family time http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10443/all en-US 9 Frugal Winter Activities to Keep Kids Busy During Holiday Break http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-winter-activities-to-keep-kids-busy-during-holiday-break <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-frugal-winter-activities-to-keep-kids-busy-during-holiday-break" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-607926786.jpg" alt="frugal, fun ways to keep kids entertained over winter break" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are your kids counting down the days to winter break? While it might be a much needed vacation for your children, it can be stressful for parents. Not only do you want to keep the kids entertained, or at least engaged with something other than electronics, but you also want to do it on a budget.</p> <p>Here are a few ideas to make the most of winter break without spending too much money.</p> <h2>1. Volunteer</h2> <p>The holiday season is filled with wants. Children and teens are bombarded with ads, so it is only natural for them to have a huge list of wants for the holiday season. Help them refocus on what truly matters this season by seeking out volunteer opportunities. Local animal shelters and homeless shelters are a good place to start. You can also help elderly neighbors meet their needs, such as hanging Christmas lights or making them a meal.</p> <p>Volunteering is a great bonding experience for you and your child, and it also helps your child to meet others who are in need. It helps them realize that there is more to this season than the latest toy or gadget.</p> <h2>2. Go on a Nature Walk</h2> <p>Kids of all ages can enjoy a nature walk, especially if you have a goal in mind. I recently took my little ones for a nature walk to collect twigs and pine cones that I can incorporate in my holiday décor. Encourage kids to do the same, and make crafts or décor out of found goods.</p> <h2>3. Try a Kid Exchange</h2> <p>If you are feeling a little overwhelmed with your kids for the holiday break, chances are you are not alone. Find a family that has children in similar age groups of your own and propose to exchange nights. You can host a fun sleepover one night, and the other family can host a fun sleepover the next night. This will keep your children entertained for two nights, while giving you a night off. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-these-5-hidden-costs-of-winter?ref=seealso">How to Avoid These 5 Hidden Costs of Winter</a>)</p> <h2>4. Attend Local Plays</h2> <p>Many local theaters put on winter or children's performances during the holidays. Look for discounted or free shows to enjoy as a family.</p> <h2>5. Create a Holiday Library Scavenger Hunt</h2> <p>A trip to the library is free, but can sometimes leave kids complaining. Step up your library trip by making it into a game. Make a quick list of books your kids need to find to earn points. For example, have your kids find some of the following:</p> <ul> <li>A nonfiction kids' book about Christmas;</li> <li>A magazine with winter crafts;</li> <li>A book with the word &quot;Santa&quot; in it;</li> <li>A book with the word &quot;Snowflake&quot; in it;</li> <li>A book to learn about another culture's winter traditions;</li> <li>A funny holiday book.</li> </ul> <p>You can have your kids either write down the titles or check them out for some fun holiday reading.</p> <h2>6. Do Some Cookie Decorating</h2> <p>If the thought of baking cookies from scratch makes you break out in hives, relax! You can buy pre-made dough and some cookie decorating supplies for less than $10. Kids love to decorate cookies, and it can easily keep them occupied for up to an hour. For younger children, put frosting on a plate with a plastic knife, and give them a small cup of sprinkles, instead of the whole container. Listen to a holiday audiobook while you decorate for even more fun.</p> <h2>7. Camp in Your Living Room</h2> <p>Camping outside is out of the question if you live in cooler climates. However, a camp night in your living room will be something your kids remember for years to come. Either set up a tent or make your own tent out of chairs and blankets. Make s'mores on the stove and play fun campfire games, such as Name That Tune or Winking Assassin. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-staycations-you-should-take-before-winter-ends">5 Awesome Staycations You Should Take Before Winter Ends</a>)</p> <h2>8. Put on a Show</h2> <p>Tell your kids that you will be hosting a talent show with prizes before family movie night. This will hopefully motivate them to spend time practicing their talent before show time. That actual talent show will be a fun family moment that everyone can partake in before settling down to a movie. Don't forget to record the show for priceless memories.