When I was a kid my grandfather struck me as always being almost comically upset about the cost of things. He would shout stuff like, “FIFTY CENTS?!? FOR A NEWSPAPER!? THIS WHOLE WORLD HAS GONE MAD!!!” Back then I giggled at his rants and thought he was a bit crazy, but you know what? I’m starting to think he wasn’t so crazy after all.
Recently Heather and I went to San Francisco to attend our friends’ awesome wedding and stayed at the Marriott in Fisherman’s Wharf. When we pulled into the hotel I noticed a sign posted that read: “Overnight Parking: $48.50.” After doing a double take I asked the valet, “And how much does it cost to park for hotel guests?” He told me that WAS what it costs for hotel guests. I turned to Heather, red-faced, and shouted, “FORTY-EIGHT FIFTY?!? TO PARK A CAR!? THIS WHOLE WORLD HAS GONE MAD!!!!”
Later, in our room, I tried to order a movie and discovered they were charging SIXTEEN DOLLARS!!!! FOR A MOVIE!!! And it wasn’t even one of those movies. I told Heather I did not want to live in a world where it cost sixteen dollars to watch “Mr. Poppers’ Penguins” three months after it came out.
The final insult came upon checking out. In addition to the parking charge of $48.50 per night, there was also a “daily parking tax” of $8.50. So all together it cost us $57 a night to park. Thank goodness the room was free. (Just kidding… it was expensive too.)
Until now I have sort of watched inflation happen and accepted it as normal. But lately it has started to strike me as getting out of control. (Did I mention movie theaters now charge $8.50 for a stinkin’ hotdog?)
Of course these feelings may have something to do with having bought a house recently. Money becomes a much bigger concern once you have a mortgage to pay – so much so that I’ve found myself walking around the house turning off lights like a real live Dad.
But it can’t be just that. I’m not crazy to think the cost of things is out of control, am I?
I couldn’t agree more – the cost of things is outrageous! I kind of dread the day when my little guy wants to start going to the movies on even a semi-regular basis. It’s about $50 for 2 people to go to the movies if snacks are purchased. That’s ludicrous if you ask me – and the food at the theatre is always crappy, yet who wants to go to the movies without getting something to eat?!
Thankfully my parents moved so I don’t have to take it anymore – but I used to have to take a ferry every time I went to visit them. When I was a kid, I remember hearing my parents complain about the cost per ticket, and it was about $6 per person. It’s now $15! Everything costs so much more, and the quality tends to be less for most things. So maddening.
And I don’t know HOW hotels get away with the parking costs. It’s like that around here too (Vancouver, BC). INSANE. I also hate all the hidden fees involved with hotel stays. It might be ‘$149’ per night, say, but then with taxes and other random fees it costs waaay more than that.
OK obviously this struck a cord with me!!
Those prices ARE crazy. I think part of it is that it just costs more to live in a cool place like California. Ohio is MUCH cheaper…but it is Ohio and residents have to deal with the snow, slush..and the fact that it isn’t California. I have relatives in Honolulu and prices there are also crazy. They refer to their high cost of living as “the paradise tax.” Have you started to price out schools for Annie yet? Brace yourself.
You do live in one of the most expensive places in the country, though, Mike, which I think adds to it.
My parents live outside of Chicago in one of the nicer suburbs, whereas I live in Topeka, Kansas, and let me tell you – every time I visit them, I’m shocked at how much more everything costs. Gas, movies, services (cable/electric/gas), even basic staples…. Everything is significantly more expensive up there. And hell, we have the higher sales tax, so I can’t even justify that away! It makes me glad I decided to go to school here instead of in Chicago (where my second-choice school was), because I don’t think I would’ve survived the living expense on student loans alone!
But as I am secretly a crochety old woman, it sometimes gets to me how much things cost. I went to see a movie a few months ago and the price astonished me. I hadn’t been in a couple years (not a movie buff) and it felt like the price shot up! The same is true for books (which I buy a lot of); when did a paperback start costing $12-16? I swear it’s a conspiracy to make me broke. And intellectually I know it’s just the ugly face of inflation, but it’s incredible.
