summer activities http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6477/all en-US Best Money Tips: Summer Fun Freebies at Legoland and More http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-summer-fun-freebies-at-legoland-and-more <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-summer-fun-freebies-at-legoland-and-more" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/rollercoaster-iStock_000063445945_Small.jpg" alt="rollercoaster" title="rollercoaster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on freebies for summer fun, holidays for every day in June, and laundry tips and tricks you should know.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0530/Summer-fun-freebies-ticket-to-LEGOLAND-Six-Flags-and-more">Summer fun freebies: ticket to LEGOLAND, Six Flags, and more</a> &mdash; Buy a LEGO set from the LEGO store and a full-price 1-day ticket, and you'll get a second 1-day ticket for free! [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/30-fun-and-bizarre-holidays-in-june-turn-every-day-into-a-celebration">30 Fun (and Bizarre) Holidays in June: Turn Every Day into a Celebration</a> &mdash; Get ready, folks! This Friday is National Doughnut Day! [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Laundry-DIYs-37582010?#photo-37582010">35 Laundry Tips and Tricks That Everyone Should Know</a> &mdash; Make a mini ironing board to take with you when you travel, or just to help you save some space at home. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.frugalupstate.com/sponsored/frugal-tools-7-ways-a-cooler-can-help-you-save">Frugal Tools: 7 Ways a Cooler Can Help You Save</a> &mdash; Hosting a party? Toss your drinks in a cooler filled with ice so your guests won't have to go to the fridge and waste energy every time they open the door. [Frugal Upstate]</p> <p><a href="http://ptmoney.com/unique-wedding-gift-ideas/">10 Meaningful and Unique Wedding Gift Ideas</a> &mdash; Create a cookbook with contributions from family and friends on both sides! [PT Money]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/10-month-gym-memberships-great.html">Those heavily promoted $10-a-month gym memberships are great &hellip; But will you ever go?</a> &mdash; The gym amenities and services you get from basic memberships tend to be very limited. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.readyforzero.com/4-knew-graduated-college/">4 Things I Wish I Knew When I Graduated From College</a> &mdash; Networking is a two-way street. If you're able to help someone out, do it! [ReadyForZero]</p> <p><a href="http://www.themoneyprinciple.co.uk/how-to-take-charge-of-your-emotions-when-dealing-with-money/">How to Take Charge of Your Emotions When Dealing with Money</a> &mdash; Get the facts! You'll be less fearful when you know exactly what you're dealing with. [The Money Principle]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/snowball-vs-avalanche-which-debt-payoff-method-is-best">Snowball Vs Avalanche: Which Debt Payoff Method Is Best?</a> &mdash; The difference lies in which debt you focus on paying off first. [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="http://bargainbriana.com/six-time-management-mistakes-you-may-be-making">Six Time Management Mistakes You May Be Making</a> &mdash; Having enough rest is key to being productive. Schedule your time (and breaks!) so you have the energy to manage your day. [Bargain Briana]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-summer-fun-freebies-at-legoland-and-more">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/15-free-ways-to-spend-your-summer">15 Free Ways to Spend Your Summer</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-see-the-summers-blockbuster-movies-without-breaking-the-bank">How to See the Summer&#039;s Blockbuster Movies Without Breaking the Bank</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/15-ways-to-make-the-most-out-of-warm-weather-weekdays">15 Ways to Make the Most Out of Warm-Weather Weekdays</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/16-everyday-things-you-shouldnt-be-paying-for">16 Everyday Things You Shouldn&#039;t Be Paying For</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/5-audiobooks-about-money-you-need-to-hear">5 Audiobooks About Money You Need to Hear</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment best money tips freebies summer activities Wed, 03 Jun 2015 19:00:10 +0000 Amy Lu 1445358 at http://www.wisebread.com How to See the Summer's Blockbuster Movies Without Breaking the Bank http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-see-the-summers-blockbuster-movies-without-breaking-the-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-see-the-summers-blockbuster-movies-without-breaking-the-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/712571702_e122d9eaf1_z.jpg" alt="movie tickets" title="movie tickets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The summer's blockbuster movies are here (<em>finally!</em>) so you can give your <a href="http://dealnews.com/s589/Netflix?eref=wisebread">Netflix queue</a> a rest. Are you gearing up to see <em>The Dark Knight Rises</em>, <em>Brave</em>, and/or <em>Prometheus</em>?</p> <p>Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the cinema alone or with friends (so long as their A/C is working). But &quot;the full movie theater experience&quot; &mdash; complete with popcorn, soda, Snow Caps, and the like &mdash; can be pricey. Thankfully <a href="http://dealnews.com/c654/Travel-Entertainment/Movie-Tickets?eref=wisebread">movie theater deals</a> and discounts abound, and we've got some tips on how to enjoy the big screen films for a little cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free</a>)</p> <p>Firstly, let us state the obvious: see a matinee. According to Real Simple, catching the day's first screening can <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/money/saving/save-money-movies-00000000048228/index.html">save you around $3 per ticket</a>. For larger cineplexes, matinees usually start around noon, but most local, independently run theaters only open their doors around 5 p.m. on weekdays &mdash; the perfect time for a movie, <em>then</em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sexy-summer-dinners-5-great-hot-weather-meal-ideas"> dinner</a>.