</p> <h2>9. Host a Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt</h2> <p>When you're a kid, there is no such thing as too many scavenger hunts. Fill mugs full of hot chocolate and pile everyone in the car for a fun Christmas light outing. You can either just drive around looking for Christmas lights or make it a game with a scavenger hunt.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-winter-activities-to-keep-kids-busy-during-holiday-break">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night">8 Reasons Frugal Families Love Boardgame Night</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-kids-contribute-to-family-money-goals">Should Your Kids Contribute to Family Money Goals?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-child-care-this-summer">How to Save Money on Child Care This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-sibling-discounts-that-can-save-you-big">6 Sibling Discounts That Can Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family family time frugal fun fun activities fun for kids holiday activities holiday break kids winter activities Tue, 13 Dec 2016 11:30:06 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1853169 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Reasons Frugal Families Love Boardgame Night http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-reasons-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_17015005_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="frugal families love board games" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My siblings and I spent our childhood playing popular, mainstream board games. <a href="http://amzn.to/29V2gS0">Monopoly</a>, <a href="http://amzn.to/2auGmXZ">The Game of Life</a>, <a href="http://amzn.to/2auI4bu">Clue</a>, <a href="http://amzn.to/2auHwm6">Chinese Checkers</a>, and <a href="http://amzn.to/2auHrPy">Pictionary</a> granted us hours of family fun, interrupted occasionally by a temper tantrum. Monopoly, as many people know, can be dull and brutal.</p> <p>Playing board games died off in my high school years. Once I hit college, I was introduced to a wider variety of games &mdash; and the spark was rekindled. Instead of vegging in front of the TV or spending money to go see a movie, we began to sit down to play board games once again. Here are eight reasons why you should pick up boardgaming as a family activity, too.</p> <h2>1. So Many Game Options</h2> <p>Dozens of new games are introduced every year by major board game companies and individuals through Kickstarter campaigns. You don't need, nor should you, limit your family to the games you can find on Walmart's shelves.</p> <p>A local game store, or Amazon, will all have a broader collection of board games that range anywhere from $5-$100. This large collection of potential games will increase the chance of finding a game your family will love at the right price range.</p> <h2>2. Game Guidance From the Pros</h2> <p>Don't be intimidated by a new game. No one expects you to fork over the money for a game without a little guidance on how to play. There are a number of YouTube channels dedicated to reviewing and recommending games to help individuals find good games.</p> <p>Frugal families might want to check out any of these YouTube shows to watch reviews of games before purchasing the game:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9QtdiRJYro&amp;list=PL0Y9n5uBJuXxjSe6lJEHRZICCHym3e-aS">TableTop</a> with Wil Wheaton</li> <li><a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/WatchItPlayed">Watch It Played</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/thedicetower">The Dice Tower</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/MoonratMedia/videos">Board With Life</a></li> </ul> <h2>3. Access to Simple and Clear Game Rules</h2> <p>Board games can be complicated. I have a game that has around 30 pages of rules. Even as an experienced gamer, I find that a tad intimidating. There are a variety of different interactive and visual means to help families deal with learning these complicated rules for more enjoyable game play.</p> <ul> <li>Check out free board game rules introduction videos (as mentioned above) and game playthroughs on YouTube.</li> <li>Search the Android or iTunes app store for free or cheap digital versions of the game. Ascension and Coup are both complicated games that have free app versions that provide interactive walkthroughs.</li> <li>Look for free game aids that can help you understand the rules, set the game's difficulty level, and randomize board setup. Settlers of Catan, Legendary, and Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game all have free player aids.</li> </ul> <h2>4. You Can Shop Bigger, for Lower Prices</h2> <p>Support your local TableTop store when you can, but don't feel bad if you occasionally need to turn to bigger retailers like Toys 'R Us, Target, Amazon, or Walmart for lower prices. Even better, if you find a game at a store you can't in good conscious shop from, you can utilize price matching to get that lower price on either an in-store or online purchase.