I can’t believe a hotel charged guests to park, though. That just seems excessive.
No, you’re not crazy. The cost of things is totally ridiculous. And I laughed at your comment about walking around the house turning off lights. We just bought our first house and I totally gave my husband a lecture last week about how we can’t just leave lights on everywhere anymore and how if the kids leave the basement, we have to make sure the TV and lights are shut off. Everything is soooooo expensive. And do not get me started on the prices they charge for food at movie theaters – it’s robbery!
No you are not crazy. New York is exactly like that also. I have no idea why anyone would even consider having a car there.
Here in Minnesota we don’t pay for parking. Anywhere.
But the movies are outrageous and so are the snacks. Considering that the stars get paid 20 million per movie….well you do the math. And yet the minimum wage is still $7.25 an hour. That is crazy!
I also turn off lights, all the time. Not sure it makes any difference in my bill but I don’t like waste either.
Hugs from Minnesota
Oh you are definitely not crazy! $16 to watch a movie once and its not in a theater?!
It makes me cringe to think about how much everything costs. And also how much more they’ll cost when I’m a ‘grown up’.
$57 to park a car isn’t a fee, it’s a stick-up.
I blame Marriott! Ha! No, seriously, I work for a competitor hotel and we have a friends & family rate that I can give you if you ever want to use it. It offers 25%-50% off the regular price of a hotel room, any of our branded hotels around the world… it won’t help with $57 parking, but then again we don’t have $57 parking and it helps w/ the rate of the room.
So I guess this isn’t really about Marriott, but I couldn’t resist! More to the point, seems like EVERYTHING is expensive these days, especially movie theaters. Sheesh! When did going to see a movie take as much money as going to a nice steakhouse?!
You’re totally not alone.
If I had of known you guys were staying at the Marriott I could have gotten you a discount form!
But yeah, it’s not just hotels that expensive. You think California is expensive, come to London. When you guys wrote about going to the Zoo, I commented to say I wish our Zoo was that cheap.
In London a child price for the zoo is £17! You’re looking at an easy £120 to go to the Zoo in London for 2 adults and 2 kids.
Hotels here aren’t cheap either.
My hubs and I are going down to St Ives in Cornwall this weekend for a wedding, and the hotel where the wedding is wanted to charge £370 a night for a basic room with no breakfast!!
The cost of living is high. May as well be invaded by zombies sooner rather than later eh?
you are not crazy. at least not about this particular thing
i don’t even bother to purchase food at the movies any longer. i figure the kids will probably want something, so i will pick on a little of their popcorn and save a gabillion dollars by not buying myself a box.
keep turning off those lights….you’ll be able to save up for that hotdog before you know it!
$16 to rent a children’s movie in a hotel? And a parking TAX? Like the hotel tax isn’t enough? My goodness! Our world really is going down hill, I refuse to go into Baskin Robbins and spend $3.50 on a child’s cone too. Especially when you can get a whole pint of Haagen Daaz for 2/$5.00.
Nope. Not crazy. I think being in San Francisco was one of the problems. Everything is more expensive there. My brother and sister-in-law live in San Francisco and when I visit them I am constantly flabbergasted at how much more things cost there than pretty much anywhere else! (except movie theaters…they are overpriced everywhere!)
I went to the cinema to watch Jurassic Park on Sunday just gone and it cost £16.50.
Cinemas are way over-priced. It’s no wonder people illegally download films to be honest, even though it’s wrong and I wouldn’t personally do it. I just wait until the film comes out on DVD. or TV!
That’s insane! I feel lucky enough to live in OK where the cost of living is much lower. But even then, the price of things still amaze me.
I may have had a small heart attack if I had to pay $50 for parking. We avoid going downtown because we have to pay $5 for parking (sometimes $10). HA!
