games http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3373/all en-US 4 Ways to Make Debt Repayment Fun http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-debt-repayment-fun <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-make-debt-repayment-fun" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/calendar_concept_with_a_yellow_pin.jpg" alt="Calendar Concept with a yellow pin" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When my husband and I were first married, we used to race home on the 15th of each month, each one of us hoping to be the first to get the mail out of the mailbox. Our highly anticipated mail was not our favorite magazine, or the cheese of the month club, or even the newest Netflix DVD (remember those?).</p> <p>No, we were hurrying home to be the first to open up the monthly statement for our home equity loan, which we were in the long process of paying off. Whoever reached the house first got to see the official tally for our previous month's payment, and color in the next chunk of the debt-payoff thermometer we had posted in the kitchen.</p> <p>We're not the most boring people on the planet, despite what our kids might say. Our anticipation of the home equity loan statement just showed that we had found a way to make the long slog of debt repayment not only tolerable, but actually enjoyable.</p> <p>Before you decide that &quot;fun debt repayment&quot; is an oxymoron, consider how getting out of debt can be improved by making it more like a game. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprisingly-simple-ways-to-motivate-yourself?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself</a>)</p> <h2>Gamify your debt payoff</h2> <p>Games offer both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to keep you playing. Intrinsic motivation refers to the internal or personal satisfaction you might feel for completing a task, while extrinsic motivation is the reward something else gives you for completing a task.</p> <p>For instance, you might spend an afternoon playing <em>Call of Duty</em> both because of the game's extrinsic motivation of rewarding you for completing the missions, and because of your intrinsic motivation to have some fun shooting digital Nazis in the face.</p> <p>Understanding how games tap into both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation can help you figure out how to gamify something as traditionally &quot;unfun&quot; as debt payoff. In particular, arranging for extrinsic motivators to keep you on the straight-and-narrow of debt payoff can help make the &quot;game&quot; of getting your balance down to zero an intrinsic reward.</p> <p>Here's what you need to do to create your debt payoff game.</p> <h3>1. Choose the levels in your game</h3> <p>A game is not designed as a single huge step to overcome in order to win. It's broken down into achievable levels that allow you to enjoy your progress without feeling like you'll never reach the end. Video games generally make the first level an &quot;easy win&quot; in order to get you hooked on the game. As your competence at the game increases, the levels become more challenging.</p> <p>You can do the same thing with planning your debt payoff &quot;game.&quot; Start by determining exactly how much you need to pay off, and figure out how much extra you can send to your creditors each month.</p> <p>For instance, let's say you have $25,000 in credit card debt. You're currently sending the minimum payment of $625 each month, and that is already a big bite out of your monthly budget. You might decide that your first &quot;level&quot; will be sending an additional $100 to the credit card this month. An extra Benjamin a month is achievable but feels like an accomplishment if you're already struggling to pay the minimum &mdash; and this is why it's a good first level.</p> <p>From there, you might make the next levels when your balance has gone down by $500, and then $1,000, then $2,000, and so on. Once you've knocked $5,000 off the balance, make your levels a little further apart, so they occur every time $2,500 of balance is wiped out, or every $5,000. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h3>2. Decide on your extrinsic motivations per each level</h3> <p>Now that you have chosen levels for your debt payoff game, figure out how you can reward yourself for reaching them. Eventually, just reaching these levels will feel pretty great. But at the start of a debt payoff plan, it's a good idea to also build in the extrinsic motivations that will spur you to think of your debt payoff first when you're tempted to spend money.</p> <p>This is where you brainstorm ways to celebrate reaching the various levels you've chosen in your game &mdash; without spending money. Find rewards that cost nothing but still make you feel great. You might consider the following &quot;level up&quot; rewards:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Movie night at home.</p> </li> <li> <p>A nap in the middle of the day.</p> </li> <li> <p>An at-home pedicure.</p> </li> <li> <p>An entire Saturday afternoon playing your favorite video games.</p> </li> </ul> <p>The trick is to think about the things you normally don't allow yourself and pick out the ones that require no (or very minimal) cash outlay. Assign different rewards to different levels. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-and-fun-ways-to-reward-yourself?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20 Free and Fun Ways to Reward Yourself</a>)</p> <h3>3. Create a game visual</h3> <p>It's a lot more fun to play a game with good graphics or good design, and that's no different with your debt payoff game. Once you've determined the levels and rewards of your debt payoff, it's time to find a way to render them visually so that you can both keep track of your progress and enjoy the anticipation of getting closer to each reward level &mdash; and your overall goal.</p> <p>Debt payoff thermometers are a common method of creating a visual for your repayment plan. These are great for a couple of reasons: Anyone can easily draw a thermometer and label various levels on it, it makes for a motivating visual, and it can be a lot of fun to color in the thermometer as you go.</p> <p>However, that's not the only way to visualize your debt payoff game. Using a spreadsheet or other digital tracker can help you see your progress over time. In addition, if you are motivated by coloring or other artistic endeavors, you could create a beautiful visual of your debt payoff journey that you color in as you make progress. Or, if board games are your jam, consider creating a game board of paying off your debt. You can have fun with figuring out what your board will look like, and how you will represent each level.</p> <p>Making your game visual means that you can be creative about finding a system that will give you extrinsic motivation to pay off your debt.</p> <h3>4. Watch your extrinsic motivation become intrinsic</h3> <p>As you work through your debt payoff game, you'll find something strange happens: Figuring out ways to save money so that you can send more to your creditors goes from being a drag to being fun. That's because you'll find yourself wanting to color in the next level on your game board or reach the next level of reward, and so you stop thinking of paying off debt as a horrible slog. Instead, each step allows you to do something you enjoy (coloring in your debt thermometer or your game board) and also brings you closer to a reward you want.</p> <p>Once you get used to thinking of sending more money to your creditor as fun, it will become fun in its own right, without needing the game to make things enjoyable &mdash; although there's nothing wrong with continuing to treat it like a game.</p> <h2>A spoonful of sugar</h2> <p>Mary Poppins had it right when she sang, &quot;In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.&quot; It might seem impossible that paying your credit cards, student loans, or other debt could be the thing you most look forward to each month &mdash; but the spoonful of sugar that you add by gamifying your debt payoff may just make you rush home in joyful anticipation on the day you receive your monthly statement.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-ways-to-make-debt-repayment-fun&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Ways%2520to%2520Make%2520Debt%2520Repayment%2520Fun.jpg&amp;description=4%20Ways%20to%20Make%20Debt%20Repayment%20Fun"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Ways%20to%20Make%20Debt%20Repayment%20Fun.jpg" alt="4 Ways to Make Debt Repayment Fun" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-debt-repayment-fun">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/we-do-the-math-save-for-retirement-or-pay-off-credit-card-debt">We Do the Math: Save for Retirement or Pay Off Credit Card Debt?</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/10-dark-side-motivations-to-get-you-out-of-debt">10 Dark-Side Motivations to Get You Out of Debt</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/should-you-pay-down-debt-first-or-invest">Should You Pay Down Debt First or Invest?</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/25-fun-frugal-things-to-do-tonight-besides-watch-tv">25 Fun, Frugal Things to Do Tonight Besides Watch TV</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/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management challenges creativity fun games motivation Paying Off Debt setting goals Fri, 19 Jan 2018 09:39:08 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2076822 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Keep Boredom from Destroying Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-keep-boredom-from-destroying-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-keep-boredom-from-destroying-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_yawning.jpg" alt="Young woman yawning" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Bored, bored, bored; most of us find those words repeating in our head at some point during the week. The trouble is, when you&rsquo;re bored, you look for ways to relieve the boredom. And these days, that can lead to some poor money decisions. Here&rsquo;s how to avoid the lure of blowing your monthly budget just to escape the monotony.</p> <h2>1. Find a go-to &ldquo;boredom beater&rdquo; activity</h2> <p>If you know you&rsquo;re going to have spells of boredom in the future, put something together now to combat it. Make a list of books you want to read, and go get them from the library. Fill an empty drawer with cheap jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku books, and adult coloring books. Thrift stores can be a great source for many of these items (although you may be taking a risk purchasing a used jigsaw puzzle). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-frugal-ways-to-battle-boredom?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Frugal Ways to Battle Boredom</a>)</p> <h2>2. Plan something you would like to do</h2> <p>Making plans is something we all enjoy doing. Whether it&rsquo;s a weekend away, a trip to Europe, or figuring out your next home remodeling project, it&rsquo;s fun to think about the future. You can keep it realistic, or you can put together your &ldquo;dream vacation.&rdquo; You can make a bucket list, featuring everything you want to try in your lifetime. Use the internet to research delicious foods and incredible restaurants. Search for &ldquo;experiences of a lifetime.&rdquo; Not only does this put you in a positive frame of mind, it gives you a reason to start saving for something special. And the best part is, planning doesn&rsquo;t cost you anything.</p> <h2>3. Avoid any and all online shopping sites</h2> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m really bored &hellip; maybe I&rsquo;ll see what&rsquo;s new on Amazon.&rdquo; That&rsquo;s a big mistake right there. Even if the initial intention was just to window shop, the prospect of instant gratification and enticing deals can lure you in. Before you know it, you&rsquo;ve put a bunch of items in your shopping cart, searched for a few promo codes, and checked out with that &ldquo;What just happened?&rdquo; feeling. If you absolutely must go online shopping when you&rsquo;re bored, keep a list handy that contains items you know you will need. A birthday gift for a friend or family member. Cleaning supplies. Household stuff. At least then, you&rsquo;ll be checking a chore off your list. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-prevent-a-drunken-online-shopping-spree?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Prevent a Drunken Online Shopping Spree</a>)</p> <h2>4. Don&rsquo;t raid the pantry or fridge</h2> <p>You&rsquo;re bored, not hungry, and there&rsquo;s a big difference. One of the reasons smokers put on weight when they quit is not because they&rsquo;re hungry, but because they feel the need to do something with their hands. When you&rsquo;re bored, you&rsquo;re looking for something to do to eat up some time and busy yourself, so you may think, hey &hellip; why not actually eat? But if you budgeted correctly, you&rsquo;re using up food meant for a different time; like, an actual meal. Do this often, and not only will you have to spend more on food than you planned, but you&rsquo;ll gain weight.</p> <h2>5. Don&rsquo;t go to the movies</h2> <p>Who doesn&rsquo;t love a night at the cinema? If you&rsquo;re bored, the idea of getting out of the house to see a new movie may be very appealing to you. And, if you have money set aside in your budget for that, go ahead. But if you&rsquo;ve already used that up, or there isn&rsquo;t a movie you really want to see, don&rsquo;t go.</p> <p>The average price of a movie ticket these days is around $9, although it can be less at off-peak times, or much more for 3D and IMAX. Then you&rsquo;ve got the snacks, which are very hard to resist. Throw in a small popcorn and soda and that&rsquo;s another $11&ndash;$13. You&rsquo;re over $20 in the hole for this boredom buster.</p> <p>Instead, check out some of the new releases at the local library or Redbox. The library is free, although the newest titles are often reserved for months. Redbox costs between $1.50&ndash;$2 depending on your choice of DVD or Blu-ray. However, search online for codes that can get you a free night&rsquo;s rental. Just remember to take the disc back the next day.</p> <h2>6. Have a game night</h2> <p>Board games. Video games. Charades. As long as you already have free access to your choice of games, inviting friends or family over to have some fun is a great way to kill boredom without spending a nickel. If you don&rsquo;t have any games in the house, or are bored with the ones you have, take a trip to the nearest thrift store. There is usually a huge selection of pre-owned games of all types.</p> <p>If you go to Goodwill, look for color tags that give you either 50 percent off or the item for just 99 cents. Of course, it goes without saying that you should open the box and check the contents first. Make sure the game has all the pieces, but don&rsquo;t worry too much about instructions. These days you can find them free online, ready to print out and use in an instant.