</p> <p>If you can't make an early screening, or if you prefer to take in the sunshine this summer, and still want to get the most out of your movie experience, consider buying your movie tickets in bulk. With movie ticket admissions starting at just $7.49, <a href="http://www.bulktix.com/movies">BulkTix.com</a> saves you at least $4 per ticket, and you'll receive free shipping on eight or more tickets via Google Checkout and coupon code &quot;TURKEYTX&quot;.</p> <p>But when eight tickets are too many (that's almost 16 hours of video if you view all the movies solo!), keep an eye out for <a href="http://dealnews.com/b36237/Fandango?eref=wisebread">Fandango deals</a>: we've seen tickets valued at $12 for as little as $5 a piece. <a href="http://dealnews.com/search.html?search=amc">AMC Theaters</a> is also no stranger to deals; in the last six weeks they've offered 4 AMC Silver Experience Movie Tickets for $24, Disney Pixar movie tickets for $6, and a free small popcorn promotion via Facebook. If you're loyal to a particular theater, consider setting up an <a href="https://dealnews.com/mydealnews/alerts.html?eref=wisebread">email alert</a> for that chain to be notified immediately the next time we inevitably find a deal.</p> <p>If you don't want to dish out for your movie tickets in advance, Real Simple suggests that you <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/money/saving/save-money-movies-00000000048228/index.html">see if your credit card company offers any perks</a>. Right now <a href="https://www.fandango.com/visasignature?CJAFFILIATE&amp;PID=552179">Visa Signature</a> cardholders can get free Fandango movie ticket when purchasing one at regular price on Fridays. Or join <a href="https://www.amcstubs.com/Enrollment/WithoutCard">AMC Stubs</a> for one year (<em>$12</em>) and you'll receive: $10 in rewards points for every $100 you spend at AMC Theaters, free upgrades on concession snacks, waived online ticket purchase fees, and more.</p> <p>Speaking of discounted concession stand goodies, we often see both AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas coupons for free or discounted small drinks, popcorn, available by just liking the CineMark <a href="http://www.facebook.com/cinemark?sk=app_107611949261673">Facebook page</a>.</p> <p>If you've got your own A/C and are without incentive to venture out into the summer air, keep your eyes out for deals like a $20 Starbucks card bundled with two complimentary movie tickets. This particular offer has sadly expired now, but movie tickets are a popular item to be bundled with gift cards, as well as DVDs and Blu-ray movies. In fact, right now, pre-order the new <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&amp;docId=1000795521"><em>Men in Black III</em> on Blu-ray</a> and receive a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&amp;docId=1000795521">free movie ticket</a> to see <em>Men in Black III</em> in theaters. If you're hesitant to pre-order the 2-disc combo and 3-disc 3D combo of MIB3, <a href="http://dealnews.com/Men-In-Black-or-MIB-II-on-Blu-ray-Movie-Ticket-for-13-free-shipping-via-Prime/572946.html?eref=wisebread">the first two films</a> are also bundled with the <a href="http://dealnews.com/Men-In-Black-or-MIB-II-on-Blu-ray-Movie-Ticket-for-13-free-shipping-via-Prime/572946.html?eref=wisebread">$10 movie ticket credit</a>.</p> <p>As a budget-conscious cinephile, you should keep all these tips in mind when planning future trips to the movies. But you should also be signed up for an <a href="https://dealnews.com/mydealnews/alerts.html?keyword=movie+ticket">email alert</a> so you know immediately when we list such deals, which not only include the above promotions, but also free tickets to movie screenings.</p> <p><em>This is a guest post by </em><a href="http://www.dealnews.com"><em>Dealnews</em></a><em>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Seeing summer movies is a great way to be entertained and beat the heat. But going to the theater can be crazy pricey — unless you save with these deals. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-see-the-summers-blockbuster-movies-without-breaking-the-bank">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/never-pay-for-a-redbox-dvd-rental-again">Never Pay for a RedBox DVD Rental Again</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/25-great-movies-about-money">25 Great Movies 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/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free</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-tricks-for-a-better-netflix-experience">6 Tricks for a Better Netflix Experience</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-8-best-ways-to-stream-tv-and-movies-for-free">The 8 Best Ways to Stream TV and Movies for Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment movies summer activities Fri, 15 Jun 2012 10:36:10 +0000 Dealnews 935137 at http://www.wisebread.com Night Biking: Get Set Up to Ride the Night Away http://www.wisebread.com/night-biking-get-set-up-to-ride-the-night-away <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/night-biking-get-set-up-to-ride-the-night-away" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/night_bike.jpg" alt="Woman with bike" title="Woman with bike" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="146" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Night biking is such a blast, and with the weather getting better and better every day, it&rsquo;s so fun to extend your outdoor play into the night. A quiet ride through the city around dusk offers a refreshing change from day riding. A ride through your small town at night can change your whole perspective on where you live. It might even feel like a completely different place. And it&rsquo;s all good as you stay visible and safe. