budget

Of umbrellas and back scratchers… DIY selfie sticks that don’t cost a penny!

All right hands up, how many of you own selfie sticks? And how many of you ever entertained the idea of getting one of those sticks-of-the-moment, but eventually decided that you would rather spend ten dollars on a meal than a stick that enables you to take self-portraits from a distance greater than the length of your own arm?

If you fall into the latter group, here are some fantastic examples of budget DIY selfie sticks that would set you back just two dollars or less!

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Cost Performance Specialist Sato shows us how to get high fashion at low, low prices

Like much of the world, Japan is home to dozens of fashion brands like Uniqlo, GAP, and H&M, which offer high-quality clothes at low prices. It has come to the point that some refer to Uniqlo items as the “nation’s uniform” because of their ubiquity.

With all these big-name retailers saturating the market with their similar brands, how is a true individual supposed to express themselves? Of course there are one-of-a-kind boutiques, but those are way out of the average guy’s price range.

This is where our resident money expert Mr. Sato comes in. He’s known as “Cost Performer Sato,” or as he prefers “Cospa Sato,” because it’s a far more efficient name. He’s here to teach us about a secret shop which can be found in any one of your neighbourhoods and offers unique fashions at highly affordable prices, and look fabulous while doing so.

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Would you date a girl dressed head to toe in Uniqlo? 76% of men say “of course!”

Uniqlo, the hugely popular Japanese chain store that stocks a variety of simple, practical and affordable clothing, has expanded into a world-wide venture, with stores in Singapore, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, France, Russia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and, well, you get the picture. In the West in particular, Uniqlo has a pretty cool image thanks to its simple, pared-down designs and celebrity approval (for example, Pharrell Williams designed a range for them in April 2014), so it might surprise some of you to hear that there are people in Japan who tend to be a bit snobby about Uniqlo, looking down on its regular clientele for lacking in fashion sense.

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Chinese city questions $32,000 budget for cops getting three haircuts a month

How many times a month does a police officer need to get their hair cut? That is the debate going on in the southern Chinese city of Shenzen after authorities found out that local cops there had budgeted nearly two million RMB (US$32,000) over a two-year period to have each of its more than 2,000 police officers have three haircuts a month.

While city authorities are questioning the necessity of the cops’ excessive visits to the barber, local citizens are outraged and are demanding a more “reasonable” haircut budget from their police force.

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Dating in Odaiba without breaking the bank

Odaiba, a manmade island atop Tokyo Bay, is famous for its sightseeing attractions, amusement parks, and entertainment venues. Places such as Joypolis, Pallet Town, Diver City, and the Miraikan science museum are all touted as terrific date spots but can prove quite costly in the long run.

Luckily, we’ve got some good news for all you penny-pinchers. Unbeknownst to many, the Rainbow Bridge, gateway to Odaiba, is an awesome date spot all its own! And, it’s absolutely free!

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Life on a Budget and How the Salarymen and Women of Japan Make Ends Meet

Whichever way you look at it, life in Japan is expensive.

As well as Japan’s food, drink and fuel ranking among the world’s most expensive, compared to many western countries, land in particular is sold at a premium, meaning that accommodation can be costly, and even those with enough capital to consider purchasing a car often abandon the idea when they realise that they cannot afford to buy or rent the necessary parking space.

CNN’s “World’s Most Expensive Places to Live 2012” placed Tokyo and Osaka first and third, respectively, and thanks to the strong yen and weak dollar/euro/everything, coming to live in Japan has never been more financially challenging.

With this in mind, budgeting expert Yoko Hanawa at Yahoo! Japan shares some ways in which Japan’s businessmen and women tackle everyday life in this tough financial climate, and introduces a few ideas of her own that are worth paying attention to.

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Chinese Netizen Speaks Out: “China Spending As Much on Calming Civil Unrest As US on War Effort”

Even putting current tensions between the country and Japan aside for the moment, China has seen a great deal of civil unrest in recent months. With citizens losing faith in their government, and the gap between the poor and the wealthy seemingly growing ever larger, it is little wonder that protests and riots are occurring more and more frequently.

At the end of June, pictures emerged of clashes between residents and armed police in the Canton region. It later become clear that the riot occurred following little more than a scuffle between two boys from neighbouring towns that got out of hand. Angry that men from the first boy’s town had entered into the argument, adults from the second boy’s town also became involved, and the spat quickly grew out of hand with thousands of locals eventually becoming involved in the fray. Read More

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