tutorials">Learn All the Frugal Skills You Need With These 9 Great Video Tutorials</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/finding-balance-how-to-practice-moderation">Finding Balance: How to Practice Moderation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-pitfalls-when-moving-in-together">Avoid These 5 Pitfalls When Moving in Together</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Personal Development expensive luxury price quality value Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:00:08 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 1267187 at http://www.wisebread.com Why is it so expensive to be healthy? http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-it-so-expensive-to-be-healthy <p><img alt=" " width="299" height="145" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/obese.jpg" /></p> <p>Why are <a href="http://blogs.msdn.com/santoshz/archive/2004/08/17/215826.aspx">poor people in America so fat</a>? Would you believe that farm subsidies have something to do with it?</p> <p>Walmart is where lower income consumers come to shop. Why? Because you get the most bang for your buck. Walmart is also notorious for having the fattest customers. Why? It comes back to value - it turns out that unhealthiest food also gives you the most caloric bang for your buck.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about </strong></p> <p>I shop at a grocery store that borders on one of Seattle's ghettos. In case you are wondering, Seattle's ghettos are nothing compared to other urban ghettos. Meaning, you can safely walk through a Seattle ghetto. But that's where the majority of Seattle's urban poor live, and if you want to see food stamps in action, you should shop at my Safeway.</p> <p>Food stamps are no longer in stamp form in Washington State - people are given debit cards that are referred to as &quot;benefit cards&quot;. Benefits cards are usually easy to spot, if you are looking. But you don't have to look at a person's form of payment to know what social class they belong to - you need only look at their shopping cart, and their waistline. This is anecdotal, of course, but no doubt you've noticed this, too: poor people eat more crappy junk food than rich people.</p> <p>There's a tendency in America to equate poor nutrition and subsequent obesity with a lack of education. It's familar logic: the poor aren't educated enough to work, so they stay poor. Being uneducated means that they don't know that Doritos are bad for you. Or, if you look to what a lot of us secretly think, the poor are simply too dumb to eat salad, too simple to know that Twinkies do not make a healthy meal.*</p> <p><em>Why would someone who has so little money to spend go and spend it on packaged food?</em> we wonder to ourselves. <em>Don't they know what a waste of money it is to buy junk food?</em></p> <p>We <em>tsk tsk</em> them in our heads. We load up our carts with loose leaf lettuce and portabella mushrooms, thinking ourselves superior for knowing better. Once we get to the checkout counter and see the total cost of our veggies, though, we probably do end up thinking: <em>wow, it's really expensive to be healthy</em>.</p> <p>From the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/22/magazine/22wwlnlede.t.html?pagewanted=1&amp;ei=5070&amp;en=ca312b0c78998cd3&amp;ex=1178078400&amp;emc=eta1">NY Times</a> (via Consumerist):</p> <blockquote><p class="blockquote">As a rule, processed foods are more &ldquo;energy dense&rdquo; than fresh foods: they contain less water and fiber but more added fat and sugar, which makes them both less filling and more fattening. These particular calories also happen to be the least healthful ones in the marketplace, which is why we call the foods that contain them &ldquo;junk.&rdquo; Drewnowski concluded that the rules of the food game in America are organized in such a way that if you are eating on a budget, the most rational economic strategy is to eat badly &mdash; and get fat.</p> </blockquote> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Bang for your buck</strong></p> <p>It <strong>is</strong> <a href="http://www.cherp.research.med.va.gov/cherpdocs/issuebriefs/Policy%20Brief_Fall2005.pdf">expensive to eat well</a>, even if you are only buying raw veggies. The truth is that lower income shoppers, and other populations that live on junk food, are getting more calories per dollar than the rest of us. It's economically efficient, if <a href="http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5576/obesity_and_poverty_the_poorest_of.html?cat=51">tragically perverse</a>.</p> <p>The reason, as the New York Times article explains, has to do with the Farm Bill, which heavily subsidizes soybeans, corn, and wheat - three major ingredients, or sources, of many of the ingredients in junk food. The result?</p> <p class="blockquote">[T]he real price of fruits and vegetables between 1985 and 2000 increased by nearly 40 percent while the real price of soft drinks (aka liquid corn) declined by 23 percent. The reason the least healthful calories in the supermarket are the cheapest is that those are the ones the farm bill encourages farmers to grow.</p> <p>So even foods that are more processed, that require more labor to produce, cost less. The article goes on to explain the origins of the Farm Bill and the detrimental, albeit unintended, effect it is having on our population.</p> <p class="blockquote">The farm bill helps determine what sort of food your children will have for lunch in school tomorrow. The school-lunch program began at a time when the public-health problem of America&rsquo;s children was undernourishment, so feeding surplus agricultural commodities to kids seemed like a win-win strategy. Today the problem is overnutrition, but a school lunch lady trying to prepare healthful fresh food is apt to get dinged by U.S.D.A. inspectors for failing to serve enough calories; if she dishes up a lunch that includes chicken nuggets and Tater Tots, however, the inspector smiles and the reimbursements flow. The farm bill essentially treats our children as a human Disposall for all the unhealthful calories that the farm bill has encouraged American farmers to overproduce.</p> <p>Do click over and read the rest of the article. The author gives a good breakdown of calorie-per-dollar-spent between carrots and junk food.</p> <p>It ends on a hopeful note, claiming that the resurgence in organic farming and local produce, combined with consumer demands and the American ideal of a free market economy, may give us a chance to reclaim our farming heritage and our health. I'm not sure that I'm so optimistic about our chances for revamping what seems like extremely complicated and pork-filled legislation.