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-guide-to-becoming-a-part-time-bicycle-commuter">A Guide to Becoming a Part-Time Bicycle Commuter</a>)</p> <h2>Light It Up</h2> <p>First, you have to determine what kind of night riding you want to do and pick the light that&rsquo;s best for you. If you&rsquo;re an urban rider, you can get around easily with a light that doesn&rsquo;t project as far ahead. If you&rsquo;re heading into the woods or darker stretches of country road, you&rsquo;ll need to pick a light with a strong beam that reaches farther and helps light your way better.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re going to be city-side for your night rides, check out a smaller and cheaper light set like the ones that <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Bell-Night-Trail-Bicycle-Light/dp/B00005BXUU">Bell Bicycles</a> sell. They run between $10 to $20 and can get you started. For the heavy-duty night rider that wants to explore unlit roads or even hit the mountains for a stellar night ride, the MiNewt by <a href="http://www.niterider.com/">NiteRider</a> is the way to go. With three different beam settings and a super long battery life of three-to-six hours, you can&rsquo;t go wrong. At $200, it hits the high end of the light range, but is worth the cost to keep you from getting stranded at night. Don&rsquo;t forget to put on a tail light, preferably one that has different settings, so you can be seen from behind.</p> <h2>Start Reflecting</h2> <p>The next most important piece of equipment you&rsquo;ll need is reflective clothing or tape. Not only do you need to see where you&rsquo;re going at night, but you need to be seen by car drivers. A good pair of bike tights with reflective strips down the sides works well in conjunction with <a href="http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_520080_-1___">a jersey like the one by AGU</a>. Better yet, get a versatile reflective vest that you can wear year-round over your clothes and add in some reflective cuffs to put over your jacket or pants even in the dead of winter. Adding reflectors to your wheels and the back of your bike will add an element of safety to your ride as well.</p> <h2>Pack Right</h2> <p>Part of staying safe while riding at night is having the right tools with you. Along with a good light set and reflective clothing, you need to keep a good toolkit with the basics: patch kit, pump, allen wrenches, crescent wrenches, and a first aid kit. A handheld flashlight is also a good idea for those times when your bike light goes out or when you need to stop to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-fix-a-bike-flat">work on your bike</a>. An extra set of clothing also serves you well for when the temperature drops or inclement weather sets in, and a pair of glasses with clear lenses helps you ride at night while protecting your eyes. Of course, having more water and more food around can&rsquo;t hurt either!</p> <h2>Practice</h2> <p>Finally, getting on the road at dusk and going for baby rides near your house can help you prepare for your night rides. Your eyes will begin to adjust to the different lighting and the obscurity. You can learn how to feel the road through your tires instead of having to see the whole road ahead of you. And you can learn to anticipate unexpected events, like small animals darting across your path where you can&rsquo;t see them.</p> <p>Once you&rsquo;ve gotten all your gear together and a few practice runs in, it&rsquo;s time to go, because summer&rsquo;s almost here, the night is always young, and your bike is ready. So bike on!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sasha-a-rae">Sasha A. Rae</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/night-biking-get-set-up-to-ride-the-night-away">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-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</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/5-most-affordable-gym-memberships">5 Most Affordable Gym Memberships</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/the-5-best-exercise-videos">The 5 Best Exercise Videos</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-online-workout-videos-for-free-or-cheap">7 Online Workout Videos for Free or Cheap</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-clever-ways-to-improve-your-home-gym">10 Clever Ways to Improve Your Home Gym</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty bicycle safety bicycling exercise summer activities Wed, 25 May 2011 09:48:21 +0000 Sasha A. Rae 546913 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Ways to Make the Most Out of Warm-Weather Weekdays http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-the-most-out-of-warm-weather-weekdays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-ways-to-make-the-most-out-of-warm-weather-weekdays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/jump_for_summer.jpg" alt="Jumping for summer joy" title="Jumping for summer joy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As someone who works from home all year round, I look forward to the spring and summer months.</p> <p>During the wintertime, I hibernate &mdash; and that doesn&rsquo;t bode well for my sanity.</p> <p>But as soon as the sun starts shining and the temp starts rising, I&rsquo;m out and about as much as possible. Even (and especially) after a hard day&rsquo;s work.</p> <p>To get you out of the house more, here are some of the things I like (and would like) to do on weekdays that allow me to soak up the rays and feel better the next day.</p> <h3>1. Join a Team Sport</h3> <p>Every city I&rsquo;ve lived in has had adult rec leagues that offer team activities like kickball, dodgeball, soccer, mini golf, ultimate Frisbee, and more. I&rsquo;m currently playing two sports on the <a href="http://www.nycssc.com">NYSSC</a> leagues. It&rsquo;s a great way to keep moving and make new friends.