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This Week in Your Wallet: Sandy’s Effects and Flood Insurance

Depending on what time you wake up in the morning, you may have seen that yesterday’s Morning Joewas a special edition, broadcast directly from some of the areas that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy exactly six months ago: Asbury Park, NJ, Belle Harbor, NY and Seaside Heights, NJ.

“They’re still looking for a lot of help and a lot of aid,” Willie Geist told Matt Lauer in a special appearance for the Today show, noting that Breezy Point, the area destroyed by fires during the hurricane, still has much rebuilding to do.

I know that there has been no shortage of serious news stories to report on recently, but as a Jersey shore devotee, I was glad to see this on my TV. Not only did it serve as a reminder that there are always ways we can help the survivors of a natural disaster, but it — coupled with this MarketWatch piece — reminded me of something a little more mundane: buying flood insurance.

Immediately after Sandy, I know we talked about how to get your homeowners claims paid quickly, but I don’t think we talked about the importance of flood insurance. To that end, allow me to highlight some of the key points from that MarketWatch piece:

For more information on flood insurance, check out the full MarketWatch piece, linked above. And before we move onto the headlines of the week, allow me to quote what might have been one of my favorite parts of yesterday’s Morning Joe broadcast — mainly because it’s a sentiment that applies not just to areas affected by Sandy, but to Boston, parts of the midwest affected by recent storms, and to West Texas. “Natural disasters or violent events in cities,” Mike Barnicle said to Joe, “nothing is stronger than the resilience of people who live here.” Here, here!


Root, Root Root for the… Away Team?

As most of you surely know by now, my husband is a huge Phillies fan. He loves to go to games as much as he can — however, trips to the ballpark can quickly add up. Perhaps this is why this TIME article on saving money at the ballpark caught my eye. It noted that some of the teams with less-than-awesome 2012 seasons are making it up to their fans with some price promotions: the Cleveland Indians dropped beer prices for the entire year, the Kansas City Royals have $7 tickets on Sunday, and the Miami Marlins… well, let’s just say that free or deeply discounted tickets are frequently available on StubHub and Groupon. Marlins fans haven’t jumped at the opportunity, but recently the opposing team’s fans — bathed in red and clamoring for “wooder ice” — were more than happy to travel all the way from Philadelphia.

Oh, and for all you Yankee fans bemoaning the cost at what, in my experience, is one of the priciest ballparks in the country, allow me to direct you to this NY Post column, in which writer John Crudele breaks down how a family of four can cheer for Cano for under $100. Not bad, right?


Reveal Age, Get Discount

As I tweeted on Friday: would you reveal your true age if it meant a cheaper hotel rate? According to this Freakonomics blog post, Starwood is offering you that chance. If you go to a Starwood hotel and pay the full rate the first night, the rates for your second and third night will be equivalent to your birth year. So if you were born in 1975, that means you pay $75 per night. A birth year of 1954 means $54 a night. And while those of you born in the 1940’s might occasionally wish you were a bit younger, revel in your age: it could net you $45 per night!

If the Starwood offer doesn’t provide quite enough savings for your taste (or age), I’d encourage you to check out this Wall Street Journal article, which recommends some nontraditional summer vacation ideas. St. Louis might not be an exotic beach, but did you know that it has one of the nation’s best zoos, as well as a museum called the Magic House? Sounds fun to me — and much cheaper than the Bahamas.

Have a great week!


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