esperanto http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7281/all en-US How much are memories worth? http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-are-memories-worth <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-much-are-memories-worth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/me-in-glasgow.jpg" alt="Philip Brewer on the bank of the river Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland" title="Philip Brewer on the bank of the river Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I get a particular negative jolt when I review a credit card bill and find a charge for something that&#39;s already over and done--a meal already eaten, a vacation already taken, a tank of gas already burned up. I&#39;m much happier paying a charge when I can pat the thing purchased and know that it&#39;ll be serving some useful purpose for years to come. Just recently, though, I&#39;ve found that I&#39;m beginning to have a little more appreciation for those purchases that are only memories before they&#39;re even paid for.</p> <p>Try this thought experiment: Imagine that all your property were destroyed in some disaster, but that you got a large check--replacement value for everything that was lost. How much of your property do you replace with exact duplicates?</p> <p>A lot of the most important stuff is irreplaceable: art work, antiques, mementos of things you&#39;ve done. You&#39;d replace it with an exact duplicate if you could--and might pay top-dollar to do so--but mostly they&#39;re just gone.</p> <p>A lot of the rest of it is stuff that you wouldn&#39;t bother replacing: that pair of old glasses that you could wear if you broke your current pair, those shoes that match the dress that doesn&#39;t fit anymore, that pot that you used to cook everything in before you married someone with really good pots. </p> <p>Most of the rest are just things you have to replace simply because you need something to serve the purpose: a bed, some chairs, a table. No need to duplicate what you had--maybe you&#39;d be better served by a bigger desk and a smaller car (or vice versa).</p> <p>For me, this thought experiment puts a different perspective on my preference for spending money on things that last. </p> <p>Sure, I&#39;m very pleased with the bicycle I bought in 1983 and that is still my main transportation vehicle when the weather is nice. Its cost-per-mile at this point is so low it&#39;s not worth calculating, and it&#39;s still in near-perfect condition--I fully expect it to go another 25 years. But it&#39;s an exception.</p> <p>Stuff that will last is great, but I&#39;ve tended to put too high of a premium on that category.</p> <p>Some of our best expenditures turn out to have been our vacations. We&#39;ve been to science fiction conventions in Toronto, Boston, and Glasgow. We&#39;ve been to Esperanto conventions in Berlin and New York. We spent a warm February week lazing about in Key West and a cool July week hiking around the coast of Wales. We took a cruise to Mexico.</p> <p>And it&#39;s not just vacations fall into this category: going to college, going to concerts and plays, watching movies or videos, hanging out with friends at the coffee shop or bar. These also are experiences that may cost some money, but that may well be worth far more than, for example, a really nice leather jacket that would last for years. </p> <p>For us, expenses of this sort have turned out to have provided some of the best value for the money we&#39;ve ever gotten. Further, in the little thought experiment up above--what would you replace if you lost everything--they wouldn&#39;t need to be replaced: they can&#39;t be lost.</p> <p>There are many reasons to to frugal--it&#39;s light on your wallet and light on the planet--but the most important is that it maximizes your freedom.</p> <p>One way it does that is by giving you more career options: The more frugal you are, the less pressed you are to choose the most remunerative career (and the less pressed you are to stick with a poor choice simply because change would be risky--the frugal person can bear risks that others can&#39;t).</p> <p>I was always in tune with that particular advantage of a frugal lifestyle. It&#39;s the one that motivates me most strongly.</p> <p>What I&#39;ve come to realize just recently, though, is that another advantage of a frugal lifestyle is that frugal people are free to spend the money they haven&#39;t sunk into <strong>stuff</strong> on <strong>experiences</strong> instead.</p> <p>There are plenty of things you can do cheap or for free. But don&#39;t let the fact that an experience doesn&#39;t leave you with a useful object make you feel bad about paying for it.</p> <p>Material purchases are about what you have. Experiential purchases are about who you are. After all, when people ask you about yourself, you don&#39;t tell them about your stuff; you tell them about what you&#39;ve done.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>On a personal note, I wanted to mention that this post marks my six-month anniversary of writing for Wise Bread. More by coincidence than plan, this is also my 100th post. I can&#39;t begin to tell you how much fun I&#39;ve had writing these pieces. It&#39;s high on my list of experiences worth remembering. The photo is of me on the bank of the river Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland, during WorldCon in 2005. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-are-memories-worth">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/making-the-most-of-your-guilty-pleasures">Making the most of your guilty pleasures</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/are-groupon-getaways-a-good-idea">Are Groupon Getaways a Good Idea?