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Is collecting an idea that has crossed your mind or something you're already into?

We're not talking back issues of GQ or seashells from your last few trips to the beach, but highly valuable items that one day, even tomorrow, could be worth an impressive amount. You may already have a collection growing, or today is day one. No matter where you're at on the collecting curve, if you are into any of these five items, you're on to something. Your hobby could become your retirement fund… and then some!

Comic Books

Comic books can be a gold mineunsplash.com

Turn funny into money by rummaging through your collection of old comic books. The action may be over, but the pages are precious. Rare and vintage comic books can be worth a pretty penny as per Go Banking Rates. "A 1938 copy of Action Comics #1 sold last year for nearly $1 million at a public auction, according to Heritage Auctions." Naturally, not every comic book will yield such a high payout, but it's worth weeding through your childhood favorites to see if any have significant value. Go Banking Rates adds, "Comics with classic covers or first appearances are typically more marketable." If you want to get an estimate of what one of your books may be going for, visit Comics Price Guide for more information.

Antique Furniture

Your family's heirlooms could be surprisingly valuable unsplash.com

Before you donate Granny's creaky old rocking chair to Goodwill, consider keeping it, and any other chairs, tables, cabinets, and chests she may want to pass down, for that matter. According to Huffington Post, antique furniture could be worth a fortune, and you could literally be sitting on a pile of dough. "Furniture that was once considered classic such as china hutches and roll top desks have fallen out of favor. For collectors and wealth investors, however, there are still major pieces of antique furniture in the market." Need proof? "The Badminton Cabinet built in England in the 18th century fetched $36 million at a Christie's auction in 2004, making it the most expensive piece of antique furniture ever sold." Sadly, your future great-grandkids are not going to appreciate your IKEA bookshelves.

Watches

Watches have long been considered a valuable investment unsplash.com

Nowadays, watches are worn more for fashion than function being that we all carry around a smartphone 24/7. But for those who enjoy a fine watch or timepiece, collecting them could mean watching your savings account numbers soar. According to Huffington Post, "Christie's and Sotheby's reported selling half a dozen watches for more than $2 million apiece between June 2012 and June 2013. The most expensive watch ever sold at auction was the Henry Graves "supercomplication" watch by Patek Philippe, which sold for $11 million at a Sotheby's auction." Swiss watches are in the highest demand, so hone in on those if you're serious about scoring big one day. Only time will tell…

Stamps

Have a stamp collection? Consider keeping it! pixabay.com

These days, stamps could be more relevant than ever. With "snail mail" edging closer and closer to becoming obsolete, stamps will likely one day be a collector's item only. But we're talking about older, rarer stamps that are worth keeping stored safely to prevent deterioration. According to Go Banking Rates, "Stamps are among collectibles that are gaining value. Take, for example, the 'Inverted Jenny' stamp. Only 100 of them exist, according to CNN Money, and one that was valued at $1.6 million was auctioned off last May." A collection could be more valuable than a single stamp, though. "If your collection is organized, it will likely sell for more money," advises Go Banking Rates. Will your collection get the stamp of approval?

Wine

Many different vintages hold their value well over time unsplash.com

You may be tempted to drink your cab or pinot with dinner tonight but save those rarer bottles in your cellar and pop open a can of beer instead. Vino can be valuable, and your bottles may bring in big bucks. According to Huffington Post, "While the wine sub-index increased only by 3% last year, it increased by 182% over the decade ending in mid-2013." But which wines are the best to collect? Huffington Post claims, "By far, most investment-grade wine comes from the Bordeaux region of France. However, it was a wine from Burgundy that set a new record. Twelve bottles of 1978 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti were sold for $476,280 at a Christie's auction." For tips on collecting investment-grade wine, read Money Crashers' guide to buying bottles with promise for a payout. Cheers to a wine windfall!

Do you have a collection? Are you in it for fun or fortune?

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Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.

In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.

In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.

But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.

Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.

In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.

Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.

Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:

1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan

2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.

3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.


4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.

5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.

Here are charities offering support in Haiti:

1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.

2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.

3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.

4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.

via Tiffany & Co.

When the new Tiffany's campaign was unveiled, reactions were mixed.

Tiffany's, the iconic jewelry brand which does not (despite what some might be misled to believe) in fact serve breakfast, featured Jay Z, Beyoncé, and a rare Basquiat painting in their recent campaign.

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Road trips can be a lot of fun — but they can also drain your wallet quickly if you aren't careful.

From high gas costs and park admission fares to lodging and the price of eating out every night, the expenses can add up quickly. But at the same time, it's very possible to do road trips cheaply and efficiently. Without the headache of worrying about how much money you're leaking, you can enjoy the open road a whole lot more. Here's how to save money on a road trip.

1. Prepare Your Budget, Route, and Packing List in Advance

If you want to save money on a road trip, be sure you're ready to go. Try to count up all your expenses before you hit the road and create a budget. It's also a good idea to plan your route in advance so you don't end up taking unnecessary, gas-guzzling detours. And finally, be sure to pack in advance so you don't find yourself having to buy tons of things you forgot along the way.

2. Book Cheap Accommodations — Or Try Camping

All those motel rooms can add up surprisingly quick, but camping is often cheap or free, and it's a great way to get intimate with the place you're visiting. You can check the Bureau of Land Management's website for free campsites. Freecampsite.com also provides great information on If you don't have a tent or don't want to camp every night, try booking cheap Airbnbs or booking hotels in advance, making sure to compare prices.

Camping camping road tripConde Nast Traveler

If you're planning on sleeping in your car, a few tips: WalMart allows all-night parking, as do many 24-hour gyms. (Buying a membership to Planet Fitness or something like it also gives you a great place to stop, shower, and recharge while on the road).

3. Bring Food From Home

Don't go on a road trip expecting to subsist on fast food alone. You'll wind up feeling like shit, and it'll drain your pocketbook stunningly quickly. Instead, be sure to bring food from home. Consider buying a gas stove and a coffee pot for easy on-the-go meals, and make sure you bring substantial snacks to satiate midday or late night cravings so you can avoid getting those late night Mickey D's expeditions.

Try bringing your own cooler, filling it with easy stuff for breakfast and lunch — some bread and peanut butter and jelly will go a long way. Bring your own utensils, plates, and napkins, and avoid buying bottled water by packing some big water jugs and a reusable water bottle. Alternatively, try staying at hotels or Airbnbs with kitchens so you can cook there.

4. Avoid Tolls

Apps like Google Maps and Waze point out toll locations, so be sure to avoid those to save those pennies. (If it takes you too far off route, you might have to bite the bullet and drive across that expensive bridge).

You can also save on parking fees by using sites like Parkopedia.

Road Trip Road TripThe Orange Backpack


5. Save on Gas

Gas can get pricy incredibly fast, so be sure that you're stopping at cheap gas stations. Free apps like GasBuddy help you find the most affordable gas prices in the area. Also, try going the speed limit on the highways — anything faster will burn through your tank. Be sure that you don't wait till you arrive at touristy locations or big cities to fill up.

6. Get a National Park Pass

All those parks can get really expensive really fast. If you're planning on visiting three or more parks, it's a great idea to get an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass. For $80 you can get into every National Park for one year.