Live Well for Less

There’s something deeply satisfying about scoring a good deal.

In our attempt to help you get more out of life in Hawaii, we went bargain hunting this month, finding hundreds of ways to save money in our “Live Well for Less” cover story. I’m tempted, at this point, to remind you just how expensive this town can be, but not to bring you down. I only want to mention that the median price of a single-family home on Oahu is $665,000 as a way of telling you not to worry. And if I remind you that two-bedroom apartments in the shiny new Moana Pacific towers rent for $2,500 and up, it’s because I want you to relax.

When people worry about numbers that big, they start getting funny ideas about all the little expenses they need to cut out of their lives to afford the home or the rent. Next thing you know, they’re stressing out about movie tickets. I say, don’t torture yourself. There are still plenty of ways to save money on things you enjoy every day. And yes, we’ve included advice for those of you who are buying or selling homes.

Not all expenses are created equally—some truly are investments. For a parent, no investment is greater than what they spend on their children’s education. This month, we present our annual Hawaii Guide to Private Schools, with advice on the admissions process, a feature on how to find the best match in a school for your child, tips on financial aid and detailed information on more than 120 schools under the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools (HAIS). Even a quick glance at the chart may surprise you. While certain well-known, high-profile private schools are every bit as expensive as you’ve heard, more than $12,000 a year, most of them are not. In fact, many are a fraction of that amount.

The Private School Guide is one of those detail-intensive magazine features we could not pull off without a lot of help—from HAIS, certainly, but also from our associate editor, Lori Anne Tomonari. Since 2005, Lori has been a tireless and cheerful member of the HONOLULU Magazine team and, for a time, that of our sister publication, Ala Moana Magazine. She has been a regular contributor to team features, such as this month’s cover story, and has worked with managing editor Kathryn Drury Wagner on our elaborate fashion shoots. As a writer, she developed her voice in our monthly “Making A Difference” column.

By the time you read this, Lori will have moved on to New York City. Now, magazine work isn’t nearly as glamorous as it sounds—it was Lori’s job, for example, to pick up and return clothing for this month’s fashion shoot, lugging bags as she went—but she always made it look glamorous, especially when sporting her own jewelry designs. She’s had trunk shows in Honolulu, and we hope to see her creations make it into New York boutiques, too.

“It’s going to be hard to leave my family and friends, the food and the beach,” says Lori, “but I’m looking forward to feasting on worldly cuisine, riding the subway and, of course, the fashion. I’m hoping to work in fashion writing or styling, to expand my jewelry line and network with people from around the country and the world.”

We wish Lori all the best.