</p> <h2>7. Go on free tours</h2> <p>Whatever town or city you&rsquo;re in, you have access to tours of a wide variety of places. In some cities you can tour the United States Mint facility. You can visit local breweries or wineries, candy companies, and even car manufacturing plants. These free tours vary from state to state, but a great resource is <a href="http://www.factorytoursusa.com/" target="_blank">FactoryToursUsa.com</a>. On a tour, you'll go around in a group with a guide explaining the history of the company and the step-by-step process that goes into the products being made. Plus, many of these tours offer freebies at the end, or as you&rsquo;re walking around. Free beer? Free candy? Now that&rsquo;s not boring at all. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-free-things-to-do-in-any-city-you-visit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Free Things to Do in Any City You Visit</a>)</p> <h2>8. Get out and do something that costs nothing</h2> <p>There are plenty of ways to escape the house and not open your wallet. For starters, a simple walk around the neighborhood can be a great way to relieve boredom. Grab your phone and some headphones, play some music, and explore your local area. If you&rsquo;re feeling up to it, turn it into an exercise session instead. Jog, do pushups, run up and down steps. Find a way to turn that foray out of the house into something that will do you good.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re in the right part of the country, you could try a hike, hit a bike trail, or maybe grab a tent and a few supplies and go camping. If you own a dog, take him or her on a walk. This is also a good chance to meet your neighbors. If you see one outside and you&rsquo;ve never found the time to say hello, strike up a conversation. You may find you have a lot in common. Get inventive. Imagine you don&rsquo;t have one penny to your name. Now, what can you do to entertain yourself?</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-ways-to-keep-boredom-from-destroying-your-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Ways%2520to%2520Keep%2520Boredom%2520from%2520Destroying%2520Your%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=8%20Ways%20to%20Keep%20Boredom%20from%20Destroying%20Your%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Ways%20to%20Keep%20Boredom%20from%20Destroying%20Your%20Budget.jpg" alt="8 Ways to Keep Boredom from Destroying Your Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-keep-boredom-from-destroying-your-budget">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/the-high-cost-of-modern-love">The High Cost of Modern Love</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/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> <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/beat-stress-with-these-28-inexpensive-pastimes">Beat Stress With These 28 Inexpensive Pastimes</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-common-weekend-money-traps-and-how-to-avoid-them">8 Common Weekend Money Traps (And How to Avoid Them)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Entertainment activities bad habits boredom free things to do games movies online shopping Spending Money tours Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:00:05 +0000 Paul Michael 2086414 at http://www.wisebread.com Buying Virtual Cats Might Be the Future of Investing http://www.wisebread.com/buying-virtual-cats-might-be-the-future-of-investing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/buying-virtual-cats-might-be-the-future-of-investing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/scientist_gentleman_cat_with_glasses.jpg" alt="Scientist gentleman cat with glasses" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The latest trend in virtual goods is taking shape in the form of digital felines called <a href="https://www.cryptokitties.co/" target="_blank">CryptoKitties</a>. Launched November 28, 2017 as one of the world's first blockchain-based games, these virtual cats are already selling at outrageous prices. As of this writing, CryptoKitties are currently selling for an average price of about $84 per cat, though some are selling for tens of thousands of dollars.</p> <p>The only way you can purchase, sell, or &quot;breed&quot; CryptoKitties is with a smart contract-based token (ERC-721) based on Ethereum blockchain technology. Blockchain is the distributed ledger technology behind many cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. And Ethereum is a type of cryptocurrency after the likes of Bitcoin, but with some additional features to facilitate &quot;smart&quot; money movement between users. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-cryptocurrency-anyway?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What Is Cryptocurrency, Anyway?</a>)</p> <p>If you're in the market for some CryptoKitties, you've got to exchange whatever currency you have access to (say dollars or euros) to Ethereum currency, which is known as ether. At the time of this writing, one ether equals about $824.</p> <h2>What exactly are CryptoKitties?</h2> <p>CryptoKitties are digital cats that exist on a computer network. They each have different characteristics known as &quot;cattributes,&quot; which are the result of digital genomes. With over 4 billion potential genetic combinations, the possibilities for your kitty are seemingly endless. Some cattributes, like <em>wingtips</em> or<em> blood-red</em> are more appealing and more valuable than others &mdash; which is what makes this an actual marketplace.</p> <p>CryptoKitties have been likened to the Beanie Babies craze of the 90s, or trading baseball or Pokemon cards. If you've ever collected or sold these types of goods, you know that values can be very arbitrary or based on rarity. In this case, rarity is somewhat determined by the digital genome set by the developers of the game.</p> <h2>Why would I buy CryptoKitties?</h2> <p>Right now, CryptoKitties, seem to have no inherent value, aside from what the community assigns them. In other words, people are buying, selling, and breeding these cats only because they believe they will have more value in the future. When you sell or breed digital kittens, you get paid in <em>ether</em>, which converts to real money.</p> <p>Aside from making money, CryptoKitties is fun to play. You don't know what the cattributes of your offspring will be until they appear, so there's a gaming aspect to this phenomenon in addition to being a way to earn money.</p> <h2>What does the CryptoKitties craze mean?</h2> <p>As mentioned above, there seems to be no inherent value to CryptoKitties. However, the <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/a5h3zso545wuqkm/CryptoKitties_WhitePapurr_V2.pdf?dl=0" target="_blank">CryptoKitties White Papurr</a> created by the game's developer, venture studio Axiom Zen, explains the game's intent is largely to make blockchain technology, a concept many consumers find confusing, accessible to everyone.</p> <p>The paper sums up the true purpose of CryptoKitties in this way: &quot;By normalizing the practical application of smart contracts and cryptocurrency transactions, we will empower everyday consumers with a basic fluency in distributed ledger technology.&quot;</p> <p>Who knew digital cats could introduce the average Joe (or Jenny) to the future of technology?</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fbuying-virtual-cats-might-be-the-future-of-investing&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FBuying%2520Virtual%2520Cats%2520Might%2520Be%2520the%2520Future%2520of%2520Investing.jpg&amp;description=Buying%20Virtual%20Cats%20Might%20Be%20the%20Future%20of%20Investing"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Buying%20Virtual%20Cats%20Might%20Be%20the%20Future%20of%20Investing.jpg" alt="Buying Virtual Cats Might Be the Future of Investing" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aja-mcclanahan">Aja McClanahan</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-virtual-cats-might-be-the-future-of-investing">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/holiday-gifts-6-fun-games-that-teach-money-and-finance">Holiday Gifts: 6 Fun Games That Teach Money and Finance</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/who-really-owns-your-digital-assets">Who Really Owns Your Digital Assets?</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/is-bitcoin-still-a-thing">Is Bitcoin Still a Thing?</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-ways-to-keep-boredom-from-destroying-your-budget">8 Ways to Keep Boredom from Destroying Your Budget</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/10-new-podcasts-thatll-improve-your-money-mindset">10 New Podcasts That&#039;ll Improve Your Money Mindset</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Entertainment bitcoin cats cryptocurrency cryptokitties cute ethereum fads games virtual goods Tue, 26 Dec 2017 09:00:08 +0000 Aja McClanahan 2076886 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Smart Financial Gifts to Give Your Kids This Year http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-financial-gifts-to-give-your-kids-this-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-smart-financial-gifts-to-give-your-kids-this-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_and_daughter_with_piggy_bank.jpg" alt="Mother and daughter with piggy bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>American poet Maya Angelou said it best: &quot;When you know better, you do better.&quot; The earlier that your kids develop good financial habits, the brighter their financial future will be.</p> <p>With the holidays right around the corner, now is the perfect time to set your sights on one or more of these financial gifts that will help your kids learn about, respect, and appreciate money.</p> <h2>1. Monopoly</h2> <p>Since 1935, this classic board game has entertained millions of people around the world. Turns out that playing rounds with &quot;Monopoly money&quot; can actually help build real life financial skills, such as negotiation, money management, and diversification. Plus, a round of Monopoly is a good way to practice arithmetic and social skills. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gifts-6-fun-games-that-teach-money-and-finance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Holiday Gifts: TK Fun Games That Teach Money and Finance</a>)</p> <h2>2. Custodial investment account</h2> <p>Most brokerage firms offer a custodial account that allows children to get a first taste of investing in the stock market under the supervision of a parent or guardian. With as little as $100, you could open a custodial account and let your kid make decisions about what stocks to hold or sell.</p> <p>In 2017, you can contribute up to $14,000 to a custodial account and still avoid gift taxes. In 2018, the annual federal gift exclusion moves up to $15,000. Your kid's custodial account is under your control until your kid legally becomes an adult, which happens somewhere between age 18 and 21, depending on your state's rules.</p> <p>A custodial investment account is a great way to get your child excited about investing and let them learn from firsthand experience how the stock market works. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-stocks-your-kids-would-love-to-own?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Stocks Your Kids Would Love to Own</a>).</p> <h2>3. Custodial Roth IRA</h2> <p>If your kid is already working a summer job or earning income from their own business, consider setting up a custodial Roth IRA for them. In 2017 and 2018, individuals may contribute up to $5,500 to a custodial Roth IRA. Here are a couple of reasons why this is a good idea:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Your child will have the same contribution limit as an adult, making it a real-life lesson in cultivating a good savings habit.</p> </li> <li> <p>Your child can get close to a decade of extra compounding interest for their nest egg.</p> </li> <li> <p>By taking the tax hit now, your child's retirement savings will grow tax-free forever.</p> </li> <li> <p>Your child will have another &quot;sandbox&quot; in which to make real-life decisions with investments.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Just imagine if <em>you </em>knew how life-changing investing in equities could be at such a young age.</p> <p>That alone may be the best financial gift for your kid this holiday season! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-investing-lessons-you-must-teach-your-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Investing Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids</a>)</p> <h2>4. 529 savings plan</h2> <p>The average class of 2016 graduate left school with $37,172 in student loan debt. If you could do something now to help prevent your kid from having to take out such costly student loans, that would certainly be a gift worth giving. The good news is you <em>can</em> do this by starting a 529 college savings plan. Eligible education expenses under a 529 plan go beyond tuition and academic fees and include expenses for room and board, transportation, equipment, and accommodations for individuals with special needs.</p> <p>Contributions to a 529 plan grow tax-free and the money is not taxed when it's withdrawn to pay for college expenses. In addition to federal tax savings, more than 30 states currently offer a full or partial tax deduction or credit for 529 plan contributions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</a>)</p> <h2>5. Cash</h2> <p>Yup, cash is still king. Regardless of their age, your kid will always love receiving a few bills as a gift. The main reason to gift cash during the holiday season is that it opens the door to have an ongoing conversation with your kids about budgeting. With a cash gift, you'll have plenty of chances to talk about what they're planning to buy, what they actually purchase, and how much money they have left. From there, you can start making it a habit to sit down with your son or daughter to talk about finances on a weekly or Bi-Weekly basis. It's a good time to catch up about other non-related finance topics as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-help-your-kid-build-their-first-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Help Your Kid Build Their First Budget</a>)</p> <h2>6. Checking account with debit card and checkbook</h2> <p>Of course, this would be a great place for any cash gifts that your son or daughter receives from relatives and friends during the holidays (and throughout the year).</p> <p>While a checking account may not be as exciting as a new Xbox or bike, you can be sure that this gift is the one that your child will be using for the longest time. It's important that your kids start to build experience managing a checking account so they understand how to pay for everyday expenses, build a monthly budget, and safely use debit cards. By covering the ins and outs of how a checking account works when they're young, your kid will have one less thing to stress about as they get a little older or go off to college.</p> <p>No matter what your child's plans are, anyone can benefit from learning how to use a debit card, write checks, access an online account portal, and read a checking account statement.