The Cost of Things

How Much Was Jane Austen Paid For Some of History’s Best Books?

Women have always faced the additional hurdle of being at the mercy of their reproductive systems, as well as by what society expected of them in terms of selflessness. Virginia Woolf famously said, not that long ago, that, in order to write fiction, “a woman must have money and a room of her own.” Time and space, in other words. Drive, talent, and luck are pre-requisites too. That’s such a high bar it’s a wonder women ever put out novels before 1963. When they did, what did they get in exchange? Let’s take the example of Jane Austen, one of the few pre-Woolf women who managed to unite all five attributes, and see how the world rewarded her for writing some of its best fiction.

---

How Much Would You Pay For Elephant Poop Coffee?

If the answer is $1500 a kilogram, then it might be time to start booking your next vacation. On the island of Macau, China, you can get a cup of “black ivory” for 488 patacas, which is about $60 USD (plus tip!).

---

Are Cosmetic Subscription Services Worth It?

When my first Birchbox package arrived—a monthly parcel from a New York-based startup that encloses surprise samples of designer cosmetic products at the cost of $10 per month—I could make no discernable connection to cosmetics in my past.

---

Possibly the Least You Can Spend on Getting Legally Married in Great Britain

My husband and I got married last July. We wore jeans to the registry office, and except for the three friends who were our witnesses, no one knew anything about it until it was over. For us, it was perfect. As a side effect, it was also ridiculously cheap.

---

Why Honeycrisps Cost So Much

At Esquire, Elizabeth Gunnison Dunn looks at the story behind why the Honeycrisp apple is so expensive.

---

Amazon’s Prime Membership Increases to $99 a Year

Amazon announced this morning that it was raising the cost of its Prime membership to $99 a year. How many of you Prime users find that new dollar amount too high to consider it worth it?

---

The Cost Of Mental Health Care for a Semi-insured 23-year-old

I’ve been in various forms of treatment for years now: college counselor; old-school Boston psychiatrist that handed me drugs once a month; confused beach town therapist who had no idea what to do with me; extremely mean suburban therapist; current wonderful resident at a NYC hospital who sees me once a week and functions as both therapist and psychiatrist.While some treatment has been easy to access—namely the college counselor—most required navigating a maze of phone calls, referrals, string-pulling, insurance snafus, and money.

---

The Cost of Building a Micro-Housing Village for the (Formerly) Homeless

Quixote Village is a community of formerly homeless adults in Olympia, Washington, who until recently lived in a self-governed tent city that rotated between church parking lots. Now these 29 adults live in 29 separate 144-square-foot tiny houses, arranged in a horseshoe shape. Each house has room for a bed, a desk, and a tiny bathroom with a sink and a toilet. There is a shared garden and a community center with showers and a kitchen shared by all the residents. If residents have income, they’re asked to pay 30% of that income towards monthly rent. Otherwise, living there is free.

---

Some Costs Associated With a Relationship

The cost of a relationship, starting with two coffees.

---

The Cost of a Haircut in Various Cities, According to Square

Square, the mobile payments company cofounded by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, put together a map of average haircut prices for men and women in various cities across the U.S.

---

The Cost of Photographing Your Aura

Auras are “the luminous color fields many psychics and spiritualists believe surround all people and things, illuminating their moods, health, preoccupations, and future,” and Katie Heaney recently paid someone $21.67 to take a photo of her aura and wrote about it for her latest column at Pacific Standard

---

The High Cost of Entering the Magic Kingdom

People still love Disney, attendance numbers are high, and tickets are now $99 for a one-day pass at its Magic Kingdom Park near Orlando, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. In 1989, adult tickets for Disneyworld were $30.65—$57.82 adjusted for inflation in today’s dollars. Disney doesn’t care about increasing prices because they know people will still pay it

---