Living http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9055/all en-US The Benefits of a Walkable Neighborhood http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-a-walkable-neighborhood <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-benefits-of-a-walkable-neighborhood" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/walking_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="240" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I lived in Honolulu, Hawaii, I walked practically everywhere because my family did not have a car. The grocery store was a block away, and the beach was less than a mile south. Nearly everything we needed was within walking distance because Honolulu is a fairly densely populated city. Before my family moved to California, we heard from my aunt that not having a car in California is like not having legs because you have to drive almost everywhere. Unfortunately, this is certainly true in the exurbs of Southern California and many suburbs in the Bay Area. As a result, we now drive almost everywhere.</p> <p>I think there are quite a few benefits to live in a highly walkable neighborhood. One obvious reason is that you can save quite a bit of money and time on transportation. When I visited my inlaws in Southern California last winter, I felt like we spent hours and hours inside of cars. Most of the trips were small errands like going to the grocery store or getting lunch, but they seemed to take a very long time. When I told an aunt that my commute to work each day is 9 miles each way she said to me, &quot;That&#39;s not a commute! That&#39;s going to the grocery store!&quot; Understandably, it does not make sense to walk when the nearest grocer is so far away, but the cost of driving so much really adds up especially when gas is topping $4.50 a gallon here in California.</p> <p>Another great reason for living in a walkable neighborhood is that it encourages you to exercise. Walking is an exercise that burns a lot of fat calories, and doing it on a daily basis really increases your fitness. When you walk for things you need like groceries or food then it does not feel like mandatory exercise.</p> <p>The problem with highly dense walkable neighborhoods is that the real estate could be very expensive. For example, New York is very walkable, but rent is extremely high. In Southern California, Los Angeles has countless suburbs and exurbs sprawled out that could be reached by hours of driving because people drove until they could afford something. However, with the rapidly rising transportation costs, it may not make sense to live so far from daily necessities anymore. Nevertheless, the expensive real estate in these highly walkable areas is a benefit to landlords who are able to retain their real estate value and high rents. So if you do consider purchasing real estate, it may be to your advantage to consider how walkable the neighborhood is.  </p> <p>Finally, a great tool to determine the walkability of your neighborhood is available at <a href="http://walkscore.com">Walkscore</a> . This site lets you input an address and shows you the closest stores and restaurants around you. Apparently my current address has a Walkscore of 65 out of 100, and there are restaurants and groceries less than a quarter mile away. My husband and I have walked to the grocery store a few times when we just needed small things, and  we will do it more. Hopefully when we move we will go to a place that is more walking friendly so that we can use our cars as little as possible.</p> <p>How about you? Are you able to walk everywhere? Do you enjoy it? </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-a-walkable-neighborhood">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/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</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/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</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/are-you-wasting-68000-on-gas">Are You Wasting $68,000 on Gas?</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you">This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Cars and Transportation Real Estate and Housing Travel gas Living real estate walking Tue, 10 Jun 2008 20:23:47 +0000 Xin Lu 2165 at http://www.wisebread.com Need To Lose Some Weight? Put Some Money On It! http://www.wisebread.com/need-to-lose-some-weight-put-some-money-on-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/need-to-lose-some-weight-put-some-money-on-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fatboy.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="374" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Recently I wrote about <a href="http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/05/31/incentives-for-me-to-lose-weight/" target="_blank">the incentive my husband gave me to lose some weight</a> . Basically he is willing to forgo half of his entertainment budget if I lose the fat I gained post college. A commenter pointed me at a website called <a href="http://stickk.com/faq.php">stickK.com</a> which lets you put money on your goals, and I thought it was a pretty interesting concept.</p> <p>Basically, <a href="http://stickk.com/faq.php">stickK.com</a> lets you draft up a Commitment Contract with yourself and put money on it. If you fulfill your part of the deal, then the money is returned to you. However, if you fail to deliver on the contract then the money is forfeited to an organization or a person of your choice.</p> <p>To make things more interesting, you can designate the money to a person or an organization you hate with a passion. So if you do not reach your personal goals your foes will benefit. I think this may be more motivating than receiving money.</p> <p>To keep yourself accountable, you could also designate a referee to monitor your progress. If your referee reports that you failed, then your money is forfeited. A good referee would be someone that knows you personally.</p> <p>For example, I could make a contract with myself to lose 15 pounds by the end of the year and stake $1000 on it. Then I could designate the money to my husband&#39;s entertainment fund in case I fail. In order to avoid losing all the money to a gleeful shopping spree for games by my husband, I would probably work harder at losing the weight.</p> <p>I think anyone could implement this with or without stickK, but having a third party does help you from reneging on a promise. Have you ever staked money on completing a goal? Did it work?