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-smart-financial-gifts-to-give-your-kids-this-year&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Smart%2520Financial%2520Gifts%2520to%2520Give%2520Your%2520Kids%2520This%2520Year.jpg&amp;description=6%20Smart%20Financial%20Gifts%20to%20Give%20Your%20Kids%20This%20Year"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Smart%20Financial%20Gifts%20to%20Give%20Your%20Kids%20This%20Year.jpg" alt="6 Smart Financial Gifts to Give Your Kids This Year" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-financial-gifts-to-give-your-kids-this-year">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/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids 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/teach-your-kids-about-money-with-their-holiday-gift-lists">Teach Your Kids About Money With Their Holiday Gift Lists</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-help-your-adult-children-become-financially-independent">How to Help Your Adult Children Become Financially Independent</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/7-money-conversations-parents-should-have-with-their-adult-kids">7 Money Conversations Parents Should Have With Their Adult Kids</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/holiday-gifts-6-fun-games-that-teach-money-and-finance">Holiday Gifts: 6 Fun Games That Teach Money and Finance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family 529 plans budgeting cash checking accounts children Christmas custodial roth ira financial gifts games Holidays investing kids Fri, 01 Dec 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Damian Davila 2064624 at http://www.wisebread.com Holiday Gifts: 6 Fun Games That Teach Money and Finance http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gifts-6-fun-games-that-teach-money-and-finance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/holiday-gifts-6-fun-games-that-teach-money-and-finance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/parents_playing_board_game_with_their_children.jpg" alt="Parents playing board game with their children" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was growing up, some of my favorite holiday gifts were the board games my parents gave to me and my sister. Not only did receiving a board game ensure that we would be spending time together as a family, but I also loved how new games could teach me different ways of looking at the world, and managing money in particular.</p> <p>Consider gifting these board games to your kids to get them interested in investing, saving, and spending wisely. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money</a>)</p> <h2>1. Acquire</h2> <p><strong>For 2-6 players, ages 12 and up</strong></p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2A1VBXb" target="_blank">Acquire</a> is based on the idea of creating a super city, wherein each player tries to invest strategically in various businesses, including entertainment, food, fashion, marketing, and other major industries. Throughout gameplay, the various &quot;venture capitalists&quot; compete to build the city and try to own the majority shares in the most lucrative businesses. You make money by forming, merging, expanding, and acquiring businesses, and by buying stock at the right time &mdash; which makes this game an excellent introduction to how investing works. Whoever has the most money at the end of the game wins.</p> <h2>2. Allowance</h2> <p><strong>For 2-4 players, ages 5-11</strong></p> <p>As players make their way around the <a href="http://amzn.to/2hW8I5x" target="_blank">Allowance</a> board, they can earn money by doing chores, starting their own businesses, earning interest on their savings accounts, and of course, by collecting their allowance each time they go &quot;home.&quot; On the other hand, players can also spend money at the mall, at garage sales, or simply by losing it out of their pockets. The first player to save up $20 wins the game. Allowance comes with realistic looking play money, and helps teach young children everything from how to make change and count out money to how to save their pennies. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-games-that-teach-your-kids-about-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Fun Games That Teach Your Kids About Money</a>)</p> <h2>3. Black Gold</h2> <p><strong>For 2-5 players, ages 13 and up</strong></p> <p>Imagine you are trying to make your fortune in the oil fields of Texas in 1922. That's the basis for the oil prospecting game <a href="http://amzn.to/2hW31Vi" target="_blank">Black Gold</a>, where between two and five prospectors compete by exploring the terrain for oil wells, surveying the possible sites, and building derricks. You can earn money by transporting your oil to one of three companies and earning the right to sell at auction. Game play includes bidding, bluffing, and strategizing &mdash; which can help your kids learn good negotiation skills while they try to glean the most wealth from their oil wells.</p> <h2>4. Pit</h2> <p><strong>For 3-8 players, ages 7 and up</strong></p> <p>This game, which was first introduced all the way back in 1904, helps to recreate the now (mostly) defunct open-outcry trading one used to find on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. <a href="http://amzn.to/2zuaeDC" target="_blank">Pit</a> is a card game wherein each player attempts to corner the market in a particular commodity. The winner of any particular hand is the first one to collect all of one commodity, and points are awarded based on the value of the cornered commodity. The overall winner is the first player to score 500 points. Not only will this game give you a chance to shout and wave your arms a la Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy in <em>Trading Places</em>, but it will help you to better understand exactly how commodities traders do their jobs &mdash; even if it's mostly handled by computers these days.</p> <h2>5. Stockpile</h2> <p><strong>For 2-5 players, ages 13 and up</strong></p> <p>Helping your kids understand how the stock market works can be an uphill battle, until you break out this board game. With <a href="http://amzn.to/2jiVTyy" target="_blank">Stockpile</a>, each player is a stock market investor. The game helps make it clear that everyone knows a little something about the stock market, but no one knows everything. That means each player receives one piece of insider information, but there are plenty of unknowns facing each investor as well. You must consider multiple factors when buying or selling a stock, just as you would in real-world trading. Whoever has the most money at the end of the game wins, but everyone will certainly learn important investment strategy skills from this game.</p> <h2>6. Tin Goose</h2> <p><strong>For 3-5 players, ages 10 and up</strong></p> <p>In <a href="http://amzn.to/2hL4WYZ" target="_blank">Tin Goose</a>, it's the early days of commercial airlines, and each player is attempting to build a large, profitable airline. You are helped by the fact that planes are becoming safer and more fuel efficient over time. But even as your planes get better, you will also face more and more disastrous potential setbacks such as crashes, worker strikes, and spikes in oil prices. This game will help teach how to balance the emotions of greed and fear while strategizing how to build your business in competition with others.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fholiday-gifts-6-fun-games-that-teach-money-and-finance&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHoliday%2520Gifts_%25206%2520Fun%2520Games%2520That%2520Teach%2520Money%2520and%2520Finance.jpg&amp;description=Holiday%20Gifts%3A%206%20Fun%20Games%20That%20Teach%20Money%20and%20Finance"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Holiday%20Gifts_%206%20Fun%20Games%20That%20Teach%20Money%20and%20Finance.jpg" alt="Holiday Gifts: 6 Fun Games That Teach Money and Finance" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gifts-6-fun-games-that-teach-money-and-finance">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/6-smart-financial-gifts-to-give-your-kids-this-year">6 Smart Financial Gifts to Give Your Kids This Year</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-gifts-for-the-person-who-needs-a-nap">9 Frugal Gifts for the Person Who Needs a Nap</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/buying-virtual-cats-might-be-the-future-of-investing">Buying Virtual Cats Might Be the Future of Investing</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-reasons-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night">8 Reasons Frugal Families Love Boardgame Night</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/15-unique-holiday-gifts-for-teachers-that-theyll-actually-like">15 Unique Holiday Gifts for Teachers That They&#039;ll Actually Like</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Entertainment Family Christmas games games for kids gift guide gift ideas holiday gifts holiday shopping money games Thu, 30 Nov 2017 10:00:06 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 2062574 at http://www.wisebread.com 17 Creative, No-Mess Activities for Kids Stuck at Home http://www.wisebread.com/17-creative-no-mess-activities-for-kids-stuck-at-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/17-creative-no-mess-activities-for-kids-stuck-at-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_paint_mess_498734754.jpg" alt="Girl doing creative, no-mess activities at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Maybe you have a kid stuck at home because they're not old enough for school yet, or maybe they're home with a cold, or it's a snow day. It doesn't matter. This list is jam-packed with ideas to keep them occupied and fully entertained all day long, without a huge, sticky mess to clean after it's over. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-fun-things-to-do-when-youre-stuck-inside-during-winter?ref=seealso" target="_blank">50 Fun Things to Do When You're Stuck Inside During Winter</a>)</p> <h2>1. Get pointillistic with dot markers</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2w5408c" target="_blank">Dot markers</a> have been around for a long time, used primarily for playing Bingo. I've found the best deals at the local dollar store.</p> <p>Use them to create connect-the-dots or to draw on plain paper. You could also have the kids try a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9DX5MhkfYQ" target="_blank">crash course on pointillism</a>, a cool art technique that involves a lot of dots. They can use the dot markers to create their own pointillistic masterpieces.</p> <h2>2. Draw a comic strip</h2> <p>Your kiddo can be a cartoonist. First, print out blank comic strips or draw your own comic strips by marking out the lines on plain paper. Use a ruler to get them straight.</p> <p>Then they can use colored pencils, washable markers, or pens to draw and color in their own comic strips. Encourage them to make up new characters going on amazing adventures, or suggest that they simply draw out stories based on their own daily lives.</p> <h2>3. Make (and play) a ringtoss game</h2> <p>You can make a ringtoss game out of almost anything (just make sure it isn't sharp, or hard, or breakable). You'll need things that are ring-shaped or that you can bend into a ring shape, like pipe cleaners. Then you need a target: something thin and tall enough for the rings to slide over.</p> <p>To play, have your kids set the target up and take two or three big steps back from it. They toss as many rings over the target as they can. You can make it more interesting by adding in extra challenges, such as a time limit, smaller rings, or having them stand further away from the target.</p> <h2>4. Create your own board game</h2> <p>Your kids get to design the whole game: characters, the goal, the board, and the rules.</p> <p>Have them start by deciding what the goal is: how can someone win the game? Do they need to get a certain number of points? Or go all the way around the board? Then have them set some rules: do they roll dice or use a spinner? (They can use parts from other board games you own &mdash; such as dice or an hourglass &mdash; for their new game.)</p> <p>Suggest that they use whatever they can find as raw materials. For example, draw the game board on a piece of cardboard, cut paper into cards, create characters or game pieces out of modeling clay, or use tiny toys they already have.</p> <h2>5. Try an origami challenge</h2> <p>Start with some simple shapes for origami. There are a lot of YouTube tutorials, for example, a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KG62H5QaD2o" target="_blank">ninja star</a> or <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_ubB8Ff2Vs&amp;list=PLnoO3k54vcBQ_tNFyn7ukM1-LaQBAG2Ld" target="_blank">a baby chicken</a> or a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSrVSbEdPEE&amp;index=10&amp;list=PL2vt_TPKQbZob-85AoY8Cxtj8LjigvTNk" target="_blank">water bomb</a>. (Obviously you should start with the water bomb.) When they've mastered a couple of the easier tutorials, have them try some harder shapes.</p> <h2>6. Build a tiny town</h2> <p>Hit up the recycling bin for empty plastic bottles and cardboard boxes. The thin cardboard is best, because it's easier to cut.</p> <p>They can build the structures of their town by cutting, stacking, and combining boxes and bottles. Cut out or draw on doors and windows. Washi tape or masking tape can be used to attach the structures together. Colored tape can also be used to designate roads through their very own tiny towns.</p> <h2>7. Make a marble run</h2> <p>Start with a hard surface (like the floor) and use toys and books to create a racecourse. Your kids can put in little obstacles; they should be small and light so the marble won't be stopped completely. To start the marble on its run, cut cardboard tubes (from toilet paper or paper towels) in half. Tape them together to make them longer. Stack one end on books or a table and make sure it slopes down into the beginning of the racecourse.</p> <h2>8. Make a toy car track</h2> <p>If they have some toy cars, they can make a custom track, with jumps and challenges, out of almost anything. My kids use stools or a stack of books and then pieces of cardboard, small boxes, or big, flat books to build ramps and jumps.</p> <p>They can even come up with tunnels and create obstacle courses. If they have blocks or Legos around, they can build some structures or tunnels for the cars to go through. Or demolish. That part is entirely up to them.</p> <h2>9. Create an ad</h2> <p>The idea of this game is for your kids to come up with their very own advertisement for a made-up product. So, to start with, have them come up with a product that they want to &quot;sell.&quot; It can be as stupid or silly or serious as they want it to be.</p> <p>Next, they need to come up with some ideas about how to advertise it. Maybe a story, or act out a scene, or perform a song. They can use costumes, props, a whole scene. My kids like to video their ads and then review and improve them. Or just laugh at them.</p> <h2>10. Make a music video or do karaoke</h2> <p>They should select their songs, decide on a script or choreographed dance if they're making a video, or just sing and dance their hearts out. Costumes and props make this extremely fun and allow them to be more immersed in the music.</p> <h2>11. Go on a scavenger hunt</h2> <p>A scavenger hunt can work inside or outside. You can come up with your own list and have them hunt around the house for them, or they can come up with their own list of ideas. They can decide to hunt as a team or go separately as a competition. Set a timer to make it more challenging and exciting.