Tag: Japan

How can I take better care of my belongings?

As we’re preparing to leave Japan after almost three months, getting ready to pack our bags, I find myself reflecting on the belongings we have with us, those we left behind, and the day we arrived in Osaka.

We got off the bus with our small backpacks and began walking down the road. Most people were struggling with heavy suitcases and multiple bags. As we continued on foot to a cheap restaurant where we could spend a few hours before our check-in, we passed a small trolley, probably belonging to a homeless person, impeccably organised. Expensive executive bags with specialty pockets and zippers and organising inserts would not come close to the precision with which the owner of this trolley had carefully stored their few possessions. An assortment of neatly stacked books. A row of well-organised toiletries.

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Want to start your own business?

If you’re in your 20s or 30s, chances are, you have thought of starting your own business. Almost 70% of Taiwanese employees between 21 and 40 want to set up their own businesses, and a University of Phoenix survey showed 63% of those in their 20s are either already or wanting to become business owners. Maybe digital nomads.

The lure of entrepreneurship appears correlated with age, possibly because those in their 20s have fewer responsibilities in the way of children or mortgages, they may have parents that are willing to financially support them, and they may deal better with the grueling hours required. I suggest, with the benefit of a couple of years’ experience, people in their 20s may also simply be less burned out by work. But Minda Zetin at Inc suggests that witnessing startup culture may be another important reason.

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Should you get another quote on your toothpaste?

When you’re forking out a lot for a one-off purchase it’s common sense to get a second quote. Maybe you’re about to have some new wardrobes installed. The first carpenter gives you a quote of $2,000 for the job. The next says they’ll build the wardrobes for $1,800. You feel pretty pleased with your $200 saving. But what about getting another quote on your toothpaste?

When it comes to everyday items, it’s less likely we’ll bother whipping out the calculator or opening up a spreadsheet. But using the same approach may be one of the simplest ways to save money without sacrificing your lifestyle.

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Why do women spend more on clothes?

“Fashion is a language that creates itself in clothes to interpret reality.”
Karl Lagerfeld

Some – such as fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld – view fashion as an art form. A mode of communication. A way of life.

In Britain, women spend an average of £28,350 ($35,400) on clothing compared to men’s spend of £16,200 ($20,230). Average spends on shoes are likewise are £8,100 ($10,100) for women, £4,725 ($5,900) for men.

There is a variety of reasons for this disparity. Women’s clothes are generally more expensive, and women buy more clothes. But why?

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What is the most efficient way to shop?

I’m a big believer in having goals, and having plans to reach those goals. But there are also times when sticking to a plan too rigidly, including when you shop, can actually cost you money, time, or other opportunities.

Menu planning can be a bit like this. Having a plan is great. If I shop when I’m hungry, and I don’t have a plan, I tend to buy whatever looks quick, easy and appealing – regardless of its cost or nutritional content!

But if you want next-level savings, it’s crucial to adapt your plans on the fly – and even to go shopping without a plan at all! Here’s how:

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Can you go back?

One of the things Japan is famous for is its fancy toilets. There are ‘washlets’ that wash and dry your nether regions for you, heated toilet seats (take it from me – you should not use these after coming inside from below freezing temperatures like I did once after skiing – you’ll feel like you’ve seared your rump off), and even the delightfully named 音姫 (‘Sound Princess’) which makes a noise to cover up any audible productions of your own in public restrooms.

As it turns out, these ‘super toilets’ may just be the perfect example of the kinds of financial compromises we are willing – and not so willing – to make when it comes to personal comfort.

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