</p> <h2>5. Try Board Game Rental Services</h2> <p>An alternative option to creating your own version of popular games is to rent board games rather than buy them. This has the bonus of being fairly cheap, allows you to explore different types of games, and allows you to play games that might be out of your price range.</p> <p>You can either rent games by seeing if your local board game store has a rental service, or checking out an online board game rental store. In rare cases, you might even find that your local library has added board games to their rental collection.</p> <h2>6. DIY Board Games</h2> <p>Not ready to spend $60 for a game? Here's a bit of good news: With a little creativity and work, you can easily create <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">DIY board games to save money</a>.</p> <p>Don't stop there though. There are a number of fun games you can easily DIY.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8-XTMbszPk">Telestrations</a> &mdash; A mix of telephone and Pictionary, requires you to cut out 30+ medium-sized pieces of paper and give everyone a pen.</li> <li><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0hX47QFtGI">Superfight</a> &mdash; A game where you present a case over which person, object, or animal in a match-up would win. It only requires you to cut out card-sized pieces of paper. On 1/3 of the pieces of paper, you will write any sentient object, person, or creature. On the rest of the cards, in a different color pen or a different color paper, you'll write an object, personality trait, or physical trait.</li> </ul> <h2>7. Fan-Made DIY Board Games</h2> <p>There are tons of dedicated fans that have already done all the hard work of creating original fan games or expansions of already-made board games. All you need to do is download the PDF versions of their work and print it off at home.</p> <p>Here are a few free fan-made versions of board games:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1416104/printer-studio-ready-templates">Legendary: A Star Wars Deckbuilding Game</a></li> <li><a href="http://bangcardgame.blogspot.com/p/bang-custom-expansions.html">Bang!</a></li> <li><a href="http://enter-there.com/">Game of Thrones: The Board Game</a></li> </ul> <h2>8. Choose Games With High Replay Value</h2> <p>Board games can be expensive. Games tend to run anywhere from $10-$60. Yes, a $60 game might be expensive, but you can make that price worth it by carefully choosing games that grant high replay value. These are games that often come with extra boards, scenarios, or cards that offer a slightly fresh gaming experience each time you play. These are also games where it isn't easy for players to pinpoint a set strategy to win.</p> <p>Here are a few games with high replay value:</p> <ul> <li>Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game</li> <li>Betrayal at the House on the Hill</li> <li>Robo Rally</li> <li>Cosmic Encounter</li> </ul> <p>If you need a new pastime, board games can be a fun, cost-effective activity that offer hours of family fun. Between the vast number of games and the rapidly growing TableTop community &mdash; on and off-line &mdash; now is the time to adopt board gaming as a new family pastime.</p> <p><em>Do you have family game nights? Which board games do you play? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">8 Amazing Board Games You Can DIY</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-winter-activities-to-keep-kids-busy-during-holiday-break">9 Frugal Winter Activities to Keep Kids Busy During Holiday Break</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-kids-activities">How to Save Money on Kids&#039; Activities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-143-fun-and-frugal-ways-to-spend-your-weekend">Flashback Friday: 143 Fun and Frugal Ways to Spend Your Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Entertainment Family board game board games entertainment family time fun things to do game night games kids quality time things to do on the weekend Thu, 21 Jul 2016 09:30:27 +0000 Samantha Stauf 1756345 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save Money on Kids' Activities http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-kids-activities <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-money-on-kids-activities" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000074577577_Large.jpg" alt="saving money on kids&#039; activities" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One thing many parents have in common is that they are rushing around from one activity to another for their children. It takes a full-sized calendar to keep track of who has soccer on which day, and which kid has an upcoming dance recital. If your family juggles a lot of activities during the school year and then in the summer, you know how expensive it can get. Here are few ways to save money.