</p> <p><em>(Picture by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/cgp314/"><em>Colin Palmer</em></a><em>)</em></p> <p>*Because so many people keep reading this sentence and thinking that I actually believe that the poor are dumb, I'd like to point out that the sentence is meant to generalize about the way that many wealthy Americans think about the poor, NOT THE WAY THAT I FEEL ABOUT THE POOR. My god, people, do you really think a web site dedicated to helping readers learn how to save money would feature a writer who loathes the poor? GET A GRIP. And for the record, I'm pretty fat myself, so it's not like I'm making fun of anyone for eating badly.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-it-so-expensive-to-be-healthy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-eating-these-6-things-your-diet-is-doing-nothing">If You&#039;re Eating These 6 Things, Your &quot;Diet&quot; Is Doing Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-there-be-a-fat-tax-on-junk-food">Should There Be a &quot;Fat Tax&quot; on Junk Food?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-cheap-food">The High Cost of Cheap Food</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-smarter">7 Foods Scientifically Proven to Make You Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-that-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness">7 Foods That Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty calories corn coupons expensive farm bill free market government subsidies health food junk food soy vegetables Tue, 24 Apr 2007 18:53:46 +0000 Andrea Karim 555 at http://www.wisebread.com The best things in life are (more or less) free http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-things-in-life-are-more-or-less-free <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/pinkflowers2.jpg" alt="pink flowers" title="pink flowers" width="400" height="291" /></p> <p>Now, at the risk of sounding like a great big softy, I have to share a moment that I experienced recently that reminded me of the real value of money and the place I want it to have in my life.</p> <p>Over the weekend, I was driving around Queen Anne hill in Seattle, trying to find a place that I plan on volunteering at in the near future. Seattle is a nice city, but it is mostly made up of dead-end one-way streets and a couple major highways, patrolled largely by small women with small cell phones in large SUVs who seem unaware that anyone else could possibly occupy part of the road as well.</p> <p>As usual, I was lost. I wasn&#39;t aided by the fact that someone had found it hilarious to turn some of the street signs around so that I was driving in a windy circle, believing mistakenly that I was somehow repeatedly passing my location, which was, in fact, several blocks away.</p> <p>In desperation, I made a sudden right turn onto a street that looked promising. Dead end. I pulled back out onto the street, made a right, and another right. Dead end.</p> <p>I believe that my response was to scream some obscenities. I pulled over, trying to calm my nerves. I had exactly 10 minutes to get where I was going, and I was pretty sure that half of that would be occupied finding parking.</p> <p>When I looked up, I realized that I had pulled onto what had to be the loveliest street in all of Seattle.</p> <p>This is my favorite time of year. I&#39;ve fortunately outgrown my <a href="/8-top-ways-to-care-for-your-allergies-without-damaging-the-budget">allergies to pollen</a>, so spring doesn&#39;t affect me badly the way it used to. I&#39;m enjoying the warmer weather and blooming bulbs, the way the grass, dormant for so long, grows a couple of inches overnight and smells so green in the early morning. But my favorite things in the world are the blossoming flowers.</p> <p>Seattle has a lot of cherry trees. We have a longstanding relationship with Japan, so all over the city, you&#39;ll find trees that are gifts from various Japanese sister cities or governments. People grow them in their yards, too, of course.</p> <p>The street that I pulled over on was lined with cherry trees. Those little strips of grass and yard that are located in front of homes,but separate from the front yard, between the sidewalk and the street? I don&#39;t even know what they&#39;re called. These little strips were covered, from one end of the small street to the other, with flowering pink trees. The trees had been blooming for a week or so, so the blossoms were just beginning to fall. So the entire street was carpeted in tiny, delicate pink petals.</p> <p>I opened my window, turned off the car, and leaned back to breathe and relax. The air was sweet and honey-like, with a touch of spice from some nearby cottonwoods that were just beginning to sprout moist, chartreuse leaf buds. It was as though all my responsibilities simply fell away, all my obligations and worries and frustrations, which are many.</p> <p>Most of the best and happiest moments of my life have been with my family. This was the best of my solitary moments, the most Zen-like time I had allowed myself in a very long time. </p> <p>I started give myself one of those &quot;best things in life are free&quot; lectures, but I realized that money allowed me to be where I was (and not working), and money allowed me to have my small car that nearly gets creamed by SUVs. Money allows me to live in the city so that I don&#39;t have to drive very far to get frustrated and pull off onto a beautiful cul de sac where the air was fresh and sweet and the parking was plentiful. Money bought those trees. I don&#39;t mean to seem cynical or jaded, but I&#39;m certainly not naive enough to believe that money isn&#39;t a deep and integral part of so much of what we do and see and want and love.</p> <p>But money didn&#39;t make those trees bloom. I&#39;m not religious, so I didn&#39;t thank any higher power for my moment of Zen, but I feel grateful for it. For having experienced it then, and for being able to remember its power weeks later, stuck in traffic on I-5, occasionally dodging SUVs, driven by small women, talking on small cell phones.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-things-in-life-are-more-or-less-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-wealthy-are-you-beyond-your-bank-account">How Wealthy Are You Beyond Your Bank Account?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dissecting-gift-guilt-when-does-receiving-a-gift-make-you-feel-bad">Dissecting &quot;Gift Guilt&quot; - When Does Receiving a Gift Make You Feel Bad?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sensible-ways-to-raise-cash-for-a-wedding">Sensible Ways to Raise Cash for a Wedding</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle expensive flowers free life money nature spring walking Fri, 06 Apr 2007 01:44:48 +0000 Andrea Karim 463 at http://www.wisebread.com