Madi G. says:
You’re not nuts at all. That’s ridiculously expensive.
I was born and raised in New England. A few years ago, my brother moved to Florida. He was telling me about how inexpensive everything was, even the houses. Brand-new homes, with a pool, on a canal with a dock, were going for $70K (in NE, this would be an $800,000 house — and that would be a *bargain*).
So, with little hesitation, I packed up and moved the entire family across the country. I work from home for an online company, so it was a no-brainer. I’ll have my house paid off in a few years. Not 30 years.
And I now live in a waaaay nicer, newer house and it cost me about 1/10th of what I paid for my house in New England.
Things just aren’t as expensive here. For instance, we used to pay $185/month for cable. Here? $85/month. That’s less than HALF and we get every possible channel!!! And no more $1000/month heating bills (though our electric bill is a bit higher due to the AC, but it’s still a few thousand less per year.)
All in all, I love it here!
I would love to return to New England some day — I miss it immensely — but for now, I can live a much nicer life here in the south. It just makes sense for us.
I stayed at a hotel in San Diego recently that charged $45 for parking. PER NIGHT. That’s practically the cost of another hotel room!! It’s such bullshit and I don’t understand how it’s legal. It’s not like there is street parking available. You pretty much have no other choice. It wasn’t even valet. I had to pay $45 a NIGHT to park my own fucking car. And then they charge $25 per day for wifi. It’s ridiculous. Hotels are getting greedy.
I completely agree, when I first moved to New York 6 years ago I was outraged and now that everything in the world is going up I cry a little every time I have to go shopping!
Ouch… I totally agree. I nearly had a heart attack when my husband and I went to the philadelphia eagles game Sunday and ended up paying $25 to park… And it wasn’t even that close to the stadium!!! Maybe they shouldn’t offer athletes a ridiculous amount of money if they have to scam fans for parking to pay them. I paid enough darn money for the tickets… Might as well take my first born child while they’re at it. Ugh. And the sick thing is they know we WILL pay bc there’s no other option. Sickening. Too bad they don’t at least give some of the parking money to charity… Then I wouldn’t feel too bad.
$40 to pay for parking to see the Patriots, or any other event (concert) at Foxborough. Really?
Of course it’s different depending on location… Which is why I was so shocked… I lived elsewhere for 4 years and was used to paying $10-15 max for parking for an event… So for me, $25 was quite the jump… while it may not be for other people.
Guess I’m just used to the less expensive cities of Pittsburgh and Philly compared to Boston.
I’m from New York, so I totally get what you’re saying about the crazy high cost of living, hotels, parking, theaters, real estate, utilities, etc. We visited Colorado last month and were shocked by how expensive it was. We called it the East Coast of the Rockies. We’ve been living in Utah for six years (my husband’s last base) and we opted to stay here when he retired from active duty last year because it’s pretty affordable. There are A LOT of trade-offs, but sometimes I feel like we will be stuck here forever because of the cost of living everywhere else!
We went to a matinee the other day and it was $8.25. FOR A MATINEE. Wasn’t it only $3.25 like… yesterday?
Yes! Exactly. I find myself complaining about a lot of stuff. Like the cell phone company adding charges to your account without your knowledge or approval; “you really want the insurance though, its a great investment” that may be true but I didn’t ask for or agree to it! Gah!!
Truer words were never spoken!!! The whole world has gone mad and I’ve become your grandfather!!!!
just booked a hotel room for one night in NYC — I was excited to get it for $259 — final cost with all the extra charges (no parking) and taxes? $371!!! omg!!!
Movie ticket + small popcorn + small bottle of water = $17.75 = ridiculous!
It should not cost that much money for one person to go see a movie. I should mention I saw that movie two weeks ago and I’m still reusing that empty water bottle to mix my crystal light. You can bet your ass I’m getting my moneys worth.
