Budget-Friendly Outdoor Activities for You and Your Kids

Looking after your kids is a full-time job that doesn’t end until you see them walking out the door for college. And, while they are time-consuming and the worst enemies of your budget, we know you love them more than anything else in this world. Although we know your children will love a room full of toys and visits to Disneyland, not all activities should be dictated by big money. 

There are plenty of ways to enjoy an entire day outdoors even when you’re on a limited budget. All you have to do is dress season-appropriate and get inspired by some of the activities we chose that will put a smile on all the family members’ faces. 

 

Outdoor painting

Who said kids can’t have fun without leaving the house? Painting is one of the most therapeutic activities for children and adults alike and has proven extremely beneficial in fighting depression, anxiety, and mild forms of autism. 

The key behind turning this simple activity into a fun day outdoors or indoors is to let your kids have full control of what they paint and where they paint. Hand them the colors and brushes and allow them to fully express their personality. 

Although the walls of your living room or their room are more appropriate, if you don’t want to display your kids’ mural art for everyone to see, you can choose other surfaces to paint. The barn, the garage or the attic are full of walls in desperate need of a childish makeover. And, if everything else fails, you can ask your offspring to paint on a wood board, an old door or a window frame, a sheet or an old piece of canvas. 
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Plan Your Retirement Now and Secure Your Future

One of the most stressful things is when you’re unsure about your financial future. It is tough being pulled in so many directions – children’s college funds, vacation and family outings, home ownership and more. But I’m being reminded that it’s important not to neglect long-term savings for your retirement years. I’m may not be anywhere near retirement age yet but I definitely want to make sure that I am well-prepared for retirement when we reach that stage.    

Understanding retirement needs can be confusing sometimes and may feel like an overwhelming and impossible task. That’s why I am sharing these simple tips for helping you get started with easy-to-understand resources at AceYourRetirement.org. Here are seven things to consider to help you maximize your retirement savings.

  1. Minimize debt – but not at the expense of paying into your 401k or other retirement accounts. The less debt-load you have during your retirement, the more you’ll be able to make your retirement dollars stretch.
  2. Don’t rely solely on Social Security – in fact, people are often recommended to wait until up to age 70 to collect Social Security to allow benefits to grow more.
  3. Consider whether downsizing your living quarters makes sense once children are grown and out of the house.
  4. Make sure your beneficiary designations are up-to-date and talk to your spouse to make sure everyone is on the same page.
  5. If you’ve been divorced but not remarried you may be eligible for Social Security benefits from your ex-spouse.
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Taking Savings to a Whole New Level: Yesterday’s Tomorrow

It happens to everyone sooner or later – the big financial emergency that makes you feel like your life may crumble and fall. But if you have a good financial plan from the start, great big one time bills or financial emergencies aren’t as life altering as you might expect.

Yesterday's Tomorrow

Saving money is critically important in today’s society. Unfortunately, a majority of young adults are still struggling with high levels of debt and lack of a personal budget to help save for the future. For the past decade, Ad Council and AICPA’s Feed the Pig campaign has been working to improve financial literacy among Americans by encouraging them to make savings part of their daily lives.

The action you take today could change your life, really. But how do you know what financial decisions are the right ones? There are tons of resources and articles out there on what people think you should do with your finances, but not everyone could possibly understand where you come from, where you are going, and what your future financial goals are.

Yesterday's Tomorrow

Thankfully FeedThePig.org has great resources to help you figure out how and where to save more and spend wisely, including a new game called Yesterday’s Tomorrow. The game is like a “choose-your-own-adventure” in the form of a digital photo album! You get to develop a relationship with a future version of yourself – how incredibly cool is that? You get to jump through key life stages and instantly see the outcomes of those choices you make from teenage years through retirement. As you think through some life decisions like school, job, and awesome vacations, you’ll see how your choices may save, or lose money. No one wants to blow their money needlessly, right?
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Shopping With Groupon Online

Disclosure- This post was sponsored by Groupon. All opinions are my own. For more information, see “I Disclose”.