<o:p> My kickball team is currently in first place. Albeit, no thanks to me. Pssh, I'm not hurting myself for fleeting glory.</o:p></p> <h3>2. Cooks Meals in Advance</h3> <p>When it&rsquo;s warm outside, I don&rsquo;t want to spend my nights in front of a hot stove. To free up my time, I grill lots of chicken breasts on a Sunday morning, cut them up, and store the bite-sized pieces in a container in the fridge or freezer. When I&rsquo;m ready to eat, I can pull out the container and make quick Caesar salads, quesadillas, or chicken-salad sandwiches. As I&rsquo;m saving time, I&rsquo;m also saving money. Heating up your home every night &mdash; especially when it&rsquo;s hot out &mdash; makes your air conditioner work harder to keep it cool, which costs more money. Cooking one day a week saves you five days of unnecessary AC overdrive.</p> <h3>3. Grill Your Dinner</h3> <p>If you don&rsquo;t want to spend your Sundays making a week&rsquo;s worth of meals, that&rsquo;s all right. I don&rsquo;t always have time for that, either &mdash; and there&rsquo;s nothing like food, fresh and hot. Whenever I have a chance to grill, I light it up. Burgers, shrimp, steak, baked potatoes, corn-on-the-cob&hellip; what doesn&rsquo;t taste good from the grill? Quick, easy, and delicious &mdash; if you have the gas kind, that is. Charcoal grills are a waste of time and money. You can tell Weber I said that, too.</p> <h3>4. Exercise Outside</h3> <p>When May rolls around, I put my gym membership on hold. There&rsquo;s no need to spend time sweating inside when I can save my monthly membership fee and sweat outside instead. Or, if you&rsquo;re a true entrepreneur, you can forgo putting the membership on hold and lease it to someone who wants short-term access to your gym. I&rsquo;ve done it before and it worked out beautifully.</p> <h3>5. Open the Blinds and Windows</h3> <p>Maybe you don&rsquo;t have time to get outside. Fair enough. Bring the sights and sounds inside by opening the blinds and windows. Turn on some Calypso and shake your thang. (<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tasks-you-shouldnt-skip-during-spring-cleaning">See also: 8 Tasks You Shouldn't Skip During Spring Cleaning</a>)</p> <h3>6. Take Your Dogs to the Park</h3> <p>My dogs love going to the run. I don&rsquo;t mind going either, because the one that we frequent has a bar. In my opinion, there&rsquo;s no better way to chill out than having fun with my babies while sipping on a few beers.</p> <h3>7. Treat Yourself to Refreshments on a Patio</h3> <p>Sometimes, of course, I need a moment to unwind by myself. When I&rsquo;m not taking my babies out, I like to visit <a href="http://yatengabistro.com/">a bistro around the corner</a> that has outdoor seating and incredible happy hour specials like $4 glasses of house wine before 8 p.m.</p> <h3>8. Plan a Picnic</h3> <p>Turn off the TV, pack a basket, and find a shady spot at the park. The park is much less crowded during the week, so you&rsquo;ll finally be able to relax. My go-to picnic dishes include chilled steamed shrimp, a fruit and cheese platter, and crusty bread with olive oil. A cool piece of lemon meringue pie helps satisfy that sweet tooth, too.</p> <h3>9. Catch a Free Event</h3> <p>Great activities are not limited to the weekends. Look at your local events calendar, and you&rsquo;ll find plenty to do Monday through Friday. My all-time favorite is an outdoor movie series, which usually kicks off sometime in June, with each movie beginning at dusk once a week until mid-to-late August. Bring along a fold-up chair and a bag of snacks and you&rsquo;ve got yourself a good, cheap night out that won&rsquo;t leave you with a headache the next day.</p> <h3>10. Make Some Extra Cash</h3> <p>Search <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extra-income-online-5-websites-that-can-seriously-pad-your-pockets">Craigslist</a> for people in need of dog walkers, errand runners, or yard help. You&rsquo;ll get your daily recommended allowance of vitamin D while making a few bucks in the process.</p> <h3>11. Run Errands Close to Home</h3> <p>There&rsquo;s a misconception about New York City that everything is convenient. It&rsquo;s not. The nearest post office is seven blocks away from me, and my bank is another five blocks away from that. That may not seem like an arduous trek, but just wait until the wind, rain, snow, and slush arrive. When it&rsquo;s nice out, though, I like to walk to run my errands. I list what I need to do ahead of time then map it so I&rsquo;m accomplishing my tasks efficiently. I feel even better when I break a sweat &mdash; because that&rsquo;s means less time exercising. Which I hate (but have) to do.</p> <h3>12. Volunteer to Clean Up Your Neighborhood</h3> <p>Every neighborhood needs maintenance. Maybe not your own little slice of heaven, but I bet there&rsquo;s something you could volunteer to beautify. Break out a broom and sweep the sidewalk. Pull the weeds out of a neighbor's potted plants. Help pick up trash near the church. All of these activities will keep your blood pumping and win you points with the old lady next door.</p> <h3>13. Wash Your Car</h3> <p>Why pay $20 to have your car washed? Unless, of course, there&rsquo;s a whole bunch of home-from-college hotties doin&rsquo; the washin&rsquo;. Yes, please. Barring that exception, grab your bucket, soap, and sponge and attack your Crud Mobile the old-fashioned way &mdash; with your bare hands and some elbow grease. But check the weather first. Nothing burns more than busting your hump scrubbing those hubcabs just have &lsquo;em rained on three hours later.</p> <h3>14. Take Up Stargazing</h3> <p>I see no stars in the city &mdash; and that makes this idea all the more appealing. If you live somewhere where the halogen lights don&rsquo;t keep you up at night, buy (or borrow) a telescope and search for signs of intelligent life. Lord knows I haven&rsquo;t spotted any in a while.