</p> <h2>Buy Secondhand</h2> <p>Gently used sports equipment is surprisingly easy to find secondhand. Before you spring for new sports gear or a musical instrument, check Craigslist, eBay, thrift stores, and even your parent friends. Children often outgrow gear quickly, or they lose interest in an activity. This means you might find equipment such as cleats, shin guards, dance shoes, or a French horn in mint condition for a fraction of the cost.</p> <p>My daughter is in ballet/tap class, and I am surprised at how many pairs of tap shoes I come across at the thrift store for about $1.99 each. Avoid getting any headgear used, especially bicycle helmets, for safety reasons. Also, if your child or teen is involved in a sport that requires a lot of running, new shoes will be better for their alignment and performance. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-should-always-buy-used?ref=seealso">8 Things You Should Always Buy Used</a>)</p> <h2>Skip the Pricey, Special Events</h2> <p>Certain activities will come with seasonal recitals, concerts, fundraisers, and fancy dinners. When you sign up for an activity, know upfront which events are required of you. You are not always required to participate in everything. For example, my daughter's dance studio puts on five or so performances a year, each of which might cost $30&ndash;$40 for the costume and tickets to attend. Since she is only three, it is easy to opt out of these performances. The other dance moms are a little perplexed that I would do such a thing, but my main goal is to make sure my daughter has fun and to keep my life simple with two kids under four.</p> <p>As a child, my sister and I were in Taekwondo. There were always tournaments happening, and I remember wanting to go to as many as possible. Thankfully, my parents limited tournaments because, truthfully, as much as I loved doing them, they drained a lot of my time and energy (and my parents', too). When you sign up for a new activity, find out what is really required of you. If your child is still young, like mine, then feel free to forego the optional extras to save money and sanity.</p> <h2>Enroll in One Activity at a Time</h2> <p>I'm always amazed by the parents that juggle two or three or even five different activities with their children. Amazingly, I've never met a parent who actually enjoys being a human taxi to taekwondo lessons, piano lessons, and baseball games. These parents are usually the ones who are stressed out the most or are barking at their kids to hurry up and get ready for the next activity. Guess what? Your kids don't have to do it all. Pick one activity per season. If you have multiple kids have them all enrolled in one activity. If your youngest doesn't want to take soccer with the rest of your kids, then let them know that they will get to choose the activity next season.</p> <p>I think as parents, we are so worried about enriching our children's lives, that we forget they need some downtime and relaxation time with us. It's okay to take a season off of youth soccer. This doesn't mean your child is automatically disqualified from future scholarships or from becoming a pro-athlete (unless of course they are close to graduation).</p> <h2>Get the Sibling Discount</h2> <p>Not only will enrolling your children in the same activity save you some time and stress, but it will also save you money. Many places offer sibling discounts, and siblings can often share equipment. If you don't see a sibling discount offered, don't hesitate to ask.</p> <h2>Start a Hand-Me-Down Bucket</h2> <p>When I first signed up my daughter for dance classes, the teacher asked all the moms if someone had outgrown ballet shoes for us. The next week, another mom brought some for me. I offered her money, but she said, &quot;This is just what the moms do at this studio.&quot; What a resourceful way to help the whole studio.</p> <p>If possible, make an announcement to the parents that you are going to start a &quot;hand-me down bucket&quot; or &quot;share bucket.&quot; Pitch it as a way for them to help with the costs and to clean out their closets of outgrown gear. This works best in settings that kids use the same items each year, such as dance shoes, leotards, karate shirts, and sparring gear, etc.</p> <h2>Pay Ahead</h2> <p>Always ask about discounts for paying ahead or paying in cash. Some places might give you a discount for paying for the whole year upfront, which can save you $30&ndash;$50 that year. The dance studio my daughter is enrolled in offers a $15 discount once a year for those who pay for three months in advance.</p> <p><em>How do you save on your kid's extracurricular activities? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-kids-activities">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night">8 Reasons Frugal Families Love Boardgame Night</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-winter-activities-to-keep-kids-busy-during-holiday-break">9 Frugal Winter Activities to Keep Kids Busy During Holiday Break</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">8 Amazing Board Games You Can DIY</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Entertainment Family activities child activities family time kids shopping sports weekend activities Thu, 02 Jun 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1722226 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Amazing Board Games You Can DIY http://www.wisebread.com/8-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000019777216.