Shopping with Groupon is easy and can save you money. Groupon has already saved a lot of people tons of money- if you haven’t tried it, you should give it a go. Groupon has gained even more popularity as more and more establishments use the service and pass on some incredible savings to their customers. The way a Groupon works is that Groupon has offers which the customer pays for. These deals usually double the value of their money at the particular establishment, thus getting new customers in the establishment. If not double, it saves you money regardless, that’s just the average savings.  An example would be a cool new Japanese restaurant opens up and offers a $20 credit toward dinner. This saves you, who wants to get Japanese food anyway, or perhaps just like trying new places,significant savings and gets the restaurant new business. It also gives it exposure- maybe you (and thus others) had not heard of this place before, and now want to try it. When you try it, and like it, you become a regular customer. It’s a win-win.
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Groupon Coupons this holiday season

As we all know, there is a great shopping expedition mounting in many homes this week.  Yes, Thanksgiving is coming, and it is a great time to spend with family and friends and be thankful for all we have. We share our bounty with others- but the day after Thanksgiving is also right around the corner too, Black Friday.  One of the busiest shopping days of the year.  A time of year when friends and family get together and hit the stores at the crack of dawn to get all the best deals around.

But this year, I say do some extra research online.  With some incredible deals available now with only a few clicks, you can shy away from those packed stores and the crowds and enjoy spending time with your friends and family at home in the comfort of your living room.
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Save With Groupon Coupons

This post was sponsored by Groupon. All opinions are my own.

Groupon has been a cultural phenomenon. It has gained even more popularity as more and more establishments use the service and pass on some incredible savings to their customers. The way a Groupon Coupons works is that Groupon has offers which the customer pays for. These deals usually double the value of their money at the particular establishment, thus getting new customers in the establishment. An example would be a new Thai restaurant opens up and offers a $20 credit toward dinner. This saves you, who wants to get Thai food anyway, significant savings and gets the Thai place new business. This has been an awesome way to save money and still go out and have fun. But buying in advance can be a bit odd for some, so Groupon has made up a new service called Groupon Coupons. The key way the new Groupon Coupons differs from Groupon is that there is no registration on the site in order to use the codes, and there is no upfront cost associated with them, either.
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5 Money Saving Tips for Moms

One news story that caught a lot of people’s attention last year was the one that talked about
how much it costs to raise a child. If you didn’t happen to see it, the total amount from ages 1-17 is
approximately $325,000. That’s definitely a lot of money and so we totally get why you, as a mom,
would be on the constant search for any money saving tips that you can find in order to make your
dollars stretch just as far as possible.

teach kids about moneyIf you’re currently looking for some money saving tips, we have five that are sure to make
your “financial side of life” much easier so that your daily parenting responsibilities can be just as stress-
free as possible.

Eat out less. There are a lot of moms who make it a point to cook dinner every
night, but sometimes breakfast or lunch (especially when you have young kids and you’re out running
errands with them in tow) can be a bit of a toss-up. While you may prefer for them to have a home-
cooked meal, sometimes it’s simply easier to roll through the drive-thru. However, not only is that not
the healthiest option, but if you keep your receipts, it can start to add up. Instead, take a cooler with
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Creative Ways to Save Money on Gifts for the Holidays

The holidays are just around the corner–for some, they are already upon us. For those of you shopping right up to the final deadline, you’ll need to get creative in order to save money on your gift shopping. Stock up on coffee and candy canes to give you the rush you need to get through your shopping, and try some of these creative ways to save money on your gifts this year:

  1. Use Your Old Gift Cards
    Many of us have old gift cards sitting around the house from any number of retailers. Every holiday seems to bring in more of them, and we don’t always have the time to make good use of them. Those old gift cards can become your ticket to a budget friendly holiday season–regifting the cards themselves is one option, or you can use them in lieu of cash when you go out shopping.
  2. Unleash Your Inner Artist
    The greatest holiday gifts of all are those that come from the heart. Money can buy a lot of things, but it can’t buy your personal creative touch. Crafting your own gifts is a great way to save money and give your loved ones something they’ll remember for ages. Everything from creative works of art, to handmade candles, to delicious holiday baked goods, can be a great gift for anyone on your list this year. And what’s even better, you can tailor your gifts for each individual to make something truly special and unique.
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