MONEY College

Smart Advice for College Freshmen

People on the streets of New York City share their wisdom for people headed off to college.

We asked people in Times Square, “What’s your best advice for a freshman going off to college?” The people we asked gave a mixed bag of answers. Going of to college is both scary and liberating, but there are some things you should know. One thing we heard over and over again was that college is incredibly expensive, and a lot of people’s advice flowed from there. With the College Board estimating the average college cost for a public school in America at $12,830 per year, it’s no surprise.

MONEY

QUIZ: Options Trading Strategy or Cosmo Sex Position?

Test your financial and erotic expertise.

circus contortionist woman
Underwood & Underwood—Corbis

An option is a contract giving the purchaser the right, though not the obligation, to buy or sell a security at a specified price for a particular period of time. Options trading—conducted formally for stocks on U.S. exchanges since 1973—has given rise to a number of distinctively named investing strategies.

These strategies, confusingly enough, sound a lot like strategies used in a completely different context: The names of sex positions that the women’s magazine Cosmopolitan suggests for its readers, in forums such as its Cosmopolitan.com website and its how-to guide The Cosmo Kama Sutra: 99 Mind-Blowing Sex Positions.

So let’s conduct a test of your financial—and erotic—expertise. Which of these are options investing strategies? Which are Cosmo sex positions?

MONEY Careers

Is Work-Life Balance Even Possible?

We asked people on the streets of New York City how they manage to keep their home lives and work lives separate, if at all.

Balancing your time and energy between work and home is difficult; you’ve got that report due on Wednesday and your kids need help with their homework. We went to Times Square to ask people how they prioritize between their careers and their family. Some people said they clock out right at 5p.m. every day while some said they take work home with them every night. How do you manage your work-life balance?

MONEY Love and Money

Who Should Pay for a Wedding?

MONEY hits the streets to find out what people think about who should pay for a wedding.

Weddings are expensive affairs. According to a survey from The Knot, the average cost of a U.S. wedding was about $30,000 in 2014. Who’s got that kind of cash? MONEY senior editor George Mannes hits the streets of New York to ask people who should pay for the wedding. Surprisingly, people in Times Square were in agreement on who should foot the bill.

MONEY money well spent

Why I Love My Screwy Souvenir

Gary Musgrave

All I have to do is open the kitchen drawer, and I'm back in Italy.

Any vacation is a treat, but the trip my wife and I took to Italy four years ago felt particularly sweet.

Reason one: Twenty-one years had gone by since our last overseas trip together, our honeymoon in Portugal. The day-to-day concerns of raising kids and keeping house kept pushing a jaunt to Europe far down our to-do list. By the time Margot and I landed in Rome—celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary one year late—all that self-denial had put us in an indulgent mood.

Reason two: What’s not to like about 10 days in Italy? We gorged our senses on art, architecture, music, and, oh yes, food. We savored multiple cups of chocolate-chip gelato, then went back for a taste of the hazelnut.

Toward the end of our trip, near when it would go from a vacation to a memory, we hunted for gifts in and around Florence’s Central Market. There, in a wine shop where we bought a bottle of limoncello for my parents, I saw for sale my perfect souvenir: a corkscrew.

Just a few pieces of metal nesting against a yellow plastic handle, the corkscrew seemed, like so much else in Italy, a product of thoughtful design. It looked aerodynamic and felt substantial. I pulled out a 10-euro note (about $14) and bought it.

Back home, the corkscrew’s functioning has lived up to its appealing form. When I open a bottle, the Teflon helix twists smoothly into the stopper. Using the device’s “patented double lever mechanism” (I quote the website of Patrick, its Italian manufacturer), I can slide the cork out in two easy motions. This keepsake is a pleasure to use, even before I start drinking.

More important, each time I retrieve the corkscrew from our kitchen drawer, I can revisit our Italian vacation. I look at the store’s name and location stamped on the handle—”Enoteca Marconcini Firenze”—and I’m reminded of moments from our trip. I think about the view of the sunset from Florence’s Ponte Vecchio and a sculpture exhibit at the Accademia Gallery. I remember a jog through the grounds of the Villa Borghese in Rome and a stroll through St. Peter’s Square. I picture a gelato shop near the Torre Argentina. I’m back in Italy. And what’s not to like about that?

George Mannes is a senior editor at MONEY. He is currently daydreaming about his next overseas vacation—China, perhaps. Do you have a purchase you consider Money Well Spent? Email us about it and what it means to you at wellspent@moneymail.com.

More Money Well Spent:

The Best $25 Gift I Ever Gave
How One Family Discovered a Vacation in a Box
How a $600 Banjo Saved My Life

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