Yes, I am baffled at the cost of things and how quickly things seem to be going up……and I’m even more frustrated by the fact that the minimum wage hasn’t gone up to reflect that. I think all of our goods/needs are going up….but earnings have flat-lined….and that is causing such a wide gap in the rich/poor of our country. It’s making it harder for the poor and more powerful for the rich, and that is sad.
I’m pretty much vowing not to go to the first-run theaters anymore unless I just couldn’t. possibly. live. with waiting to see it at the cheapie theater (which will probably never happen). We have one about 10 min away, it’s just as nice as any other theater and tickets are just $2.50 each (vs. $9.50 at the first-run theaters). And even cheaper for matinees. So yeah, I think I can wait a little while.
Oh, and I almost never buy any food at the theater. If I HAVE to have something, I make a pit stop at the grocery store on the way and fill my bag with snacks and drinks. I like to live life on the edge like that.
I had never even HEARD of paying to park at a hotel….until 2 weeks ago when I went to a conference in Nashville. *I* stayed at the Super 8 by the airport (~$45/night) and paid nothing for parking, had a pool & hot tub, fridge, microwave, free wifi, and free hot continental breakfast. Many others stayed at the conference resort hotel in slightly fancier settings but not really any additional conveniences…..for $199/night! I rented a car to drive to the conference hotel and around Nashville….and quickly discovered that it was $18/day to park at the conference hotel!!! My other option? Take a $25 each way taxi. Gulp!!! Plus…no in/out priveleges, each time you parked, you paid $18. Really limited my flexibility and plans. For hotel guests? Still $18/day, but they got in/out privileges….insane when you’re already paying $199+/night. I was so pissed that NOWHERE in the brochures/literature for the conference did they mention the parking fees. This is a crazy thing to me, and I live in Seattle! One of the the highest cost of living areas….and I’m pretty sure the downtown hotels have their own parking garages for NO charge to guests.
I hardly ever go to the movie theater, usually only when I have a coupon/voucher/gift card. I am always getting free DVD codes for redbox and blockbuster express and I watch all my TV online now.
I live in LA and am from NY so I should be used to things costing way more then they should. But last year I went to a NY giants game with my Dad and it cost $55.00 to park and that was in the regular not VIP section and it was so far from the stadium that we had to take TWO buses to get to the actual stadium. and I will not even mention the $12.00 regular sized poland spring water bottle that I foolishly paid for. ( I was thirsty from taking two buses and then walking at least half a mile to the actual stadium) I love visiting friends elsewhere like D.C. , Maryland or Virginia where things are still overpriced but I feel like it’s a bargain.
Lacey Jane says:
I know I am late on this comment but I just wanted to say that my huband and I wanted to watch 3 movies one time that we stayed in a hotel, but instead of pay the RIDICULOUS $16 per movie (zomg) we went to the closest walmart, bought a $25 dvd player, and rented some movies from the local blockbuster. Which was also expensive, but not as expensive as the PPV would have been. We have stayed in 2 hotels since, and brought the dvd player and some dvds with us both times. We like to think we’re thrifty.
Jessica Makuh says:
My husband and I like Folgers Gourmet Chocolate Truffle coffee. 1 year ago it cost $5.50. Sometimes I had a $1.00 coupon. It seemed ok to buy it. Today I noticed it is $7.68!!!!! We haven’t bought it since March. Even if I had a coupon, I wouldn’t buy it.
You’re NOT crazy at ALL!
Cost for things is ridiculous, and I think a lot of the times it’s just about “greed,” more than anything else. You can still sell things at a reasonable price, and make a ton of money (because more people will come to you, as opposed to the more expensive places).
$8.50 for a hotdog is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!!!!!
I don’t blame anyone for sneaking in snacks (I sometimes do it myself).
Where I live…? Movie tickets are $13.00! And that’s not even for a 3D movie. And if I’m ordering from Fandango.com it’s $15.00, because of the surcharge fee.
The world has gone MAD! =P