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting tired of the same old board games? Why not make your own? Several clever DIY games can be made with stuff you have in junk drawers or otherwise hanging around the house. Others come together as quickly as you can print a template. Liven up your game night with these awesome DIY options. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy">15 Fun Toys You Can DIY</a>)</p> <h2>1. Guess Who</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.almostmakesperfect.com/2015/01/07/diy-guess-who/">DIY Guess Who</a> will have your whole family laughing. Get photos of 25 of your nearest and dearest friends and family and print three copies (one for each board and one for the bag). Then cut them into squares and attach to plywood squares using <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Podge-CS11302-Original-16-Ounce-Finish/dp/B001IKES5O">Mod Podge</a>. Drill pilot holes into your base for the hinges that will attach each individual person's block to the board.</p> <h2>2. Monopoly</h2> <p>If you're bored with your Monopoly game, try creating your own using these <a href="http://instillingvalues.com/monopoly-download/">free templates</a>. The maker of the templates also offers a <a href="http://instillingvalues.com/easy-editable-monopoly/">totally customizable</a> one for just $2. You can print these out at home and then glue or tape onto an old board. Park Place can be whatever you want. I suggest getting them printed onto a single sheet of high-quality paper at a local office supply store.</p> <h2>3. Checkers</h2> <p>Is there anything more classic than a game of Checkers? <a href="http://niccolaontuesday.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/play-on-tuesday.html">Make your own</a> board and pieces using milk jug lids, fabric, and paint. You'll pencil in a grid and then color in alternating boxes. Then decorate your milk jug lids with permanent markers.</p> <h2>4. Tic Tac Toe</h2> <p>Here's a super way to keep your little ones occupied: <a href="http://sweetpenniesfromheaven.com/despicable-diy-tic-tac-toe/">DIY Tic Tac Toe</a>. Find eight smooth rocks and pick up an inexpensive chalkboard at a craft store. This particular game has a Minions theme &mdash; but you could paint the rocks however you'd like.</p> <h2>5. Memory Game</h2> <p>This paper <a href="http://www.eatdrinkchic.com/post.cfm/diy-paper-popsicle-memory-game">Popsicle Memory Game</a> is a great exercise for the mind. Print out the free template, cut out the pieces, and attach them to sticks using double-sided tape. Then mix them up, face down, and let your kids try to find the matching treats.</p> <h2>6. Rainbow Game</h2> <p>The <a href="http://mrprintables.com/rainbow-board-game.html">Rain and Rainbow Game</a> will give some color to your rainy day. It's a fun variation of Snakes and Ladders. After you print and assemble the game, the rules are easy. When you reach the bottom of a rainbow, climb up. When you land on a black cloud, slide back down.</p> <h2>7. Cereal Box Game</h2> <p>You probably already have all the materials you need to create this <a href="http://www.thecrafttrain.com/1/post/2014/01/diy-cereal-box-board-game.html">Cereal Box Game</a> on hand. Simply cut up your box, draw a path, and color it in. The rules are up to you. This is a wonderful project for younger kids who might just be learning how to play.</p> <h2>8. Family Memories Game</h2> <p>If you're looking for an inexpensive, personalized gift to give family this holiday season, try crafting this <a href="http://www.potholesandpantyhose.com/2011/12/diy-family-board-game/">Family Memories Game</a>. Take an old board game, cover it with white cardstock, draw your path on top, and decorate it with family photos. Use more cardstock to make your deck of questions. Ask about anything about birthdays, anniversaries, and even personal jokes.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite DIY board game for when you're bored?