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Old 08-11-2014, 08:01 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby View Post
We're taking our first driving vacation this coming week. A few hours north and west, along with a couple of hotel night stays. Lots to see in the area, but nothing that would rate anywhere near an "E" ticket ride at Disney. (Let's see how many people remember that!)
I don't remember "E" tickets at Disney- not a fan of Disney, but I assume that was back before they instituted a single park entry fee for all rides.

DH and I have gradually gone back to car travel as I got more vacation days and that will increase now that I'm retired. Finally, getting there WILL be half the fun!

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Old 08-11-2014, 09:34 AM   #62
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
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Location: Bay Area
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IMO, if materials bring happy experience, that counts. Listening to music on an high end system brings additional musical experience that can't be experienced otherwise. Ditto for watching a 3D movie on 4k UHD TV. In these cases, I am buying long term happy experience and the one time big money I spend pays for itself over time.

As I get wiser over time (disputable, I know), I've learned to spend money on materials things that will bring happiness over and over again. It does not have to be expensive, like a rocking chair. OTOH, it can be expensive and be enjoyed for a long time, e.g, my high end audio system is in its 12th year in my living room. It certainly isn't "expensive" if you divide the amount of happiness by time you had it. Ditto for house, and other "expensive" items that keeps on paying off.

Then there are items you buy, cheap or expensive, that gives one time gratification and be forgotten the next day. I do much better avoiding them these days.

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Old 08-11-2014, 11:54 AM   #63
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I buy annual memberships in museums and gardens that belong to NARM, AHA and ASTC for ~$200 a year total, and that gets us into many of the major gardens and museums in our local area (plus the rest of the US if we travel) for free. Combined with library passes we can visit places like the Academy of Science, the Legion of Honor, the de Young museum, the state railroad museum, Asian Art museum, Chabot planetarium, the Oakland Zoo, the Exploratorium, tour the Hornet, see plays and much more all for just for the $200 membership costs. Plus our area has a lot of public parks, lakes, hobby clubs, meetup groups, beaches, bike trails, rivers for gold panning, public archery ranges, comedy shows, park events and gardens that are free or low cost.

So for under $200 in annual membership fees, a public library card, the cost of picnic lunches, plus gas are all we would really have to pay for what to us are pretty fun experiences for the year. The past year I received a garden membership with NARM and AHA privileges for a Christmas gift and I bought a planetarium membership with ASTC privileges for $39 with a half off Groupon offer and a $10 referral coupon.

For restaurants we usually eat out at lunch when prices are lower with a buy one get one free coupon from Entertainment books bought on sale, so that doesn't cost much more than eating at home.

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