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/need-to-lose-some-weight-put-some-money-on-it">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-10"> <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-7-most-calorie-burning-breakfasts">The 7 Most Calorie-Burning Breakfasts</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/imagine-eating-to-lose-weight-and-save-money">Imagine Eating to Lose Weight (and Save Money)</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/which-workout-foods-are-actually-worth-the-money">Which Workout Foods Are Actually Worth the 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/25-healthy-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Healthy Changes You Can Make Today</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/the-5-best-exercise-mats">The 5 Best Exercise Mats</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Health and Beauty Lifestyle Productivity dieting goals Living losing weight stickk Wed, 04 Jun 2008 01:22:33 +0000 Xin Lu 2144 at http://www.wisebread.com The Bailbondsman Approach: Why Some Of Us Stay Broke http://www.wisebread.com/the-bailbondsman-approach-why-some-of-us-stay-broke <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-bailbondsman-approach-why-some-of-us-stay-broke" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Government Bail Out.jpg" alt="" title="She&#039;ll Come Get Me If I lose All My Moooonay!" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="130" height="87" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I  knew I was wrong but it didn&#39;t help me knowing it. I was screwed, royally flushed. On a hot summer&#39;s day I was flying down I-55 from Missouri to Chicago and rapidly running out of gas. It was a metaphor, a symbol, an exemplification, a simile of my trifling and irresponsible nature. When you run up your Texaco card buying chips and soda this is what happens. Did I mention it was hot, my shirt stuck to my back. It didn&#39;t help that my &#39;94 Jeep Wrangler was weighed down with all my personal possessions. Even Gospels songs didn&#39;t help. Wailing like a downtrodden slave could not stop science, gravity, rapidly dissolving petroleum in liquid form. Pulled off the road and......</p> <p> I&#39;ll save that for later, suffice to say I had no money and I was about 60 plus miles away from my mom&#39;s house where I would post up for a few weeks before moving to Baltimore for my first gig. After several rebuffs and a resolution to finally call my folks and tell them to come some 65 miles to give me some money for gas, I got lucky, fortunate blessed. I pulled into a restaurant and a middle-aged white woman -- who from the perspective of a young black man in downstate Illinois seemed like the type to call the police on me -- asked me, without me even appealing to her, how much I need to get home -- a stranger to my rescue. I told her $10, she gave me $15 and now I&#39;m able to blog for you, instead of walking down an Illinois road for the last 10 years, next month actually.</p> <p>Like then and now, I am the American consumer, living above my means, thinking I can get by, by getting by, borrowing, wandering. I thought of the Good Table story - that was the name of the restaurant where I met the nice white lady - when reading about the $30 billion bailout of Bear Stearns by the Federal Reserve and the proposed $18 billion to $20 billion bailout of borrowers, some of whom, like me, ran up their metaphoric Texaco cards and left their apartment with no money, knowing it was impossible to get where they were going. </p> <p>Here&#39;s a little commentary on the subject from another nice white lady and two other guys you might know. BTW, thank you comment guy for taking me back to church. </p> <p>&#39;If the Fed can extend $30 billion to help Bear Stearns address their financial crisis,&quot; Hillary Rodham Clinton argued, &quot;the federal government should provide at least that much emergency help to families and communities to address theirs.&quot; </p> <p>Billy? Could you do the honors? </p> <p>&quot;Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, <br />And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day. Thou canst not then be false to any man,&quot; said William Shakespeare.</p> <p>Mr. Proverbs? </p> <p>&quot;The borrower is servent to the lender,&quot; said King Solomon some 2500 years ago.</p> <p>As much as I&#39;m in love with Hillary, I&#39;m gonna go with Shakey and the wise king on this one and assert that building habits of borrowing from Mama, Daddy -- Not to mention Gus the shady mortgage broker, and Uncle Sam to buy Uncle Bens and gas from Uncle Dick Cheney and his boys at Halliburton and ExxonMobil -- is what put America into a credit crunch in the first place and is what had me out there on the highway like Michael Landon.</p> <p>This is a personal lesson, I&#39;m still learning and that America needs to learn quick. If you can&#39;t reasonably afford it, don&#39;t buy it and don&#39;t be a spendthrift under the proviso that you can just pull into your version of the Good Table Diner on I-55 or call your folks or sing a sad song to a creditor to weasel out of paying.</p> <p>Message: Be responsible with your money, make better choices.</p> <p>Now, anybody got some gas money I could hold? Just a lil&#39; sumpin, sumpin.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jabulani-leffall">Jabulani Leffall</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-bailbondsman-approach-why-some-of-us-stay-broke">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/a-champion-of-savings-over-spending">A champion of savings over spending</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-your-financial-habits-just-bad">Are Your Financial Habits Just 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/how-does-the-fannie-mae-and-freddie-mac-bailout-affect-you">How does the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailout affect you?</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-only-6-rules-of-frugal-living-you-need-to-know">The Only 6 Rules of Frugal Living You Need to Know</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/how-to-erase-your-medical-debt">How to Erase Your Medical Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Debt Management Family Borrower debt Living money savings rate Sells spending spendthrift Sat, 05 Apr 2008 02:08:38 +0000 Jabulani Leffall 1979 at http://www.wisebread.com