smart spending

6 ways conventional wisdom wastes money

Lavish vacations beat simpler ones
6 of 8

People love to take vacations. But airfare, hotels, restaurant meals and activities can suck up money like a vacuum cleaner set on high.

Vacations don't have to be lavish. Consider skipping a trip to Paris and instead camping somewhere within your state's borders or visiting a friend in a nearby city. Travel time will be shortened, and your wallet will thank you.

How about skipping the trip altogether, and really saving cash? Karp and Flanagan offer good reasons for making room for a bare-bones vacation in your budget.

"Academic studies show time and again, and they all confirm each other, that people are much happier buying experiences than buying more stuff," Karp says. "And the reason is that experiences actually improve with time, like a fine wine."

Flanagan agrees. She says her family decided to travel for Christmas and Hanukkah instead of exchanging gifts.

"And so we don't have any sweaters or socks to show for the holidays," she says, "But we have all these great pictures of all these people in all these great places -- and everybody looking pretty happy."




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