8 things we don't pay enough for

There are things we pay too much for like a mediocre dinner at a restaurant you don’t really like.

We just had to replace a garbage disposal. With installation, it was more than $500. I’ll never get much enjoyment from using this deluxe garbage disposal, so no matter what I spent, it was too much.

If there’s no enjoyment out of a purchase – no utility out of a product or service – then it will never, ever feel like a good deal.

But let’s look on the bright side. In Atlanta, we are blessed with an abundance of goods and services that we should all be thankful for. And to some extent, we should also be amazed at how wonderfully inexpensive they are.

In a recent Money Matters-sponsored survey, we asked, “What are two to three things you feel like you underpay for?”

I found some interesting answers:

Church. Regardless of how much we give to our churches, the sense of community, faith, spirituality and values we – and our children – get from the experience is priceless. 
State/ Private Parks. Stone Mountain, Chattahoochee, Amicaoloa. Sure, we pay a 6 percent state income tax, so they’re not free. But, they’re a beautiful bargain.
Neighborhood Parks. This is one of the most wonderful things about Atlanta. Having three small children, I’ve explored dozens of them. Yes, our tax dollars pay for them, but using our local parks is one of the very best deals in town. My favorite? Piedmont Park. There’s something there for everyone nearly year round. A pool, a pond, multiple play grounds, athletic fields, a concert lawn, bocce ball, places to grill, pavilions for shade, venues for weddings, bike and running paths, a dog park – and now better parking than ever.
Festivals. Atlanta does festivals better than nearly any other city. It’s a rare spring weekend when there isn’t something to go do, see or explore – for free. The Atlanta Dogwood Festival, The Inman Park Festival, Summer Fest, Taste of Alpharetta, The Decatur Art’s Festival and more. Find a list of them on www.accessatlanta.com
Races. The Peachtree Road Race is our famous one. I did my first Peachtree last year and discovered it to be a wonderful tour of the city and forever memorable. Find outdoor road race info at www.active.com 
Rec Leagues. The Atlanta Sport and Social Club is just $60 to$70 per season. Learn more at www.atlantasocialclub.com .
Piano Lessons. For kids, http://lessonsinyourhome.net/ will help you find a teacher who will come right to your house. For kids and adults, one of the best piano teachers on the planet is “Michael B” (B for Boggioni) Learn more at http://www.michaelbmusic.com/ 
Public School. This one is a matter of opinion, and we pay plenty of taxes to support our public schools but depending on where you live, your options can be wonderful. From my perspective, the teachers I know (and I’m a parent at Morningside Elementary) are wonderful, valuable and underpaid for what they do.

Other favorite bargains, not related to the Atlanta area, include Netflix, Spotify, iPhone and Mac, Wendy’s Dollar Menu and memberships to the zoo and gym.

So, let’s be glass-half-full people this week and be thankful for the many places we get good value for our dollars.

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