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night">8 Reasons Frugal Families Love Boardgame Night</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy">15 Awesomely Fun Toys You Can DIY</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-fun-and-frugal-things-to-do-with-origami">8 Fun and Frugal Things to Do with Origami</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-kids-diy-projects-in-your-pantry">Three Kids&#039; DIY Projects In Your Pantry</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Entertainment Family board games crafts DIY family time fun game night Mon, 02 Nov 2015 15:15:22 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1603198 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Tips for a Better Work-Life Balance http://www.wisebread.com/15-tips-for-a-better-work-life-balance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-tips-for-a-better-work-life-balance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_time.jpg" alt="Family enjoying time together" title="Family enjoying time together" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Staying on top of your A-game and maintaining a healthy work-life balance can feel like an oxymoron. Most of us experience an uneven pull between our social lives and work commitments, which isn't surprising considering the current economy and fact that employees everywhere are working overtime to show they're an indispensable part of the team. Nevertheless, it's important to establish a healthy harmony between your job and personal life. This doesn't just mean working overtime to please your boss and boyfriend; it means creating a balance of time spent working, playing, and pleasing yourself.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Have-Work-Life-Balance-18939472">RELATED: Work-Life Balance Tips for Newbies</a></p> <h3>Foster Healthy Weekday Habits</h3> <p>If we're not careful the weekdays can become one big work blur. Instigate healthy habits by taking a trip to the grocery store (save on groceries with <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Grocery-Store-Tips-Tricks-2011-01-06-082509-2728452">these tricks</a>) on Sunday and planning the meals you will make at home during the week, or challenge yourself to visit the gym four nights in one week. The time away from the computer and work worries will clear your mind, allow you to focus, and likely inspire you to be more productive when you are at the computer.</p> <h3>Learn the Value of Saying No</h3> <p>Most SavvySugar readers admit they have a hard time <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/2744173">saying no to work and social invitations</a>, which means many of you are getting roped into projects, parties, and events you'd rather say &quot;no way, Jose!&quot; to. Next time you are invited to something, weigh the benefit and cost before saying yes. If you think the event or project will have a positive impact on your productivity, career, and networking without disrupting your non-work schedule, go for it. If you think your personal life will suffer because of it, say no.</p> <p>Remember, <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Women-Can-Succeed-Work-17959721">don't be too &quot;nice&quot;</a> or you may not be able to get ahead at work.</p> <h3>Set Calendar Reminders</h3> <p>Set goals, appointments, lunch dates, or even eye breaks or gym appointments in your work calendar. The little office notification will pop up and force you to stop what you are doing and focus on your goal.</p> <h3>Put Family First When You're Home</h3> <p>Your family and loved ones will come to resent you if you keep your eyes on your laptop or phone every night. Make quality-time dates with your family or significant other after dinner to distract you from your workload. The work will always be there in the morning, or after <em>Glee</em>. Savor your at-home time while you can.</p> <h3>Get Your Zzzs</h3> <p>When you're running up against the clock and finishing a high priority project, it's easy to lose track of time and pull an all-nighter. But chances are you won't produce your best work at 4 a.m. after 20 hours in front of the computer. Don't compromise your sleeping schedule or ignore the power of your beauty rest. The pile will still be there in the morning, and chances are your co-workers won't respond to their email before 9 a.m. anyway.</p> <p>Having trouble waking up? Use <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Wake-Up-Fast-21385387">these tips</a> to wake up and get out of bed fast.</p> <h3>Know When to Unplug</h3> <p>While most of us can't finish all our tasks while we are in the office, it's crucial to set boundaries. If you carry your laptop home with you at night and often work on it while watching TV or hanging out at home for more than an hour, stay at work for an extra 45 minutes instead to finish critical tasks and leave your computer at the office. If you carry your BlackBerry with you everywhere and check work email every five minutes, make a rule to only check it once or twice an hour. You'll be more productive and still be able to relax and focus on your non-work life.</p> <h3>Sign Up For a Class</h3> <p>If challenging yourself to cook or visit the gym isn't doing the trick, sign up for a class you can't miss. If you pre-pay for a yoga or French pastry class you will be more likely to show up and detach from work for those few hours.