</p> <h3>15. Invest in a Hammock</h3> <p>Tie it to two trees and hop in. In your backyard. In the park. On your roof (if it comes with its own stand). Just remember that safety comes first, OK? I will not be held responsible for your silliness.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-the-most-out-of-warm-weather-weekdays">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/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">Massive List of Things to Do While Watching TV</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-old-school-things-that-make-summer-summer">10 Old-School Things That Make Summer SUMMER!</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/fun-and-cheap-ways-to-get-creative-when-you-re-bored">Fun and Cheap Ways to Get Creative When You’re Bored</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-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday">8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday</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-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Lifestyle Productivity errands exercise fast dinner ideas summer activities Fri, 20 May 2011 10:24:16 +0000 Mikey Rox 545614 at http://www.wisebread.com Surefire Ways to Save on Summer Camp Costs http://www.wisebread.com/surefire-ways-to-save-on-summer-camp-costs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/surefire-ways-to-save-on-summer-camp-costs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_at_camp.jpg" alt="Kids jumping" title="Kids jumping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a child, I always wanted to go to a fancy &ldquo;Y&rdquo; camp. Every year, representatives from <a href="http://www.campthunderbird.org/">Camp Thunderbird</a> visited my elementary school to distribute glossy brochures showing children sailing on the lake, shooting arrows to an archery target, and more. Year after year, I asked my parents if I could go to this camp. They always said &ldquo;no&rdquo; because the cost was too high. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/summer-freebies-and-bargains-for-kids">Summer Freebies and Bargains for Kids</a>)</p> <p>I never quite understood their reasoning or the rationale behind the public schools allowing these spokespeople to promote a camp to children whose parents couldn&rsquo;t afford the tuition. Wasn&rsquo;t my enjoyment worth the money? Was the camp really too expensive?</p> <p>The truth was that many camps offered meaningful experiences for much less. And they still do.</p> <p>This year&rsquo;s price for the dream camp of my childhood is $850 for five days or $1,700 for two weeks of overnight camp for non-Y-members; day camp for five days (Monday-Friday) is $350. This YMCA-run camp represents middle-of-the-road pricing &mdash; weeklong, overnight Boy Scout camp for my youngest son is $250; a two-week adventure camp on the coast runs $3,185, and a five-week wilderness session in the mountains is $5,650.</p> <p>As a parent, you&rsquo;ll need to decide what type of camp is best for your child <em>and</em> affordable for your family. Whatever you decide, you can save on summer camp in the following ways.</p> <h2>Use Commonly Available Discounts</h2> <p>Pricier camps tend to offer many types of discounts. Mid-range camps tout a couple of ways to save. Lower-priced camps rarely offer discounts. Ask camp officials about discount opportunities.</p> <h4>Early Registration</h4> <p>Register and make a deposit by a certain deadline and pay a discounted price.</p> <h4>Multiple Registrations</h4> <p>Register siblings and friends at the same time, and get a discounted rate.</p> <h4>Referral</h4> <p>Refer a friend to the camp and earn a bonus applied to camp tuition.</p> <h4>Hosting a Camp Party</h4> <p>You can host a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/network-marketing-parties-opportunity-or-emotional-blackmail">home party</a>, invite friends, and allow camp representatives to present guests with information on the camp in order to get a discounted price<span style=""> (think hostess gift for a Tupperware or Pampered Chef party). </span><span style=""><br /> </span></p> <h4>Repeat Campers</h4> <p>Prices are lower for returning campers.</p> <h4>Multiple Sessions</h4> <p>Campers who sign up for more than one session in a summer may receive a discount.</p> <h2>Attend an Inexpensive Camp</h2> <p>You can send your child to a weeklong residential camp for less than $300 or day camp for less than $100. Types of camps with a low price tag generally fall into these categories:</p> <h4>Scout Camp</h4> <p>Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts offer affordable options, but typically your children will need to be affiliated with a troop or council to attend.</p> <h4>Church Camp</h4> <p>Children may attend camps run by churches or religious organizations; teenagers may attend missions-oriented camps that combine work projects with fun and fellowship.</p> <h4>Sports Camps</h4> <p>Teams associated with community or school athletic programs may send their players to camp for skills instruction and team building.</p> <h4>Special Needs Camps</h4> <p>Children with special needs or medical conditions can participate in camps that have specially qualified professionals.</p> <h4>Enrichment Programs</h4> <p>School systems or non-profit groups may sponsor day camps for qualifying children (those with special talents and/or those who live in high-crime areas).</p> <h4>Special Interest Camps</h4> <p>Parks and recreation departments offer day camps that focus on specific activities such as golf, tennis, or basketball.</p> <h2>Apply for Financial Assistance</h2> <p>Most camps that cost over $1,000 have a formal financial-aid process that allows parents to apply for assistance. To verify financial need, camp organizers may ask for income tax filings and pay stubs.