</p> <h2>12. Create a memory challenge</h2> <p>The kids will need a timer for this. They should start by finding five to 10 small objects: a marble, a toy car, a spoon, etc. Spread them out on a tray and look at them for 30 seconds. Then move the tray somewhere they can't see it and have them try to remember all the objects on the tray. They can write a list or draw a picture of each one. How many did they remember? If they got them all, add more objects, or start with a completely new set. Make it more challenging by giving them less time to look at the objects on the tray (try 20 seconds, and then 15).</p> <h2>13. Take a Lego building challenge</h2> <p>Kids can use any sort of building toy for this. Blocks or K'Nex or Magnetos will work just as well as Legos. First, make a list of 10 to 15 things they want to build. Or check out <a href="http://afewshortcuts.com/free-printable-lego-challenge-cards/" target="_blank">these printable Lego challenge cards</a> for inspiration.</p> <p>To do the challenge, choose something from the list to build. Then start building. They can use a timer to see how quickly they can build it. Or they can take their time and do the best possible job.</p> <h2>14. Tell some fortunes</h2> <p>This is fun to do with friends or siblings. Make some paper fortunetellers by following <a href="http://innerchildfun.com/2016/10/make-paper-fortune-tellers.html" target="_blank">these instructions</a>.</p> <p>Or, for a simpler version, you can play a game from my childhood (I know, right? So old.) called MASH. All you need is a piece of paper and something to write with. Here are <a href="http://mashplus.com/how-to-play-mash/" target="_blank">the full instructions</a>.</p> <h2>15. Do some pasta-marshmallow architecture</h2> <p>Get their inner architect to work with dry pasta. Seriously! They'll need dry spaghetti noodles and mini marshmallows. Gumdrops work too, if you're low on marshmallows.</p> <p>To build, stick the spaghetti noodles into the marshmallows and gumdrops to connect them and create structures. You can also use toothpicks, or break the spaghetti into pieces for shorter sections. You can start with simple squares and cubes, and then connect them for more complex structures. Here's <a href="https://modernparentsmessykids.com/stem-activity-gum-drop-engineering/" target="_blank">some inspiration</a> to get you started.</p> <h2>16. Make a felt board and pieces</h2> <p>You'll need felt, some cardboard, and scissors. To start, have the kids cover a cardboard with felt, then staple or carefully glue it on. They could use a few different colors of felt to create a background or setting. Maybe a green strip for grass on the bottom, and a gray triangle for a mountain.</p> <p>Next, they can cut out shapes with the rest of the felt. The felt shapes will stick to the felt board, so they can use them to create characters, settings, buildings, and all sorts of other stuff on the felt board.</p> <h2>17. Come up with 10</h2> <p>Need some more ideas? I got this method from a writer named <a href="http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2014/05/the-ultimate-guide-for-becoming-an-idea-machine/" target="_blank">James Altucher</a>, and it works well. You can do this or have your kids do this if they're bored.</p> <p>First, think of a problem or a question, like &quot;What are some cool things I can do by myself?&quot; or &quot;What could I do when I'm bored that won't get me in trouble?&quot; Then make a list of 10 ideas that answer your question. Don't stop at five or six. Your brain will want to. Don't let it be lazy. Insist on 10. Your brain saves all the really good ideas for eight and nine and 10.</p> <p>If you make one list, you can make another one. What's another question? How about, &quot;What can I do with my friends?&quot; or &quot;What are some things I want to learn about?&quot; or &quot;How can I not be bored?&quot; Make another list for each question. Make 10 lists! Now you have 100 ideas. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-entertain-your-child-for-free-or-cheap?ref-seealso" target="_blank">25 Ways to Entertain Your Child for Free or Cheap</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F17-creative-no-mess-activities-for-kids-stuck-at-home&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F17%2520Creative%252C%2520No-Mess%2520Activities%2520for%2520Kids%2520Stuck%2520at%2520Home_0.jpg&amp;description=17%20Creative%2C%20No-Mess%20Activities%20for%20Kids%20Stuck%20at%20Home"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/17%20Creative%2C%20No-Mess%20Activities%20for%20Kids%20Stuck%20at%20Home_0.jpg" alt="17 Creative, No-Mess Activities for Kids Stuck at Home" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-creative-no-mess-activities-for-kids-stuck-at-home">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/6-smart-financial-gifts-to-give-your-kids-this-year">6 Smart Financial Gifts to Give Your Kids This Year</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/holiday-gifts-6-fun-games-that-teach-money-and-finance">Holiday Gifts: 6 Fun Games That Teach Money and Finance</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/8-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money">8 Best Sites to Help Your Kids Learn About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Family arts and crafts fun things to do games keep kids busy kid activities kids no mess activities things to do with your kids Fri, 25 Aug 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Annie Mueller 2008742 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Smart Money Challenges You Can Totally Do http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-money-challenges-you-can-totally-do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-smart-money-challenges-you-can-totally-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_pumping_fists_celebrates_success_under_money_rain.jpg" alt="7 Smart Money Challenges You Can Totally Do" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you up for a money challenge? How about several?</p> <p>Make no mistake, some of the savings challenges below are tough. Some may even drive you a little bonkers. But they are all achievable if you put your mind to it, and can leave you with more money for your financial goals &mdash; in some cases, considerably more. They may even leave you healthier and happier.</p> <p>So, if you think you have what it takes, here are seven money challenges. Which ones will you take on?</p> <h2>1. Use thrift stores whenever possible</h2> <p>Of course, there are necessities you can't get at a thrift store, like groceries. But for clothing, household items, electronics, and a whole host of other products, thrift stores are a gold mine.</p> <p>Thrift store clothing is usually in excellent condition, and sold for a fraction of the price you'd pay at a retail store. Simply pop the garment in the wash when you get home, or get it dry cleaned, and you're good to go. Thrift stores also have special offer days &mdash; Goodwill runs 99-cent tag days every week. You can actually pick up a winter coat, a great watch, or a coffee maker for less than a buck. Do this challenge for one year, and see how much you save.</p> <h2>2. Do the 52-week savings plan</h2> <p>Often known as the &quot;52-week money challenge&quot; or &quot;a dollar extra every week,&quot; the plan eases you into saving a substantial sum of money over the course of one year. It's simple enough, and very easy to stick to, at least at first.</p> <p>In January, at the end of week one, you'll put $1 into your savings account (or jar). At the end of week two, you pop in $2. Week three, $3. And so on for the whole year. By the time you reach the end of December, you'll have saved almost $1,400.</p> <p>The only drawback to this plan is that the amounts get larger and larger as the year goes on, and they're the most expensive during the December holidays. But stick with it, and you'll have a nice chunk of money to celebrate with. Even if you bail at the end of November, you'll have collected over $1,100. That could pay for a lot of those gifts and special events.</p> <h2>3. Cancel Amazon Prime</h2> <p>Look, we all know how good Amazon Prime is: free two-day shipping, a massive library of free movies and TV shows, and some great prices on thousands of items. <em>But</em>, and this is a big but, for some people it can become addictive. Having instant (or almost instant) gratification is incredibly satisfying. Admit it, how many times have you casually hit the &quot;Buy now with 1-Click&quot; button when you saw something you liked?</p> <p>The website and app are designed to make impulse buying easier. One woman recently documented how she spent over <a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/spendingandborrowing/a-woman-who-spent-dollar41000-on-amazon-highlights-a-critical-money-lesson/ar-BBBzSX8" target="_blank">$41,000 on Amazon Prime</a> from 2008 to 2016. In 2015, she bought 427 items &mdash; more than there are days in a year. And not only did she find it very easy to do, she was at a loss as to what most of these items were.</p> <p>So if you feel like you are too often tempted by Amazon Prime, then try giving it a miss for a while. See how much you save. You may find it is a temptation that sucks money away from you.</p> <h2>4. Stop eating out, and no more fast food</h2> <p>According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015, the average American family spent over $3,000 on takeout and dining out. That's $250 every month!</p> <p>That same year, the average family spent just $4,015 on groceries. And the gap between those figures continues to narrow. As a nation, we're addicted to quick and easy meals and it's really hurting our wallets.</p> <p>So, make a pledge right now to give it up for a month or two. No more restaurants. No more quick stops at the drive-thru. For at least two months, give up the notion of getting food from anywhere but your own home. Bring lunches to work. Pack lunches for the kids. Plan meals for every night of the week, and get creative with leftovers. You will miss the quick fix and the ease of eating out, but you will save hundreds of dollars. Furthermore, you will not be eating all those preservatives, fats, and chemicals that come with fast food. You'll be healthier <em>and </em>richer.</p> <h2>5. Do your shopping on just one day of the week</h2> <p>When I was growing up, Friday was grocery shopping day. My parents would take us all to the local supermarket with a list of things to buy, and that's what we bought. That would have to last us for the week, and there were no exceptions. If we ran out of fruit or cereal, we'd find substitutions. If we wanted candy or soda, and we ate what we had by Tuesday, then we had to wait to get more.</p> <p>This taught my sister and I that we had to ration what we had, and that we could not simply rely on an endless supply of whatever we wanted. Plus, every time you pop into a grocery store, even if it's just for bread or milk, you inevitably get caught up in special offers and eye-catching deals, and come back with more than you need. So, set a day of the week to shop, even if it's done via a home delivery service, and stick with it. What's more, this challenge makes it much easier to budget for the month.</p> <h2>6. Spend one month haggling over as much as you can</h2> <p>This one is tough for people who don't like confrontations or talking to customer service. However, if you persevere, you will come out of it saving a whole lot of money.</p> <p>Spend the first week haggling with every service provider you have. Your cable, internet, and phone providers have something called a customer retention department. Their role is simply to keep you as a customer, and they have some significant discounts to offer just to keep you on board. All you have to do is call and say you want to cancel, and you will be offered rebates and lower rates almost immediately.</p> <p>Next, hit up your credit card and banking providers. Can they <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate" target="_blank">lower your interest rates</a>?</p> <p>After that, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/negotiate-better-prices-on-these-6-grocery-store-buys" target="_blank">start haggling in stores</a>. If you go grocery shopping in the evening, you will be able to make the manager some offers on food that is about to expire. Sometimes, perfectly good food destined for the garbage can be acquired for pennies on the dollar.</p> <p>Be brave. Aim high, and if you get nothing, guess what? You've lost nothing. But chances are, you'll come out on top most of the time.</p> <h2>7. Clear out the pantry and fridge once a month</h2> <p>Take a look in your fridge, freezer, and pantry when you finish reading this article. You will probably be amazed at what you find in there. For a start, many of the items at the back of the pantry and fridge will be expired. That is cash in the trash. You will also find things you completely forgot you bought, and perhaps a few items that should never have been in there in the first place.</p> <p>Sort through everything and then stick to using up everything in the pantry and fridge for one week. Don't go to the store. Don't eat out. Get creative! You will come up with all sorts of weird food concoctions, but that's half the fun. You can also search recipe sites, input what ingredients you have available, and receive recipe suggestions that use those ingredients. Some people do this religiously, and it leaves them with a well-organized kitchen and very little food waste each month.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-smart-money-challenges-you-can-totally-do&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Smart%2520Money%2520Challenges%2520You%2520Can%2520Totally%2520Do.jpg&amp;description=7%20Smart%20Money%20Challenges%20You%20Can%20Totally%20Do"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Smart%20Money%20Challenges%20You%20Can%20Totally%20Do.jpg" alt="7 Smart Money Challenges You Can Totally Do" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-money-challenges-you-can-totally-do">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/7-ways-being-single-is-better-for-your-bank-account">7 Ways Being Single is Better for Your Bank Account</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/how-to-improve-your-finances-using-social-media">How to Improve Your Finances Using Social Media</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-little-ways-to-boost-your-savings-account-every-day">9 Little Ways to Boost Your Savings Account Every Day</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/4-money-resolutions-anyone-can-conquer">4 Money Resolutions Anyone Can Conquer</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/boost-your-savings-with-this-easy-budgeting-system">Boost Your Savings With This Easy Budgeting System</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance amazon prime food costs games groceries haggling money challenges negotiating saving money shopping thrift stores Mon, 03 Jul 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Paul Michael 1971280 at http://www.wisebread.com These Apps Turn Saving Money Into a Game — Are They Worth It? http://www.wisebread.com/these-apps-turn-saving-money-into-a-game-are-they-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-apps-turn-saving-money-into-a-game-are-they-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_surprised_phone_598171710.jpg" alt="Woman turning money saving into a game" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you have two dollars in your hand, do you save it or buy a scratch-off lottery ticket? We all know that the sensible choice is to put that money right in the bank. But the reality is, at today's anemic interest rates, saving is boring. The chance of winning a prize is exciting.