</p> <h3>Take Personal Breaks During the Day</h3> <p>Unless your employer asks you to clock in and out for breaks, you should assume responsibility for your time. Make sure you've scoped out your manager's take on personal breaks and then make a schedule to give yourself 15 or 20 minutes of break time during the day. Take a walk around the block and call your mom or BFF. Make a list of errands you need to accomplish during the week and then sit outside Starbucks for 15 minutes while you make your phone calls. Your fellow employees will appreciate you not making personal calls in the office and you will feel as though you've taken a work break and taken care of your personal items.</p> <h3>Leave Work at a Decent Time</h3> <p>Employers pay attention to the time you commit on the job, but that doesn't mean you need to stay until dark every night of the week. Stay late when you need to finish a project, but don't be afraid to make plans during the week that will force you to leave the office at a decent time. Getting outside at a healthy time will boost your mood and make you happier about resuming your work in the morning.</p> <h3>Schedule &quot;Work Hours&quot; at Home</h3> <p>If you must work at home, set some time limits. Make dinner with your family, wind down with a little TV or a chapter of a book, and then work for an hour or two and return to &quot;me time.&quot; Better yet, work for an hour before dinner and then spend the rest of the night worry-free.</p> <h3>Keep Work (and Your Laptop) Out of the Bedroom</h3> <p>If you do work at home, make sure to establish &quot;no-work zones&quot; in the house. In my mind, work, laptops, and smartphones shouldn't be allowed in the bathroom or bedroom. Set up a definitive work area at the dining room table, your home office, or the coffee table.</p> <h3>Figure Out How to Be Happy at Work</h3> <p>Being happy with your work life is one of the keys to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Make a friend at the office and invite her to lunch once a week, or grab your work BFF and the new gals from the department upstairs and indulge in an ice cream or happy hour. The better your relationships with colleagues the more likely you'll be to turn to them for project support or advice if you need it.</p> <h3>Challenge Your Partner or a Friend</h3> <p>If you have trouble detaching from work and unwinding from a stressful day at the office, challenge your partner or friend to get out of the house too! Plan weekly runs or walks through the neighborhood, a new dish you can make together, or simply commit to sitting and talking for two hours about anything but work. You'll quickly find you have a million things to talk about other than the annoying girl down the hall who keeps undermining you in meetings.</p> <h3>Drowning? Speak Up!</h3> <p>If the projects keep piling up and you're physically incapable of finishing all your assigned tasks during work hours (and all the overtime you put in!), sit down with your manager and explain the situation. Let her know how many hours you have been working overtime and discuss other team members who may be able to assist you or the possibility of hiring an intern. Chances are your manager is fully aware of how hard you have been working (or should be!) and can help you devise a better time management plan.</p> <h3>Reward Yourself</h3> <p>After challenging yourself to focus on your work-life balance, don't forget to reward yourself for making an effort to change. Send yourself flowers or treat yourself to a manicure. You'll feel proud every time you look over at the flowers or your fancy nails and be motivated to keep your new healthy habits.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Want to be happier at work AND at home? Follow these suggestions to keep yourself balanced, healthy, and joyful. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Alternative-Treatments-Relaxation-18941471">4 Alternative Treatments to Uplift Your Work&nbsp;Self</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Take-Break-From-Work-18918589">Secrets to Beating Your Work&nbsp;Exhaustion</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Morning-Productivity-Tips-8112332">Make Every Morning More Productive</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-tips-for-a-better-work-life-balance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-happier">Book review: Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-stressful-job-may-be-making-you-healthier">Your Stressful Job May Be… Making You Healthier?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-small-gestures-that-go-a-long-way-at-work">10 Small Gestures That Go a Long Way at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-times-you-should-never-feel-guilty-at-work">8 Times You Should Never Feel Guilty at Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income General Tips family time happiness how to reward myself work life balance Mon, 06 Feb 2012 11:24:22 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 886206 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Frugal Ways to Beat Cabin Fever http://www.wisebread.com/6-frugal-ways-to-beat-cabin-fever <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-frugal-ways-to-beat-cabin-fever" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bear toes cabin.