</p> <p>Non-profit groups may also offer assistance, but the process may be less formal. For example, scout leaders tell parents that the cost of attending should not prevent any child from participation and ask parents to let them know confidentially if money is needed. Also, these groups may sponsor fundraisers throughout the year to help campers (and their parents) earn money to pay camp expenses.</p> <p><em>Have you found ways to save money on summer camp? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surefire-ways-to-save-on-summer-camp-costs">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/train-now-for-a-summertime-family-cycling-trip">Train Now for a Summertime Family Cycling Trip</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-important-lessons-frugal-parents-teach-their-children">7 Important Lessons Frugal Parents Teach Their Children</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-ways-having-kids-makes-you-more-frugal">8 Ways Having Kids Makes You More Frugal</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-ways-the-sandwich-generation-can-get-ahead">6 Ways the Sandwich Generation Can Get Ahead</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/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Lifestyle Travel children summer activities summer camp Fri, 13 May 2011 10:24:15 +0000 Julie Rains 540282 at http://www.wisebread.com Train Now for a Summertime Family Cycling Trip http://www.wisebread.com/train-now-for-a-summertime-family-cycling-trip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/train-now-for-a-summertime-family-cycling-trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bike trail for WB.jpg" alt="Pine Creek Trail" title="Pine Creek Trail" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Winter is a great time to get ready for a summer cycling vacation with your family. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/summer-freebies-and-bargains-for-kids">Summer Freebies and Bargains for Kids</a>)</p> <p>A couple of winters ago, I convinced my husband that taking the kids, then 15 and 12, on an <a href="http://www.railstotrails.org/getinvolved/findanevent/sojourn/index.html">organized cycling trip</a> was a great idea. Actually, I persuaded him to sign up for the trip and withhold judgment on our family&rsquo;s capabilities (individually and collectively) to ride over 150 miles in 4 days. My job was to prepare the family for this adventure. I discovered that there are really four components to getting ready for a cycling trip (or similar outdoor vacations involving moderate physical activity):</p> <ul> <li><a href="#Fitness">Fitness</a></li> <li><a href="#Nutrition">Nutrition</a></li> <li><a href="#Gear">Gear</a></li> <li><a href="#Mental_Readiness">Mental Readiness</a></li> </ul> <h2>Create a Trip Evaluation</h2> <p>Before you get ready, you'll need to know <em>what you are getting ready for, </em>so start with a trip evaluation. Note your trip's:</p> <ol> <li>Distance</li> <li>Average speed</li> <li>Conditions</li> </ol> <p>Getting the distance of a trip should be straightforward. I&rsquo;ll mention, though, that the mileages for our trip were updated periodically as trails and road safety were evaluated and re-evaluated. There were also some optional miles for side trips.</p> <p>For a casual trip, you may not receive information stating the average speed of the cyclists, but you can calculate this number using the schedule of activities. For example, if the start time is 9 a.m. and lunch is served at 12 noon at a site 30 miles from the starting point, then cyclists should average 10 mph to arrive on time.&nbsp;</p> <p>Assessing conditions is the most difficult task. Look at:</p> <ol> <li><strong>Surface:</strong> Will you be riding on a trail where cars are prohibited? What type of surface is the bike path?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Support: </strong>Will you need to transport your own gear, such as tents and clothing? Are meals, snacks, and water provided by organizers? What type of overnight facilities are available &mdash; hotel, bed and breakfast, campsite? Will cell phone service be available if you have problems?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Climate: </strong>What is the average temperature? Will you need winter gear or rain apparel?</li> </ol> <p>Having participated in cycling events with friends, I&nbsp;had the knowledge to get the family ready. However, finding time to train was a challenge with winter weather, short days, schoolwork, and real work persisting as interferences to a fitness regimen. Plus we had some false starts.</p> <p>Our first training ride has become part of family lore in the &ldquo;disaster&rdquo; category: My youngest son collapsed (figuratively, though he did feign a near-physical collapse) after cycling about five miles on a multi-use trail. My husband, then 49-years-old and an occasional exerciser, wasn&rsquo;t feeling energized either. I ditched my dreams of idyllic family outings in which we harmoniously enjoyed each other&rsquo;s company as we pedaled happily, steadily, and swiftly. Then I developed and activated Plan B.</p> <h3><a name="Fitness"></a>Fitness</h3> <p>To get ready for a cycling trip, <em>ideally</em> you and your family should take rides together on weekends, early mornings before work, or evenings after work (or during the day if everyone has a flexible schedule). Steadily you&rsquo;ll progress toward your fitness goals and trip readiness. Specifically, you should try to attain the average speed for the longest-mileage day.</p> <p>As I mentioned, my total-family approach didn&rsquo;t work smoothly for us, so my Plan B was to get each person ready separately, even though we&rsquo;d progress at different rates. My husband and I started by taking long bike rides on a greenway near our house on Saturday mornings and occasional evenings. Whenever possible, I took my 12-year-old during the week. Eventually, my husband and younger son rode together to take on more challenging distances. (I&rsquo;ll note that this son was working toward a Cycling Merit Badge and was motivated to complete a series of rides including the capstone 50-mile ride.)