Why You Don’t Always Need To Complain About Price Increases

My wife alerted me of a price increase for a regular purchase.  She pointed out that our annual zoo membership would be going up to $99.  Previously, we paid $79.  At first, I was a little taken aback. After all, that’s nearly a 25% increase.  But then I started doing some math.  Within a few minutes I was fine with the increase.  See, I don’t complain about price increases every time.  Only when it’s justified! 🙂

Zoo Membership Is Still A Good Deal

A couple of years ago, I calculated the break even point for the zoo.  At the time, the family membership was $79.  A trip for our family of four would cost $53 without a membership.  This meant that on our second trip, we would be saving money.

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Greed Or Smart? Disney Overnight Parking Will No Longer Be Free

We are just a couple of weeks away from our family spring vacation.  Part of it will be spent at Disney World.  We did a family vacation a few years ago at Disney World, and had a blast.  We wanted one more experience while the kids are still charged at lower rates.  With our vacation coming up, we’ve been following all things Disney related.  Last week a big announcement came in that Disney overnight parking will no longer be free.

The Old Policy

Previously, if you were staying at a Disney resort, overnight parking was free.  This was a nice perk, presumably to make their resorts more attractive than surrounding hotels.  But, they announced that soon, there will be a daily fee between $13-$24 depending on the resort.

Bummer.

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Ramona Books And Others I Loved As A Kid

I’ve written several times how much I love to read.  The thing is, I’ve loved to read since I could.  So, now that my kids are of reading age, I’ve gone back to remember some of my favorites.  These are some of the books I remember that I loved as a kid.  As you can see, I’m even trying to pass along my love of these great books.

Ramona Books (Or Anything By Beverly Cleary)

Probably some of my favorite books are of Ramona Quimby.  She was the star of a series of books featuring a rambunctious, misunderstood little girl, and the series of many adventures.  I read these books over and over again.  They made me laugh and I got a lot of the feelings that she expressed as a kid.  These books are timeless.  I’m now enjoying reading these to my daughter.  She looks forward to our reading time and brings these to me!

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How We Level Out Monthly Expenses

Bills you pay every month require budgeting and tracking.  However, some bills flucuate in costs or even frequency.  We’ve developed a system where I allocate and track these expenses.  It works because we use a spreadsheet.  But, it comes in handy because we never miss a bill. Nor do we come up short on paying recurring expenses.  Here’s how we level out monthly expenses.

Types of Expenses

First, it’s helpful to determine what the expenses are that we level out.  Some of the obvious ones include:

  • Utility Bills
  • Insurance Premiums
  • License Tab Renewals
  • Auto Club Membership Fees
  • Charitable Donations

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Tips for Buying Long Term Care Insurance

As we age, we start to think about our future and what it will look like. How much do we want to have saved for retirement? Where do we plan to live and will we have family around for support? On top of that is the financial stress of making sure you can afford everything once you retire.

The price for living seems to go up year by year, making it difficult for some to cover all the costs. Throw in a serious illness or disability in which you can no longer care for yourself, and the costs are even higher.

Luckily there is long term care insurance that can help cover some of those costs. This type of insurance provides coverage for someone who needs services like assisted living, nursing homes or in-home care.

How do you know if you will need this type of insurance? Well, as for other forms of protection, like health and life insurance, you never really know if you will use it. However, if the time comes you do need it, you will be glad you have coverage.

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Why Are Michigan Roads So Bad? 10 Things To Know

The past month has seen roads in Michigan deteriorate to never before seen conditions.  Potholes and cracks are everywhere.  The freeze and thaw cycle has been especially bad this year, turning many roads to near gravel. But, Michigan isn’t the only state with this weather.  So, why are the roads so bad?  The answer isn’t as simple as any one thing.  Here are ten things to know about why Michigan roads are so bad.

Taxes and Spending

  1. Michigan drivers pay a lot in fuel taxes.  Michigan is one of the top five states in terms of taxes collected at the pump.  This infuriates a lot of drivers.  Common sense tells you that higher taxes should mean better roads.  Unfortunately it doesn’t work out that way.  So why?
  2. Michigan doesn’t allocate sales tax at the pump to roads. Most states assign all taxes collected at the pump toward roads.  Michigan only allocates the fuel taxes specifically toward roads.  The sales tax portion goes to the general fund.  This means our spending levels are among the lowest in the nation per capita.
  3. Voters said no when given a chance to correct this.  A few years, it was put before voters to allocate the sales tax on gas toward roads.  This would have infused a ton more money into the roads.  But, it required an increase in the sales tax rate, which required it be put before voters.  They said no.  I wonder how many regret this decision now.

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Guess Which Replacement Fitbit I Got?

Going to the water park for the kids mid-winter break has become a tradition.  This year we went to Kalahari instead of Great Wolf Lodge.  Both are in Sandusky.  But that’s a post for another time.  This year, unfortunately, I lost my Fitbit.  My band broke, and I stuck it in my pocket.  A couple of hours later, I went to check it, and the Fitbit was gone.  The band was still there, but the Fitbit must have slipped out.  So what replacement Fitbit did I choose?

The O.G. Fitbit Flex

I got my Fitbit in 2014.  I picked the Flex.  At the time, it went for $100 and was pretty cool.  Of course, now it’s pretty basic compared to what they have.  I call it the O.G. which stands for Original Gangster, and is a slang term for something once cool that’s now a throwback.

While it sucked to lose my Fitbit, it gave me an opportunity to consider what I wanted to do.

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