</p> <p>What if you could have both the long-term financial benefit of saving, and the momentary thrill of getting a chance to win a prize? Combining responsible behavior and fun is the idea behind a crop of products and services that gamify saving money.</p> <p>Let's look at the pros and cons of some of these prize-linked savings products, which allow users the chance to win money without risking any of their own.</p> <h2>1. Long Game</h2> <p>At first, <a href="https://www.longgame.co/" target="_blank">Long Game</a> sounds like the same humdrum routine. It offers a savings account that you link to your regular checking account; money you transfer to savings earns 0.1 percent interest. But here's where it gets good: Long Game rewards you for depositing money into savings with &quot;coins.&quot; You can use your coins to buy virtual lottery tickets, and the prizes are either real cash or more coins.</p> <p>One nice feature of Long Game is that it doesn't charge fees. Another aspect, which could be either a feature or a drawback, depending on your interests, is that you have to actually play games, like spinning a wheel, to win money. Personally, I don't have the time for such games and would rather get automatic entries, but for people like my grandmother who play fake online slots just for fun, this could be a plus.</p> <h2>2. Wal-Mart MoneyCard</h2> <p>Walmart's MoneyCard was already a popular way for low-income, unbanked workers to store their paycheck and pay bills. Now, it's also billing itself as a savings vehicle, with a feature called Vault that allows users to set aside money that can't be spent on purchases (unless you transfer that money back out of the Vault). Recently, Wal-Mart debuted the <a href="https://www.walmartmoneycard.com/account/prizesavings" target="_blank">Prize Savings program</a> for MoneyCard, which gives card users chances to win up to $1,000 each month. The more money you keep in the Vault, the more chances you get to win.</p> <p>This program differs from Long Game in several notable ways: One, you don't need a separate bank account to participate &mdash; MoneyCard functions as a bank account replacement. Two, money in the Vault does not earn interest. Three, MoneyCard charges several fees: a $5 monthly fee, $3&ndash;$4.95 to put money on the card, and a $2.50 fee to get cash at an ATM. Fourth, you don't have to enter the drawing &mdash; putting the money in your Vault enters you automatically.</p> <h2>3. SaveUp</h2> <p>Link your savings and debt-bearing accounts to <a href="https://www.saveup.com/" target="_blank">SaveUp</a>, and you'll be rewarded with credits not just for saving money, but also for paying down debt. The credits can be used to buy virtual lotto tickets for cash prizes, including $50 weekly drawings and a monthly chance at a $2 million &quot;super jackpot.&quot;</p> <p>SaveUp is free to join. As with Long Game, you have to actively play to win; entries are not automatic.</p> <h2>4. Save to Win</h2> <p>The only nonprofit on this list, <a href="http://www.savetowin.org/" target="_blank">Save to Win</a> rewards credit union members with weekly and monthly prize drawings; the more you deposit, the more entries you get. Prizes vary by state but generally start at $25 and can go into the thousands.</p> <p>Save to Win is currently available at select credit unions in 13 states. Once you're enrolled in Save to Win, entry is automatic, so you don't need to remember to play the game.</p> <h2>5. Tip Yourself</h2> <p>This one is not a prize-linked program, but another gamified approach to saving money. <a href="https://www.tipyourself.com/" target="_blank">Tip Yourself</a> encourages users to transfer money from their checking account into a virtual &quot;tip jar&quot; as a reward for performing a desirable activity. The &quot;tip jar&quot; is a non-interest-paying account.</p> <p>It's an interesting idea for combining savings and self-motivation. I can imagine using Tip Yourself to save for a trip or a small goal like a spa pedicure; every time you exercise, you could reward yourself by moving some money to the trip or spa fund. It doesn't cost money to make the transfer. However, since the tip jar doesn't pay interest, it seems like you would be better off setting up a money market account linked to your checking account for saving toward a goal; most banks offer that option.</p> <h2>The take-away</h2> <p>The majority of these apps share a common drawback: To use them, you have to share your bank account information, which could put your account at risk if the company gets hacked. It also calls your financial privacy into question; if you plan to use any of these, study the company's privacy policy before taking the plunge.</p> <p>Several of these apps encourage users to keep savings in accounts that don't pay interest. Even though current interest rates are low, that makes little sense to me.</p> <p>If you are a member of a credit union that offers it, using the nonprofit Save to Win is a no-brainer. It won't take you any extra time to play, and it doesn't appear that you'd sacrifice security or privacy to do so. For the rest of these apps, carefully weigh the value of your privacy, security, and any financial costs against the chance of winning before committing.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-apps-turn-saving-money-into-a-game-are-they-worth-it">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/everyones-using-spare-change-apps-are-they-really-worth-it">Everyone&#039;s Using Spare Change Apps — Are They Really Worth It?</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/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you">7 Apps That Monitor Your Credit for You</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-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">7 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</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/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</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/the-encouraging-truth-about-how-americans-are-covering-the-cost-of-college">The Encouraging Truth About How Americans Are Covering the Cost of College</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Technology apps fees games prizes rewards saving money smartphones winning money Fri, 09 Jun 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1960490 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Best Sites to Help Your Kids Learn About Money http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_breakfast_64728213.jpg" alt="Finding best sites to help your kids learn about money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Teaching your children about money is an important, yet often overlooked area of education. Most kids will not want to sit through a lecture about credit card usage and budgeting practices, but they might be more willing to listen to interactive videos and games. These sites make learning about money and money management fun and enjoyable.</p> <h2>1. Biz Kids</h2> <p><a href="http://bizkids.com/">Biz Kids</a> offers short and interesting videos aimed toward middle schoolers. These videos cover a wide range of topics from young entrepreneurs to starting a business to different money personalities. For teachers and home-schoolers, there are coordinating lessons that go with the videos. The site also has three different games &mdash; Break the Bank, Bring Home the Bacon, and Dollar a Glass &mdash; which allow kids to try their hands at running a virtual lemonade stand.</p> <h2>2. Rich Kid, Smart Kid</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.richkidsmartkid.com/">Rich Kid, Smart Kid</a> site was created by The Rich Dad Company, the brand behind the popular book, <a href="http://amzn.to/2chdAMF">Rich Dad, Poor Dad</a>. The site comes with four interactive games: Jesse's Ice Cream Stand, Reno's Debt Dilemma, Ima's Pay Yourself 1st, and Jesse's Big Change. The site has fun graphics and is kid-friendly to use. For parents and teachers, there are teaching resources for every age level.</p> <h2>3. Lemonade Tycoon</h2> <p>While not technically a site, <a href="http://www.shockwave.com/gamelanding/lemonade.jsp">Lemonade Tycoon</a> is an addicting game that shows kids the way to build a business from the bare minimum to franchise status. This game can help show children that in order to grow a business, you need to strike a balance between profits and investments. Kids will also learn that there is a fine balance between product cost, product quality, and product success. For example, adding more water to the lemonade will bring down costs, but it can also drive away customers. On the other hand, using a lot of sugar in the lemonade will cost more and gain more sales, but the profit margin is smaller.</p> <h2>4. H.I.P. Pocket Change</h2> <p><a href="https://www.usmint.gov/kids/">H.I.P. Pocket Change</a> focuses less on money management and more on the history of coins worldwide. The site has several games and cartoons that teach how a coin is made and other important dates in coin history. There are also a lot of great resources for kids interested in coin collecting.</p> <h2>5. Sense &amp; Dollars</h2> <p>The <a href="http://senseanddollars.thinkport.org/">Sense &amp; Dollars</a> site has several interactive calculators. The site calls them games, but they are simply calculators that require little input. The Saving Money section of the site is most helpful, especially the Show Me the Money calculator, which shows how much an investment will grow in different saving accounts. The Charge game is also useful since it can show your child how much something costs when you charge it and then make minimum payments. On the other hand, The Makin' the Bacon calculator is extremely outdated and does not factor in taxes or SSI taken out of each paycheck.</p> <h2>6. It's My Life</h2> <p><a href="http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/money/">It's My Life</a> from PBS Kids offers advice, shows, and games for all areas of life. The money section is small, but there is a game called Mad Money. There is also a lot of helpful advice for older kids that want to get started in babysitting.</p> <h2>7. Credit Card Simulator Game</h2> <p>This <a href="https://www.channelone.com/feature/credit-card-simulator-game/">Credit Card Simulator</a> game from Channel One allows kids to get a virtual platform card and virtually shop in the game's mall. The game will then teach about the downside of interest and debt.</p> <h2>8. Three Jars</h2> <p><a href="http://www.threejars.com/">Three Jars</a> is a great site for kids and parents alike, since it can help streamline allowance time. With this site, kids keep track of how much money is owed to them through either chores, odd jobs, or both. The money then gets split into three jars entitled Spend, Save, and Share. The goal of the site is to make managing allowances easier, while minimizing nagging and entitlement in your home. For example, when a child asks for something at the store, you can buy it for them if the money is in their spend jar. If the item costs $20, and they only have $5 in their spend jar, then the responsibility is on them. They either need to do more chores or spend less money.</p> <p>While your kids might not want to trade in their video games for these interactive money games and websites, they are a great starting point to talk about money in your home.</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/8-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money">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-money-apps-for-kids">10 Fun Money Apps for Kids</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/how-to-help-your-adult-children-become-financially-independent">How to Help Your Adult Children Become Financially Independent</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/6-smart-financial-gifts-to-give-your-kids-this-year">6 Smart Financial Gifts to Give Your Kids This Year</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/4-bad-money-habits-youre-teaching-your-kids">4 Bad Money Habits You&#039;re Teaching Your Kids</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/how-to-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family Technology allowances games interactive kids learning tools money lessons teaching websites Mon, 19 Sep 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1794072 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/17-creative-no-mess-activities-for-kids-stuck-at-home">17 Creative, No-Mess Activities for Kids Stuck at Home</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-keep-boredom-from-destroying-your-budget">8 Ways to Keep Boredom from Destroying Your Budget</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 Beat Stress With These 28 Inexpensive Pastimes http://www.wisebread.com/beat-stress-with-these-28-inexpensive-pastimes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beat-stress-with-these-28-inexpensive-pastimes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/father_son_fishing_70352103.jpg" alt="Father and son beating stress with inexpensive pastimes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Expensive activities are stressful for me because paying for them weighs on my mind. I enjoy cheap or free pastimes, and even some pastimes that make money. Here are some inexpensive pastimes that you can enjoy to stay blissfully preoccupied without spending much money.</p> <h2>Exercise</h2> <p>The payoffs for regular exercise are immense, not least is the relaxation.</p> <h3>1. Bicycling</h3> <p>Bicycling can be a very inexpensive hobby. I picked up a cheap used bike for $28, rode it for five years, and then sold it for $35! In addition to a bike, there are a few other things you&rsquo;ll need to get started: a bike helmet and a bike lock to keep yourself and your bike safe. If you buy an older bike, you may need to change the tires and inner tubes, but you can do this yourself for only a few dollars. A cheap bike provides transportation, exercise, and entertainment.</p> <h3>2. Walking</h3> <p>Even if you don&rsquo;t have any money at all, you can still enjoy walking. Walking is a convenient way to spend time outside and enjoy the seasons with no special equipment or planning required. When the weather is bad, I enjoy walking indoors in shopping malls.</p> <h3>3. Hiking</h3> <p>Sometimes I like to go to go hiking in a park or trail away from roads and sidewalks. Hiking takes a bit more effort than simply going for a walk near your home or workplace, but provides more opportunities to get close to nature. Most hiking trips are free, but I recently paid $10 to go for a five-hour hike among the redwoods in Muir Woods National Monument while visiting San Francisco. This was the most entertainment I have ever gotten for $10!</p> <h2>Cerebral Activities</h2> <p>After you've worked your muscles, challenge your noodle.