</p> <p>My oldest son didn&rsquo;t take many rides with the family as he was working out with his high school football team. His physical strength, mental toughness, and youth &mdash; along with the right gear &mdash; allowed him to complete daily distances easily.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s my approach:</p> <ol> <li><strong>Create and follow a plan that builds your mileage to the longest daily distance.</strong> Work out a few times each week, talking a long ride on the weekend and a couple of shorter rides during the week. Progressively increase the longest ride of the week, adding 15-30% in miles if possible until you reach your goal. If you are not able to ride during the week, do something: walk, take an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-started-in-indoor-cycle-class">indoor cycle class</a>, swim, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exercising-in-a-winter-wonderland-how-to-be-fit-and-frugal">run outside</a>, or lift weights.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Add speed. </strong>You don&rsquo;t need to cycle 30 miles at an all-out pace to improve your fitness level. Quicken the pace slightly or put forth short bursts of intense effort and then slow down instead of stopping so that you&rsquo;ll get used to continuous effort (and avoid sudden drops in heart rate).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Rest. </strong>Take breaks during the bike rides every 10-15 miles or so. Recover between workout sessions. If you are relatively new to regular exercise, you may need to take more than a day of recovery between rides. If you feel tired, slow down or cut your distances, or take an extra rest day.</li> </ol> <p>As a note of encouragement, even if you walk a mile or so daily now, you have a better base level of fitness than you might imagine; getting to the next level is more attainable than you might realize. As a note of caution, don&rsquo;t overdo workouts. Build up slowly, and don't try to set speed records.</p> <h2><a name="Nutrition"></a>Nutrition</h2> <p>Novices consistently underestimate the impact of nutrition and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-to-drink-more-water">hydration</a> in tackling a long or multi-day ride. Those seemingly average in fitness can ride for hours when taking in the proper fuel and plenty of fluids.</p> <p>Generally, eating balanced meals and healthy snacks while avoiding fast food and processed food works well. My regimen is a fruit smoothie for breakfast with bananas, blueberries, yogurt, and orange juice; trail mix or energy gels for snacks; a sandwich and chips or pretzels for lunch; and a good dinner with protein, vegetables, and carbs, plus plenty of water and some electrolyte-laden sports drinks along the way. Others like eggs and toast for breakfast and peanut butter sandwiches for snacks, for example.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s my approach:</p> <ol> <li><strong>Develop menus that suit your preferences</strong> (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks). Test foods, meals, and drinks to determine which benefit your performance and what causes problems.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Pay attention to your diet and fluid intake</strong> during the weeks of training as well as immediately before the trip, during the rides, and afterwards. Never start an event hungry or thirsty as you'll likely suffer throughout the ride.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Never try a new approach before or during a long ride.</strong>&nbsp;This idea is like #1, but important enough that it should stand on its own.</li> </ol> <h2><a name="Gear"></a>Gear</h2> <p>Bringing the right gear that is easily transported to the trip is a major consideration. Training sessions will give you indicators of what type of gear is essential. For more specific information, review trip packing lists, ask organizers for recommended items, and interact with ride veterans on trip forums (if available) to discover useful items that may not be mentioned otherwise.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s my approach:</p> <ol> <li><strong>Find a bicycle and helmet that fit</strong> you and the cycling surface (that is, use a hybrid or mountain bike if you are traveling on a rails-to-trails trail or a road bike if you are riding on the road).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Bring a water bottle and other essentials</strong> in a bicycle bag, which should include a basic repair kit (bicycle tube, tool, and pump), snacks, and possibly a first-aid kit. Avoid carrying a daypack on your back as this arrangement becomes uncomfortable quickly.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Acquire additional gear as needed. </strong>These items may include a bicycle computer, moisture-wicking clothing (shirts, shorts, and socks), raingear, bicycle lock, and camping gear.</li> </ol> <p>Renting bikes and other equipment makes sense if you are traveling a long distance for the trip, and you are confident that you can rent the right type of bicycle that is in excellent working condition and fits properly. Our family&rsquo;s disastrous experience was due partly to a problem bicycle, selected hurriedly from a rental shop next to the bike trail. The chain fell off repeatedly and seemed permanently stuck in one gear, which didn&rsquo;t allow for ease of pedaling. The owner helped us and adjusted our bill, but the experience taught me to be diligent in checking out rental shops and bike rentals.</p> <h2><a name="Mental_Readiness"></a>Mental Readiness</h2> <p>Getting mentally ready is just as important as physical fitness. You don&rsquo;t have to pursue mental toughness specifically. As you train and encounter challenges, make mistakes, and survive these experiences, you&rsquo;ll develop mental toughness naturally.