</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-off-your-air-conditioning">Turn Off Your Air Conditioning</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living esperanto experiential purchases frugality memories stuff vacation Fri, 11 Jan 2008 18:45:20 +0000 Philip Brewer 1619 at http://www.wisebread.com Cheap international payments with Esperanto http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-international-payments-with-esperanto <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cheap-international-payments-with-esperanto" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/euro-sculpture-frankfurt.jpg" alt="Euro sculpture in Frankfurt" title="Euro Sculpture in Frankfurt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For as long as there has been international trade, there has been a need to make international payments. To show up in person with gold or silver coins risked both your life and your wealth. Centuries ago--at least as far back as the early days of the silk road--this problem was solved with informal financial networks--networks that still serve the same functions today.</p> <p>One array of such networks, with its roots in the Middle East, is called &quot;hawala.&quot; If you wish to send some money to someone in another country, you can visit your local hawaladar and give him the sum in local currency. The local hawaladar contacts (by phone, fax, or email) another hawaladar who then delivers an equivalent sum to the recipient in his or her local currency. The hawaladars settle transactions between themselves in many different ways--netting out transactions going in the opposite direction, financing trade, and so on.</p> <p>Hawala transactions are quite cheap--much cheaper than international transactions using banks, especially for small sums.</p> <p>After the attacks of 9/11, there was considerable suspicion that hawala networks were used to finance terrorism. The resulting scrutiny failed to find much evidence of that (although considerable evidence that the networks were used to evade currency controls and to launder money).</p> <p>The hawala system depends on trust rooted in personal, family, ethnic, and cultural ties between individual brokers and their customers. Because of that, they can operate even where legal systems are poorly developed or unstable.</p> <p>Hawala systems operate today. But, because the basis of trust in the system springs from ethnic and cultural ties, they are less accessible to people who do not have the same cultural background. As it happens, though, there&#39;s a very similar system that depends not on ethnic ties, but rather on linguistic ones--the language of Esperanto.</p> <p>Early on after the creation of Esperanto, there were various efforts to create a means for international payments--because one of the first things people want to do once they can communicate with one another is to trade with one another.</p> <p>The big international Esperanto organization, the UEA (Universala Esperanto Asocio), automatically creates an account for each member. By sending money to their local or national Esperanto association, members can add money to their account. They can then transfer money to any other Esperantist in the world, simply by sending instructions (by letter or electronically) to the central office of the UEA. The account is maintained in euros, but payments can be made in any currency.</p> <p>Your local or national Esperanto organization may charge a fee (or take a percentage) when you put the money into your account, but once it&#39;s there, payments between members are free.</p> <p>The system is primarily used to buy books and magazines in Esperanto, to pay membership fees to Esperanto organizations, and to pay the costs of attending various Esperanto conferences, classes, and other events. But the system can be used to make payments for any purpose. You simply need to be a member of the UEA and be able to read and write Esperanto well enough to give the instructions and read the statements. (You can learn that much Esperanto in an hour.)</p> <h2>Details on personal accounts at UEA (in Esperanto)</h2> <p><a href="http://www.uea.org/agadoj/personaj_kontoj.html" title="http://www.uea.org/agadoj/personaj_kontoj.html">http://www.uea.org/agadoj/personaj_kontoj.html</a></p> <h2>Esperanto organizations in English-speaking countries</h2> <p>USA: <a href="http://www.esperanto-usa.org/" title="http://www.esperanto-usa.org/">http://www.esperanto-usa.org/</a><br />Great Britian: <a href="http://www.esperanto-gb.org/" title="http://www.esperanto-gb.org/">http://www.esperanto-gb.org/</a><br />Australia: <a href="http://aea.esperanto.org.au/" title="http://aea.esperanto.org.au/">http://aea.esperanto.org.au/</a><br />New Zealand: <a href="http://www.esperanto.org.nz/" title="http://www.esperanto.org.nz/">http://www.esperanto.org.nz/</a><br />Canada (in English): <a href="http://www.esperanto.ca/kea/" title="http://www.esperanto.ca/kea/">http://www.esperanto.ca/kea/</a><br />Canada (in French): <a href="http://www.esperanto.qc.ca/en" title="http://www.esperanto.qc.ca/en">http://www.esperanto.qc.ca/en</a></p> <h2>Learning Esperanto</h2> <p><a href="http://en.lernu.net/" title="http://en.lernu.net/">http://en.lernu.net/</a><br /><a href="http://esperanto.org/espviva/ev_en/utf-8/unik/index.html" title="http://esperanto.org/espviva/ev_en/utf-8/unik/index.html">http://esperanto.org/espviva/ev_en/utf-8/unik/index.html</a><br /><a href="http://esperanto-usa.org/?q=node/5" title="http://esperanto-usa.org/?q=node/5">http://esperanto-usa.org/?q=node/5</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-international-payments-with-esperanto">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-2"> <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/the-sinking-dollar">The sinking dollar</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-money-lessons-from-african-american-leaders">6 Money Lessons From African-American Leaders</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/5-things-to-remember-every-time-you-face-a-financial-failure">5 Things to Remember Every Time You Face a Financial Failure</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/5-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have">5 Money Conversations Every Couple Should Have</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/heres-how-a-spending-ban-can-help-and-hurt-you">Here&#039;s How a Spending Ban Can Help (and Hurt) You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance esperanto hawala international investing payment Thu, 06 Dec 2007 10:20:51 +0000 Philip Brewer 1469 at http://www.wisebread.com Frugal travel with Esperanto http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-travel-with-esperanto <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/frugal-travel-with-esperanto" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/above-edenburgh.jpg" alt="Above Edinburgh" title="Above Edinburgh" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="185" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Travel presents the classic conundrum: If you have the money you don't have the time, and if you have the time you don't have the money.