</p> <h3>4. Reading</h3> <p>Reading can be free if you get books at a public library or find free classics to read on your electronic devices via sites such as <a href="https://www.gutenberg.org/">Project Gutenberg</a>. It seems like there is a nearly endless supply of new books coming along, plus the old classics to catch up on.</p> <h3>5. Writing</h3> <p>Writing has been a great pastime for me. It is exciting to see my work published, and I have even been able to make some money along the way from writing books, articles, and through advertising on my blog. If you are not ready to publish your work for the world to see, writing a journal for yourself or stories to share with your friends and family is a great way to get started writing.</p> <h3>6. Crossword Puzzles</h3> <p>Crossword puzzles help keep your mind sharp and some people seem to really enjoy doing them. I have tried doing crossword puzzles a few times, but it is too much like doing a homework assignment for me to enjoy. Maybe I need to find some easier crossword puzzles to build up my skills.</p> <h3>7. Brain Games</h3> <p>I have tried brain games on my computer, such as the free trial version of <a href="http://www.lumosity.com/">Lumosity</a>, and I sometimes play Math Blaster on my Android device. There are all kinds of free brain games that exercise your skills and help you stay sharp as you try to beat your high score. Some games even allow you to compare your scores with others.</p> <h3>8. Educational Videos</h3> <p>You no longer need to wait until Sunday evening for NOVA to come on PBS. You can get a wide selection of educational programs any time on Netflix ($8 per month) or YouTube (free). I like to find TED Talks on YouTube to find interesting perspectives on everything from physics to social sciences.</p> <h3>9. Online Courses</h3> <p>There are all kinds of online courses you can take for free, including subjects such as computer programming, statistics, and science. Here are some places to check for online courses that interest you:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm">MIT OpenCourseWare</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.coursera.org/">Coursera</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses">Open Culture</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.khanacademy.org/">Khan Academy</a></li> </ul> <h3>10. Jigsaw Puzzles</h3> <p>Some people get excited about doing jigsaw puzzles and like to receive them as gifts. Jigsaw puzzles can provide many hours of entertainment for not much money, and you do get a sense of satisfaction &mdash; or relief &mdash; when the puzzle is complete. You can pick up used jigsaw puzzles at garage sales for a dollar or two that provide hours of entertainment, but you might find out that there are missing pieces.</p> <h3>11. Ancestry Research/Genealogy</h3> <p>You can make a serious hobby out of researching your ancestry. It is easier than ever to research family history and find links to your family&rsquo;s past. You can get a long way without spending much money and produce research on your family history that will be invaluable to future generations.</p> <h3>12. Learn a Foreign Language</h3> <p>When you learn a foreign language, you learn more than just a bunch of foreign words. You learn about another culture and open up opportunities to meet and learn about new people.</p> <h2>Nature/Outdoor Enjoyment</h2> <p>When you tire of puzzles and brain games, re-connect with nature.</p> <h3>13. Camping</h3> <p>Camping can be a great way to get away and see things from a fresh perspective. You can find places to camp for free, but even if you pay to stay in a campground, you can find places to pitch a tent for around $20 per night.</p> <h3>14. Fishing</h3> <p>Basic fishing equipment doesn&rsquo;t cost a lot of money. You can get an inexpensive rod and reel good enough to catch your dinner for around $25. I still have a lot of the same fishing tackle I used when I was growing up. The price of a seasonal fishing license varies by location. I paid about $20 and was able to go fishing whenever I wanted all summer.</p> <h3>15. Bird-watching</h3> <p>It is hard not to watch the birds at my house. I have seen orioles, blue jays, cardinals, robins, hummingbirds, geese, and even bald eagles. I put out bird feeders to attract birds near my house for easy observation. Even if you don&rsquo;t put out bird feeders, you can probably find interesting birds to watch and enjoy. Binoculars are useful to be able to observe birds high in trees or too far away to see easily.</p> <h2>Food-Related</h2> <p>While you don't want to use food as a coping tool, lots of the activities around food prep are satisfying and relaxing.</p> <h3>16. Gardening</h3> <p>You get to enjoy planning your garden, watching it grow, and then harvest lots of free vegetables. Gardening can be very inexpensive if you start your own seeds and make your own compost to use for fertilizer. Even if you don&rsquo;t have a yard, you can grow vegetables in pots on a patio or deck. If you don&rsquo;t want to rototill a traditional garden, you can grow vegetables in straw bales or build raised beds for easy access.</p> <h3>17. Cooking</h3> <p>Cooking is a great pastime since it reduces the probability that you will spend money on expensive restaurant food. Watch some cooking shows or videos to learn cooking techniques and get ideas for recipes you want to try out. You can get started cooking with only a few pans and utensils.</p> <h3>18. Canning Food</h3> <p>If you have a successful garden, you&rsquo;ll need to do something with all of those vegetables. The first thing I remember canning was salsa we made with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cilantro we grew in the garden. It was messy and a lot of work, but it was fun to make those cans of salsa to save for winter and to give to friends. If you have a freezer, you can use an inexpensive <a href="http://amzn.to/1Y6gll8">vacuum sealer</a> to pull the air out of plastic bags and seal up your produce to freeze without getting freezer burned.</p> <h3>19. Grilling</h3> <p>You can start grilling with a $20 charcoal grill. If $20 is too much for you, you can even make a grill for free! My kids build a kebab pit for free using concrete blocks they found and it works great. I also have a gas grill which is more expensive, but very convenient. Grilling outside is one of my favorite activities, followed closely by eating the food that I grill.</p> <h2>Creative Activities</h2> <p>Nothing is as satisfying as zoning out while making something. The doing is its own reward &mdash; but you'll also be rewarded with some of your own handiwork.</p> <h3>20. Wood shop</h3> <p>One of my favorite pastimes is working in my wood shop. I like to repair things, build small projects, and just spend time in my shop organizing my tools and thinking. A wood shop does not need to be expensive. I built one of my workbenches from a kit and others using recycled kitchen cabinets and countertops. Many of my tools were used tools that people gave me.</p> <h3>21. Photography</h3> <p>You can take surprisingly good photos with a cellphone or cheap digital camera, especially in outdoor lighting. A quality digital SLR camera with a zoom lens runs around $300 and will allow you to take your photography to the next level, providing more control over the camera settings.</p> <h3>22. Musical Instruments</h3> <p>You can pick up cheap used musical instruments on Craigslist or at consignment or pawnshops. Of course, buying the instrument is the easy part &mdash; learning to play it well takes work and practice.</p> <h3>23. Sewing</h3> <p>With a sewing machine, fabric, and a pattern, you can make your own clothes. Collecting bargain fabrics is part of the fun of sewing.</p> <h2>Social Activities</h2> <p>It's a fact of life that other people can be the cause of so much stress. It's also a fact of life that other people are often the cure.</p> <h3>24. Volunteer Work</h3> <p>There are lots of opportunities available to volunteer some of your time working for a good cause. Volunteering can be a good way to do something you enjoy and meet other people with similar interests. Some ideas for volunteering: animal shelter, food pantry, political campaign, church organizations.</p> <h3>25. Visiting</h3> <p>If you get bored hanging around your own house, try going to someone else's house! Visiting friends or family is a cheap way to get out of the house and do something different for a change of pace. Having people come over to visit at your place can inspire you to get cleaning and projects done.</p> <h3>26. Playing Cards</h3> <p>Playing cards is a classic cheap pastime, as long as you aren&rsquo;t placing bets. Poker, bridge, and euchre are some popular card games that allow you to play competitively with others.</p> <h2>Cheap Entertainment</h2> <p>Finally, it's okay to be a couch potato from time to time.</p> <h3>27. Sports Fan</h3> <p>Some people spend a lot as sports fans, paying big money for tickets to games and buying team jerseys and other paraphernalia. But being a sports fan doesn&rsquo;t have to be expensive. I don&rsquo;t subscribe to any TV service, but I can find many of my Iowa Hawkeye football games for free, either on over-the-air TV or on radio broadcasts. Sometimes I can find a free video stream of the game on the Internet.</p> <h3>28. News Junkie</h3> <p>I listen to National Public Radio (NPR) for about an hour every day to keep up on news and world events. When I miss my chance to listen to the news for some reason, I feel out of touch and usually end up going on the Internet to check news stories I am following. Keeping up with the news is a cheap pastime and makes it easy to have an intelligent conversation with anyone you meet.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite cheap pastimes?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beat-stress-with-these-28-inexpensive-pastimes">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-4"> <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/25-hobbies-you-can-start-for-under-10">25 Hobbies You Can Start for Under $10</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/the-35-best-ways-to-spend-your-free-time-frugally">The 35 Best Ways to Spend Your Free Time (Frugally)</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-fun-frugal-things-to-do-tonight-besides-watch-tv">25 Fun, Frugal Things to Do Tonight Besides Watch TV</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-ways-to-keep-boredom-from-destroying-your-budget">8 Ways to Keep Boredom from Destroying Your Budget</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/10-awesome-money-making-hobbies">10 Awesome Money-Making Hobbies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Entertainment crafts exercise fun games hobbies learning leisure pastimes projects things to do Thu, 16 Jun 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1728607 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Fun Money Apps for Kids http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-money-apps-for-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-fun-money-apps-for-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_tablet_000076004131.jpg" alt="Finding the best money apps for kids and families" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Think personal finance is an adults-only matter? Think again. You can start teaching your child smart money habits from a very young age. Whether you use points or dollars, the concepts will surely sink in if a little fun is involved. Here are 10 apps that will teach your kids about money &mdash; all while letting them play on their favorite devices.</p> <h2>1. Savings Spree</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $5.99 on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Ages</strong>: 7 and up</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/savings-spree/id430150476?mt=8">Savings Spree</a> doesn't just teach your kid how to count nickels and dimes. Instead, it focuses on how different lifestyle choices in the everyday can add up to either big savings or big expenses. Your child can earn, spend, donate, or invest &quot;money&quot; in a variety of scenarios, which are presented in a game show format for added interest. Along with teaching the basics, this app will even present your little one with the harsh reality of those unexpected expenses that necessitate an emergency fund. Important lesson, indeed!</p> <h2>2. P2K Money</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/p2k-money/id405631656?mt=8">P2K Money</a> is all about teaching your child the value and responsibility of money &mdash; plain and simple. You can engage in the learning process together using tools for budgeting, spending, and savings of your kid's earnings, like an allowance. They can even create wish lists to save for the items they want to buy. And what's especially cool is that the app will save those wish lists so your little guy or gal can evaluate if those items were actually worth the expense.</p> <h2>3. Bee Farming</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $1.99 on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bee-farming/id358168136?mt=8">Bee Farming</a> gives your child the opportunity to start his or her own virtual business with a swarm of bees and just $100. Each week, the bees can go to work in the forest collecting honey that your child will &quot;sell&quot; in a market to earn more bees or other supplies. This is such a fun game, even adults play it and compete to earn a spot on the Top Farmers Board. What a great way to give your kid the basics on business, hard work, and managing expenses.</p> <h2>4. PiggyBot</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Ages</strong>: 6 to 8 years old</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p>Even young kids with an allowance can jump in on&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/piggybot/id844151884?mt=8">PiggyBot</a> to collect a virtual allowance. This tool will help your child visualize his or her allowance and categorize it into what areas they'll spend, share, and save. This app also motivates kids to pick savings goals and gives them useful information for how much money they need to save and how long it will take them to save it.</p> <h2>5. The Game of Life</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $0.99 on iTunes and Google Play</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p>Want to really disguise the financial learning experience? Try&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/game-life-classic-edition/id326912270?mt=8">The Game of Life</a> app, which is an electronic version of the favorite board game. Throughout play, your child will be encountered with a number of decisions that have them choosing between wise or risky investments. Players even have the chance to earn Wealth Cards that can stack up to $1,000,000. Plus, you can play with up to six friends, which makes it a great activity for the whole family.</p> <h2>6. Flocabulary</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $12/month or $96/year</p> <p><strong>Ages</strong>: 11 to 18</p> <p><a href="https://www.flocabulary.com/">Flocabulary</a> takes on yet a different approach for older kids, with catchy songs, rap battles, and videos about&nbsp;<a href="https://www.flocabulary.com/topics/financial-literacy/">financial literacy</a> (plus many more subjects and life skills). The topics range from paying for college to budgeting to credit cards to goal setting, and beyond. Since the cost for this service is somewhat steep compared to the other apps on this list, you may want to check with your local school district to see if it's available to your child through school. You can also get&nbsp;<a href="https://www.flocabulary.com/trial/individual/">free trial</a> to check it out for 14 days.