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One nice day can throw your senses into a tizzy after spending the last several months couped up in the house or bundled up in layered clothing. Struggling through cabin fever can be especially difficult for those who crave the sun and just don't see enough of it during the winter months.</p> <p>There are several ways to beat back cabin fever without having to invest in an expensive vacation or start a time-consuming project you are not interested in following through with simply because you are bored (ie: cleaning out the basement or the closets).</p> <p><em><strong>Here are 6 great ideas to stave off the winter blues and feel more productive without having to spend hardly a dime:</strong></em></p> <p><strong>1. Open the Shades </strong><br /> During the cold winter months, it is a good idea to open the blinds and the curtains during the daylight hours to allow what little sun there is to warm the house naturally. This extra sunshine in the house can help your feel a little brighter as well. At dark, make sure you re-close all of the curtains and shades to keep the cold night air out.</p> <p><strong>2. Get Walking</strong><br /> Walking is one of the best forms of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-create-a-great-home-gym">daily exercise</a> you can get. It get your heart pumping and keeps your mind clear. Taking a small walk in the morning for 15-30 minutes can help give you a boost, give you more energy, and get you in better shape. Walking in different areas each day can also help because a change of scenery might do your mind some good since you have been staring at your four walls for too long. Walking is a great habit to establish and even during the cold months, it will do your body good to get some fresh air daily.</p> <p><strong>3. Eat Better</strong><br /> Your diet plays a large part in your emotional well-being. You tend to lack D vitamins during the winter months when you are more likely to be out of the sun. These vitamins are essential to your body's ability to produce serotonin, which is your body's natural depression defense. Eating green vegetables and an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-and-tricks-to-eat-healthy-on-a-budget">overall healthy diet</a> can help boost our energy levels and just feel better overall.</p> <p><strong>4. Help Others</strong><br /> During the winter, it can be easy to get depressed but sometimes, as bad as it seems things are, there are others who are much worse off than we. If you are struggling with cabin fever and boredom, take some of your time and volunteer it to help others. There are likely food pantries that could use an extra hand since so many more people are now in need than before. There are likely many opportunities where you could lend a hand but if you can't find what you are looking for there, contact <a href="http://www.volunteermatch.org">VolunteerMatch.org</a> to find opportunities.</p> <p><strong>5. Plan Forward</strong><br /> If you are really anticipating the warmer spring weather, start planning now for the different ways you can take advantage of it as soon as it hits. If you are an outdoorsy person, compare different campgrounds where you might want to go when the weather breaks. Research what kind of flowers you are going to plant in the garden this year. Even better, start planting flower seeds now so they will be ready to go when the weather improves. There are a lot of ideas out there that are<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/have-an-amusement-park-tv-free-summer-and-if-you-can-t-find-a-way-to-make-it-cheaper"> frugal and fun.</a></p> <p><strong>6. Be Grateful</strong><br /> When all else fails, slow down and think about all the wonderful things you have in your life, no matter what season it is. Chances are good it will bring a smile to your face and make you feel better. Remembering all the wonderful things you already have instead of focusing on what you don't have might bring you more peace throughout your entire life. It might not fight off cabin fever totally, but will certainly help you to stay grounded.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-frugal-ways-to-beat-cabin-fever">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-winter-activities-to-keep-kids-busy-during-holiday-break">9 Frugal Winter Activities to Keep Kids Busy During Holiday Break</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-create-a-great-home-gym">6 Ways to Create a Great Home Gym For Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-keep-anxiety-from-ruining-your-budget">5 Ways to Keep Anxiety From Ruining Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-nifty-tips-for-getting-the-most-from-an-all-you-can-eat-buffet">8 Nifty Tips for Getting the Most from an All-You-Can Eat Buffet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living cabin fevver exercise family time frugality Tue, 17 Feb 2009 02:14:58 +0000 Tisha Tolar 2847 at http://www.wisebread.com