</p> <p>You can travel on the cheap if you have friends or relatives that you can stay with. But even if you have some, they probably aren't all over the world, so your options are limited. Suppose, in addition to them, you had another twelve or thirteen hundred friends willing to give you a place to sleep? And suppose they lived in close to 100 different countries? Well, you very nearly do: The Passport Service.</p> <p>The Passport Service is a book with names and addresses of well over a thousand people (the number varies from year to year) willing to host international guests in their home for free. All you can count on is a place to sleep, but you're reasonably likely to also get a home cooked meal, some tips on places to see and things to do, and very possibly a local guide.</p> <p>There's a catch, though: the service is provided in Esperanto, and only Esperanto speakers are invited. Fortunately, Esperanto is really easy to learn. Anyone willing to study 30 or 40 minutes a day for a month or two can learn Esperanto well enough to use the Passport Service, even if they've never learned a second language before. It's not a spur-of-the-moment thing, but as I said at the start, this is an idea for people who find themselves in the &quot;time but no money&quot; category.</p> <h2>How it works</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/pasporta-servo-cover.jpg" alt="Pasporta Servo cover" title="Pasporta Servo cover" width="200" height="274" align="right" />The key item that you need is the Passport Service (<em>Pasporta Servo</em> in Esperanto) book. In it you'll find names and address with contact information for people willing to host Esperanto speakers for free. You can buy the book for about $25. Alternatively, you can get the book for free if you agree to list your own home in it.</p> <p>Hosts are allowed to set pretty much any conditions for guests that they want. A lot of hosts say no smokers. Many hosts only have room for one or two guests. Some hosts don't accept guests during certain months of the year. Many only allow guests to stay for one or a few nights. But many others open their homes with few or no restrictions--except that the guests speak Esperanto.</p> <p>Once you have the book, look through it for people who live in the places you want to visit. Use the contact information to inquire with the details of your planned trip. Some places may be unavailable, but most will be glad to have you. Repeat for as many places as you want to visit. Show up and get free places to sleep.</p> <p>A free place to sleep is all that's promised, but in fact, you get a lot more. The people who list their homes are people who want to make a connection with foreign travelers. They'll want to spend some time talking with you about your home and your trip. They'll also want to tell you about themselves and the place you're visiting. You might imagine that it would be difficult to have such a conversation in a language you've only been studying for a few weeks, but if you give it a try, you'll be surprised and pleased. Esperanto really is that easy to learn.</p> <h2>Details about pasporta servo</h2> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.tejo.org/eo/ps">Pasporta servo (in Esperanto)</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.tejo.org/eo/ps_lingv_en">Passport service (one page in English)</a></li> </ul> <h2>Esperanto organizations in English-speaking countries</h2> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.esperanto.net/">info in many languages</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.esperanto-usa.org/">Esperanto-USA</a> (their <a href="https://esperantousa.hypermart.net/butiko/butiko.cgi">on-line book service</a> sells <em>Pasporta Servo</em>)<a href="http://www.esperanto-usa.org/"><br /> </a></li> <li><a href="http://www.esperanto-gb.org/">Esperanto Association of Britain</a></li> <li><a href="http://aea.esperanto.org.au/">Australian Esperanto Association</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.esperanto.org.nz/">New Zealand Esperanto Association</a></li> </ul> <h2>Learning Esperanto</h2> <ul> <li><a href="http://esperanto-usa.org/?q=node/5">Ways to learn Esperanto</a></li> <li><a href="http://en.lernu.net/">Lernu.net</a></li> <li><a href="http://esperanto.org/espviva/ev_en/utf-8/unik/index.html">Esperanto Viva</a></li> </ul> <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%2Ffrugal-travel-with-esperanto&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FFrugal%20travel%20with%20Esperanto.jpg&amp;description=Frugal%20travel%20with%20Esperanto" 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/Frugal%20travel%20with%20Esperanto.jpg" alt="Frugal travel with Esperanto" 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/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-travel-with-esperanto">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-3"> <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-simple-ways-to-take-stunning-travel-photos">8 Simple Ways to Take Stunning Travel Photos</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/15-adventurous-things-you-should-do-before-you-die">15 Adventurous Things You Should Do Before You Die</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/become-a-frequent-flyer-master-and-earn-a-free-flight-every-year">Become a Frequent Flyer Master and Earn a Free Flight Every Year</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/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">A DIY Air Conditioner and 14 Other Cool Camping Hacks</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/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip">10 Things to Leave Behind During Your Midsummer Trip</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Travel esperanto Tue, 31 Jul 2007 18:05:11 +0000 Philip Brewer 924 at http://www.wisebread.com