</p> <h2>7. Save! The Game</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p>The object in&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/save%21-the-game/id360805496?mt=8">Save! The Game</a> is to collect as much virtual money as possible and put it in the bank. Along the way, your child will need to avoid &quot;iWannas&quot; &mdash; you know, impulse buys like soda, toys, candy, and more. One reviewer downloaded this game before a long car trip and said that after playing, his kids engaged in a great discussion about avoiding &quot;iWannas&quot; in life, not just on the screen.</p> <h2>8. Bankaroo</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bankaroo-virtual-bank-for/id504924470?mt=8">Bankaroo</a> is another great allowance-tracking app that is also unique because offers different currencies. In fact, you can track funds using U.S. Dollars, Euros, hearts, stars, points, and more. In other words: Even the youngest kids can start to learn money concepts. This app was created by an 11-year-old girl who was looking for a way to keep track of her own allowance and thought other kids might want to do the same. The graphics are cute, and you can keep track of multiple accounts if you have multiple children.</p> <h2>9. Coin Math</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $1.99 on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Ages</strong>: 9 to 11*</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p>What ever happened to old fashioned dollars and coins? They're definitely still around. With&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/coin-math/id296596459?mt=8">Coin Math</a>, your child can learn to identify and count coins, as well as how to pay and make change. Though this app is rated for slightly older kids, many reviewers share that their little ones as young as five years old enjoyed playing with the game.</p> <h2>10. FamZoo Family Finance</h2> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free on iTunes</p> <p><strong>Ages</strong>: 4 and up</p> <p><strong>Rating</strong>: 4+ stars</p> <p>Give your child a headstart to understanding money, budgeting, and saving with&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/famzoo-family-finance/id399321476?mt=8">FamZoo</a>. This app can be used by your entire family &mdash; even preschoolers &mdash; to manage allowances, track chores, handle reimbursements, and more. How does it work? Each member of your family is issued a card that is linked together in the app. In the &quot;Family Bank,&quot; the parents serve as the bankers while the kids are the customers. Then you get to tracking your everyday financial flow (even experiment with setting up automated tasks). You can also choose the IOU option if you'd rather track your money elsewhere. No matter how you do it, you'll be learning the rules of money together.</p> <p><em>Do you use these or other money apps for kids?</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/10-fun-money-apps-for-kids">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-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money">8 Best Sites to Help Your Kids Learn 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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-creative-no-mess-activities-for-kids-stuck-at-home">17 Creative, No-Mess Activities for Kids Stuck at Home</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/6-smart-financial-gifts-to-give-your-kids-this-year">6 Smart Financial Gifts to Give Your Kids This Year</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/how-to-use-new-toys-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use New Toys to Teach Kids About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Technology apps educational financial literacy games kids money teaching Fri, 04 Mar 2016 11:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1665772 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Fun, Cheap Party Games You Didn't Know About http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-cheap-party-games-you-didnt-know-about <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-fun-cheap-party-games-you-didnt-know-about" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-playing-party-games-Dollarphotoclub_70068664.jpg" alt="friends playing party games" title="friends playing party games" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every holiday or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-throw-a-fabulous-and-frugal-dinner-party">dinner party</a> in need of a boost leans on the same party games: Pictionary, Charades, 20 questions, blah blah blah... In need of a new conceit to spur on some social interaction? Try one of these fun and affordable party games you didn't know about:</p> <h2>Mafia</h2> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafia_%28party_game%29">Mafia is a group game</a> designed in Russia during end of the Cold War, and it shows. I first heard of the game earlier this spring, when a friend hosted a party specifically to play Mafia. It's free to play, like Charades. We were confused at first but it quickly got weird and fun!</p> <p><strong>Players</strong>: At least 3</p> <h3>Basic Rules</h3> <p>There are two teams, the &quot;Mafia&quot; (who know each other in the group) and the &quot;Innocents&quot; (everyone else who have no idea who the &quot;Mafia&quot; are). One moderator leads the game.</p> <p>The game occurs in two phases: Night and Day. During the &quot;night&quot; phase, the mafia members elect someone to &quot;kill,&quot; while everyone's eyes are closed. During the &quot;Day&quot; phase, everyone opens their eyes, and the moderator declares who was &quot;killed.&quot; Everyone discusses, and someone must accuse a player of being in the &quot;Mafia&quot;. The most fun part is arguing over whether someone is in the &quot;Mafia&quot; and whether to kill them. The moderator will reveal whether or not the accused player was in fact a Mafioso. On it goes until everyone is figured out.</p> <h3>Why It's Fun</h3> <p>The game involves a lot of social strategy which is really funny in a group of close friends. Similar to other games like Werewolf, you get a lot of hilarious arguments about whether someone is guilty or innocent. The surprise of each player's role reveal is also really fun.</p> <h2>1,000 Blank White Cards</h2> <p>If you haven't played <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1000_Blank_White_Cards">1,000 Blank White Cards</a>, you're missing out on not only a great party game, but a really fun game for passing the time. I first learned about this game while in line for a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, known for crazy long waits.</p> <p><strong>Players</strong>: At least 2</p> <h3>Basic Rules</h3> <p>Gather as many blank cards as you can find. These can be index cards or chopped pieces of paper. The game is defined by the cards everyone creates. A card usually consists of a drawing and a short description of its meaning and the action required upon pulling the card. For example, you can have a card with a picture of a cactus that reads, &quot;You just got picked by a cactus! Lose 4,000 points,&quot; then if you pull it that's what happens! Destroying cards is discouraged; if a card is not good, you can nominate it to &quot;The Suck Box.&quot;</p> <h3>Why It's Fun</h3> <p>It's limited only by your imagination! Creating the deck is arguably one of the best parts of the game, trying to come up with the silliest rules funniest drawings you can imagine. The gameplay is one surprise after another.</p> <h2>Cards Against Humanity</h2> <p>A game that is rapidly becoming mainstream, <a href="http://cardsagainsthumanity.com/">Cards Against Humanity</a> first formed a rabid following online. It's free to print the cards at home, and costs around $20 for a deck. If you have not heard of it, chances are the next party you go to will break out in a game.</p> <p><strong>Players</strong>: At least 2</p> <h3>Basic Rules</h3> <p>It's similar to Apples to Apples (actually, it's exactly like Apples to Apples) with a crazy twist. Each player pulls 10 white &quot;answer&quot; cards with a hilarious nonsequitur on it. One player starts as the &quot;Card Czar,&quot; pulling a black &quot;question&quot; card. Each player takes a moment to best answer the &quot;Card Czar&quot; with one of their randomly drawn white cards. The &quot;Card Czar&quot; reads each white card in a funny manner, and chooses their favorite. The player who drew their favorite white card gets one &quot;Awesome Point&quot; and keeps the black card. Whoever has the most &quot;Awesome Points&quot; at the end of the game wins.</p> <h3>Why It's Fun</h3> <p>The cards are really funny, and many are surprising, controversial, or gross, so there is a ton of shock value. It's a really enjoyable game to play casually with friends.</p> <h2>TV Show Drinking Games</h2> <p>Did you know that nearly every single TV show or movie has its own drinking game? When having a night in with friends or roommates, a simple drinking game is a great way to get a party going. The only cost is the booze.</p> <p><strong>Players</strong>: 2 or more (drinking alone is sad)</p> <h3>Basic Rules</h3> <p>Go to <a href="http://drinkingcinema.com">drinkingcinema.com</a> or <a href="http://drunktvzone.com">drunktvzone.com</a> to find make your drinking game choice. I recommend 90s show like Family Matters or Ally McBeal or a schlocky horror movie like Halloween 3: Season of the Witch. Simply drink whenever a specific recurring action or visual element occurs as per each game's rules! For bonus points, everyone can dress up as a character from the show or movie of choice.</p> <h3>Why It's Fun</h3> <p>Drinking games are an easy way to get a party started and a fun way to appreciate a silly show or movie ironically, dress up, and drink with buddies.</p> <h2>ClueMates</h2> <p>Ok, full disclosure. While I did not create the game, ClueMates was created by a publishing company I own.</p> <p><a href="http://devastatorpress.com/toys/">ClueMates: The Passive Aggressive Roommate Detective Game</a> is a parody board game that comes inside of a book, based on the mystery engine of Clue. The game satirizes life with roommates and has a cult following among board game and humor nerds. The game and book cost only $10.</p> <p><strong>Players</strong>: 3-6</p> <h3>Basic Rules</h3> <p>The rules are just like Clue. Each person plays as a character who is a credible suspect. Only, instead of a murder mystery, it is much funnier &mdash; your least favorite roommate has locked himself in the bathroom.</p> <p>The Archetypes are different from classic Clue as well, with a couch-surfing stoner, a 4chan troll, a yoga instructor, a type-A bossypants, and one normal person, Rachel Feinstein. You must figure out which roommate ruined his day, what they did, and in which room of the terrible apartment you share, because everyone needs to use the bathroom! One new element to gameplay is that each character has one &quot;superpower&quot; causing others to lose a turn and making the game move faster.</p> <h3>Why It's Fun</h3> <p>For board game lovers, this is a fun, simplified party game full of adult jokes and it plays as a really funny, high-speed version of Clue for adults.</p> <p><em>What party games do you enjoy? Please share in comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-fun-cheap-party-games-you-didnt-know-about&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Fun%252C%2520Cheap%2520Party%2520Games%2520You%2520Didnt%2520Know%2520About.jpg&amp;description=5%20Fun%2C%20Cheap%20Party%20Games%20You%20Didnt%20Know%20About"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Fun%2C%20Cheap%20Party%20Games%20You%20Didnt%20Know%20About.jpg" alt="5 Fun, Cheap Party Games You Didn't Know About" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-cheap-party-games-you-didnt-know-about">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/5-fun-family-friendly-games-for-your-holiday-party">5 Fun Family Friendly Games for Your Holiday Party</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-ways-to-keep-boredom-from-destroying-your-budget">8 Ways to Keep Boredom from Destroying Your Budget</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/buying-virtual-cats-might-be-the-future-of-investing">Buying Virtual Cats Might Be the Future of Investing</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/holiday-gifts-6-fun-games-that-teach-money-and-finance">Holiday Gifts: 6 Fun Games That Teach Money and Finance</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/25-fun-frugal-things-to-do-tonight-besides-watch-tv">25 Fun, Frugal Things to Do Tonight Besides Watch TV</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment cards against humanity games Mafia parties party games Fri, 12 Dec 2014 16:00:07 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1267698 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things Play Teaches You About Personal Finance http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-play-teaches-you-about-personal-finance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-play-teaches-you-about-personal-finance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-roleplaying-178431199-small.jpg" alt="family roleplaying" title="family roleplaying" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know anyone who can't wax poetic about playing as a child. Even my friends who had difficult childhoods remember playing, somewhere and with somebody, with fondness.</p> <p>There's something about remembering our childhood games, whether they were pickup games of baseball in the middle of the street or tag or imagining we were pirates deep in the woods, that makes us happy. Even as adults, with jobs and responsibilities and families and so much to do, we relish the hours that we can spend resting, relaxing, and enjoying our hobbies &mdash; also known as playing. That's because <a href="http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/11/15/the-importance-of-play-for-adults/">play is important</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-fun-games-that-make-you-smarter-too?ref=seealso">11 Fun Games That Make You smarter, Too</a>)</p> <p>Whether you are child or adult, play brings joy. It makes us excited and happy. And it all makes me wonder: What if we could bring even a little bit of that joy into tasks that can seem difficult or frustrating, like managing our personal finances? Could even these things become more like games?</p> <p>Try some of these ideas and let me know what you think!</p> <h2>1. Play Is Practice</h2> <p>More than anything else, <a href="http://www.journalofplay.org/sites/www.journalofplay.org/files/pdf-articles/5-3-interview-play-as-preparation.pdf">play seems to be practice for life</a>. The thing is, little kids don't like to practice. In fact, most of them don't have the focus to be able to practice in the same ways adults can. So they play. They play house, they play fireman, they play mommy and daddy and teacher. And in doing this, they learn about taking on different roles, conflict resolution, and so much more. Their practice prepares them for real life.</p> <p>As adults, we can remember that practice is at least as important as studying a topic. While there's nothing wrong with researching what investments to make next, we might find ourselves more engaged if we actually jump in and practice. <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/simulator/">Trade with fake money</a> or create sample budgets based on different salaries, to figure out how to make things work for you in real life.</p> <h2>2. Play Is Fun</h2> <p>As adults, we make personal finance into work. We get serious about the budget, or study hard to determine how to invest our money. We feel like we need to buckle down and get serious about our finances. Again, there's nothing wrong with this, but what if we could make the whole process less painful?</p> <p>Try <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304330904579137410675036086">setting aside some money for &quot;fun investing,&quot;</a> or make budgeting a game by coming up with creative ways to spend less in different categories.</p> <h2>3. Play Promotes Counterfactual Thinking</h2> <p>Counterfactual thinking means thinking outside the box of what is, or in many cases, what seems to be. People who are good at thinking counterfactually are the ones who, when solving a problem, ask us to reexamine our assumptions, rather than just suggesting new ways to work within them. This sort of thinking can offer huge benefits in so many areas, because we often make assumptions that aren't true, or that aren't necessary. And <a href="http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/let-the-children-play-its-good-for-them-130697324/?no-ist">pretend play seems to help children improve their counterfactual thinking</a>.</p> <p>Most adults would be embarrassed to be caught pretending. We can, though, pretend within a certain context. I have an example of this from my own recent history. For a long time, my husband and I assumed that we could not afford grass-fed beef, even though avoiding antibiotics and hormones is important to us. Recently, though, we researched different ways to purchase this meat, and found that, if we buy wholesale rather than from a store, it's much more affordable. We had assumed we'd be buying from Whole Foods or Costco, but now we're purchasing direct from a rancher.</p> <p>To learn to examine your assumptions, or &quot;pretend&quot; in the context of your own finances, start by writing down your assumptions. For instance, you might assume that you don't have enough money for something, or that you have to keep a certain percentage of your assets invested in stocks, or that there's not another method for buying something. Then ask around and do some research to see if your assumptions are, in fact, correct.</p> <h2>4. Play Is Social</h2> <p>When kids play, they are learning social skills. Even when they are not playing with other kids, play itself seems to help the brain socially, so that those who play function better socially than those who do not. And adults seem to play in order to enhance their social interactions, to build community and find friends who they can connect with on a deep level.</p> <p>We can reclaim our sense of play in personal finance by making aspects of our financial life social. If you live with roommates or a significant other, make sure you are both involved in budgeting. Even set aside some time to enjoy a meal together and go over finances in a less stressful environment. You could also <a href="http://www.fool.com/investmentclub/investmentclub05.htm">start an investment club</a> or, at least, talk through some of your financial questions with trusted friends or family members. All of this is likely to make finance more enjoyable, more like play and less like work.</p> <h2>5. Play Encourages Self-Regulation</h2> <p>The more kids play and the higher the maturity level of their pretend play, the more they learn to regulate themselves. Self-regulation touches on many aspects of life &mdash; we should be able to regulate ourselves emotionally, to keep desires (even strong desires) in check, and to make choices focused on long-term benefit rather than short-term pleasure.</p> <p>Self-regulation seems to tie naturally to personal finance. Most of us want to be able to resist spending money when we don't have money to spend or when we are saving our money for something else. We also want to be able to leave our investments alone if we believe the investment is a sound one, even when the market is fluctuating and we feel unsure.</p> <p>Again, it will help us to &quot;pretend&quot; in the context of our finances. If we are tempted to make a purchase that we really shouldn't make right now, we can envision how we will feel in two days (or even two hours!) if we make the purchase, and then again if we don't. If we are trying to leave an investment where it is, we can imagine ourselves using the money in 30 years, happy that we left it where it was.</p> <p><em>What do you do to make personal finance more like play? Does that help keep you on track financially?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-play-teaches-you-about-personal-finance">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/11-fun-games-that-make-you-smarter-too">11 Fun Games That Make You Smarter, Too</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-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money">8 Best Sites to Help Your Kids Learn About Money</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/money-mistakes-two-popular-board-games-teach-kids">Money Mistakes Two Popular Board Games Teach Kids</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/the-5-most-important-financial-lessons-people-learn-in-their-20s-did-you">The 5 Most Important Financial Lessons People Learn in Their 20s (Did You?)</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/4-reasons-why-you-dont-have-financial-common-sense-and-how-to-get-it">4 Reasons Why You Don&#039;t Have Financial Common Sense (and How to Get It)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Personal Development financial lessons games money lessons play Thu, 06 Nov 2014 14:00:06 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1251282 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Ways to Entertain Your Kids for Free http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-entertain-your-kids-for-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-ways-to-entertain-your-kids-for-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-baking-cookies-516622037-small.jpg" alt="family baking" title="family baking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've ever been stuck wondering what to do with your kids on the weekend, this list is for you. You don't need to spend a dime to entertain your family and bond in the process. Sometimes the best things in life really are free! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend?ref=seealso">47 cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a>)</p> <h2>1. Visit Your Library</h2> <p>We frequent our local library at least every week for free storytimes. Plus, you can pick up books, DVDs, and other materials to entertain your child for free. Many libraries also arrange toys in their children's section, and it's a great place to meet other parents to set up play-dates.</p> <h2>2. Check the Community Calendar</h2> <p>While you're at the library, check your local paper (or click online) and any bulletin boards for any and all events going on in your area. Very often colleges, universities, and other community centers will host family events that are free and open to the public.</p> <h2>3. Crash Store Events</h2> <p>Sometimes book stores, grocery stores, craft stores, toy stores, and other merchants will host free activities. More often than not, these events are intended to get you to come into the store and buy things. So, consider leaving your cash and cards at home and sticking to the zero dollar budget.</p> <h2>4. Make Cookies</h2> <p>Spend a Saturday afternoon in and use your baking powers to mix up a big batch of sugar cookies. Take your time and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Then frost them. Get artistic. Encourage your child to take the lead. Small activities can turn into big learning experiences.</p> <h2>5. Play Games</h2> <p>Start a weekly tradition of playing board games with your kids. I've seen games that allow kids as young as three to participate. You can also try charades with older kids, and a deck of cards is useful in a pinch.</p> <h2>6. Camp at Home</h2> <p>Skip all the site fees and other camping costs and set up the family tent in your backyard. What I love about backyard camping is that you don't necessarily have to sleep outdoors to enjoy all the fun. And you can fire up the grill for a good old fashioned cookout! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-grill-pizza-at-home?ref=seealso">This Is How You Grill Pizza At Home</a>)</p> <h2>7. Create a Sensory Bin</h2> <p>The youngest children get a kick out of <a href="http://www.writingchapterthree.com/2012/08/rice-bins-and-gymnastics-mats.html">homemade sensory bins</a>. Fill a shallow plastic container (choose one with a top) with rice, corn kernels, uncooked noodles, and anything else that boasts some interesting texture. It's like a cleaner version of a sandbox that you can play with indoors.</p> <h2>8. Visit Museums on Free Days</h2> <p>Many museums are either free or donation-only. Those that do charge admission sometimes have admission-free days each month or season. Check the museum's website or call ahead for more information.</p> <h2>9. Reuse Cardboard Boxes</h2> <p>Take all the cardboard boxes you intend to recycle and turn them into something great. You can make race cars, boats, robots, and even entire houses! We often do our grocery shopping at Aldi and use the boxes they stock to transport our food home. Our daughter gets hours of enjoyment! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-from-aldi?ref=seealso">What You Should Never Buy From Aldi</a>)</p> <h2>10. Build a Library</h2> <p>Have you heard of <a href="http://littlefreelibrary.org/">Little Free Libraries</a>? They are tiny &quot;houses&quot; you place books into for your neighbors to borrow. (They can leave books for you to read, too!) If this concept sounds cool to you, take a weekend to build and decorate a structure. Then identify a few old books on your shelf that you'd be willing to share. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-books-little-libraries-that-build-community-and-save-you-money?ref=seealso">Free Books: Little Libraries That Build Community</a>)</p> <h2>11. Melt Crayons</h2> <p>Take all those odds and ends of your child's crayons and turn them into neat shapes with swirled colors. You just preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, place crayons in a silicone mold, and <a href="http://comfyinthekitchen.com/2014/03/how-to-melt-crayons-into-molds/">bake for 15 minutes</a>. Let cool completely before using.</p> <h2>12. Ride a Bike</h2> <p>Head to a local park or hit the sidewalks for a family bike ride. You can have a destination in mind, like a playground, or just wander the streets. Sometimes you'll discover more free things to do &mdash; street performers, festivals, neighborhood gatherings &mdash; on the go.</p> <h2>13. Rake Leaves</h2> <p>It may seem like a chore at first, but getting the whole family involved with raking leaves will get the job done faster. Or maybe not. Half the fun of completing this chore with your kids is jumping in them. Make sure you drink a warm mug of cider when you're done.</p> <h2>14. Use Perks</h2> <p>If you have store or restaurant loyalty cards, take a weekend and use as many free meals, ice creams, pizzas, doughnuts, and whatever else you've earned. I like to store my coupons and cards in a plastic zip pocket inside a three-ring binder. That way, I don't lose anything and can quickly check there before heading out the door.</p> <h2>15. Go Geocaching</h2> <p>Take your family on a <a href="http://www.geocaching.com/guide/">real life treasure hunt</a> using your GPS device. You'll navigate to specific coordinates and look for clues to get you to your next destination. Little explorers are sure to love this activity.</p> <h2>16. Create a Home Theater</h2> <p>Save yourself the high ticket and concessions costs and watch a movie at home. Make it legit! Have the whole family wear their pajamas, pop some popcorn in your microwave, and turn out all the lights. You can even make it a double feature for the same $0.00 price tag.</p> <h2>17. Walk in Nature</h2> <p>Grab a bag or container and head into your backyard or local hiking trail. Have your child collect small plants, leaves, nuts, flowers, and any other natural treasures. Then bring them home <a href="http://biology.burke.washington.edu/herbarium/imagecollection.php?Page=plantkey.php">and identify them</a>. Your little scientist might also like to make his or her <a href="http://www.mrspotter.com/terrariums-for-kids/">own terrarium</a> and add to the collections as weeks go on.</p> <h2>18. Party at the Beach</h2> <p>Well, now that the weather is getting colder, you won't go to the actual beach. Instead, have an <a href="http://www.howdoesshe.com/beat-the-winter-blues-throw-an-indoor-beach-party/">indoor beach party</a>. Turn the thermostat up a degree, fill up the tub with water and some floatation devices, and have you kid put on his or her swimsuit. You can lay out on the living room floor, pack and indoor picnic, and slip into your sandals.</p> <h2>19. Craft</h2> <p>You don't need an expensive subscription service to do crafts with your kids. Gather up all your crayons, markers, glues, glitters, stickers, pipe cleaners, and other supplies and create <a href="http://www.writingchapterthree.com/2014/09/diy-craft-kits-on-cheap.html">DIY Craft Kits</a>. Whatever you group together doesn't have to make anything specific. The magic is in the creativity.</p> <h2>20. Host a Sleepover</h2> <p>Invite a couple of your child's friends over for a sleepover using some of the activities above. You can make <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-make-restaurant-quality-pizza-at-home">homemade pizza</a> versus getting takeout. Play hide-and-seek with flashlights. Build forts. Play board games. If you kid is a little too young for a whole night, make it an afternoon!</p> <p><em>Any fun, free ways to keep the kids entertained that we forgot? Let us know below!</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/20-ways-to-entertain-your-kids-for-free">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/17-creative-no-mess-activities-for-kids-stuck-at-home">17 Creative, No-Mess Activities for Kids Stuck at Home</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/14-things-good-hosts-never-do">14 Things Good Hosts Never Do</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-throw-a-fabulous-and-frugal-dinner-party">How to Throw a Fabulous (and Frugal!) Dinner Party</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/23-relaxing-ways-to-enjoy-your-kids-first-day-at-school">23 Relaxing Ways to Enjoy Your Kid&#039;s First Day at School</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Lifestyle bored entertaining games kids Wed, 15 Oct 2014 13:00:04 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1235098 at http://www.wisebread.com