</p> <p>Things that have happened to me, for example, include times when I started to become dehydrated because a rest stop closed early, ate a hamburger just an hour before a long and fast ride, pushed myself too hard in the early phase of a ride and struggled for the subsequent 20 miles, and cycled for hours in the rain. I've also heard &quot;war stories&quot; that included sudden muscle cramping and extreme fatigue during an epic ride a few days after donating blood.</p> <p>These things are scary but they are helpful because they...</p> <ol> <li>...teach you what <em>not </em>to do next time.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>....help you to encourage others to avoid these problems or recognize what&rsquo;s wrong when someone repeats your past mistake (instead of panicking).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>...demonstrate your resilience.</li> </ol> <p>Another way to build your readiness is by completing the longest daily distance and doing back-to-back rides. The intimidation of a 40-mile ride and riding multiple days in a row disappears if you have managed to conquer those challenges already. You'll also learn techniques for handling such exertion.</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t panic if you cannot take that long ride if you are otherwise healthy and fit, and the trip difficulty level is low. On a typical day, you'll have completed a workout plus all your daily chores (such as going to work, fixing dinner, and doing laundry), which can zap your energy. During the trip, all you have to do is ride.</p> <p>To find a trip that's right for your family, talk to folks at your local bicycle,&nbsp;outdoor shop, and bicycle club; or investigate&nbsp;trips offered by <a href="http://www.adventurecycling.org/tours/index.cfm">Adventure Cycling</a>, hosted by state agencies (such as the <a href="http://www.mostateparks.com/katytrail/2011ride.htm">Katy Trail Ride in Missouri</a>) and organized by adventure travel companies. To find trails suitable for family training, check out maps from <a href="http://www.traillink.com/home.aspx">Rails-to-Trails Conservancy </a>or your local parks and recreation department.</p> <p><em>If you have techniques for getting families or yourself ready for a cycling vacation, share them in the comments. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/train-now-for-a-summertime-family-cycling-trip">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/surefire-ways-to-save-on-summer-camp-costs">Surefire Ways to Save on Summer Camp Costs</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/tips-for-starting-or-jumpstarting-your-exercise-regimen">Tips For Starting (Or Jumpstarting) Your Exercise Regimen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-minimize-baggage-fees-when-flying">5 Ways to Minimize Baggage Fees When Flying</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/night-biking-get-set-up-to-ride-the-night-away">Night Biking: Get Set Up to Ride the Night Away</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/30-signs-you-were-raised-by-healthy-parents">30 Signs You Were Raised by Healthy Parents</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Health and Beauty Travel cycling family activities family vacation summer activities training regimen Mon, 31 Jan 2011 13:00:21 +0000 Julie Rains 483647 at http://www.wisebread.com Pursuing Interests: Free to $1K+ http://www.wisebread.com/pursuing-interests-free-to-1k <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/pursuing-interests-free-to-1k" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/environmental_science_books.jpg" alt="environmental science books" title="environmental science books" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Pursuing interests and learning new things, such as taking a class in environmental science, can be costly or not, depending on what your interest is, what happens to be available in your community or online, and how flexible your schedule is. If you or your family members happen to choose pricier interests, you can try to mix it up with some freebies of your choice. </p> <p>Ideally, I&#39;d like everyone in my family to have the same interests so that we can spend more time together and focus time and money on a few things (my choices would be swimming, hiking, canoeing, and cycling). My kids haven&#39;t conformed to my image and have pursued activities that I would never consider (community theater comes to mind). </p> <p>So, I’ve been torn between spending Saturday mornings on my road bike and some other free time I might have in the gym. I don’t want to mislead anyone who might think I’m a fitness freak (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but carving out workout moments in addition to taking care of children, working, cooking meals, washing clothes, keeping up a social life of sorts, and more is daunting. </p> <p>When <em>Wall Street Journal’s Love &amp; Money</em> columnist Jeff Opdyke wrote about trying to find time (and money) to pursue new interests last Sunday, July 15, 2007, his article “So Many Interests, So Little Time” resonated with me. </p> <p>Mr. Opdyke tells of the time and money his family spends on fun and enriching activities for the kids: soccer, baseball, dance, gymnastics, and piano are mentioned. His concern, like mine, is that the adults in the household may not pursue interests for themselves, such as language, art, or golf lessons. Some of you may consider this selfish; others, foolish. Whether you think that parents’ wants should be set aside or adults’ wishes honored, the dilemma of spending (how much?) and allocation (on whom?) exists. </p> <p>What surprised me about this discussion the most, though, was that Mr. Opdyke budgets close to $300 per month for his kids’ activities (none for the parents, by the way). It made me consider how much I spend to let my kids pursue their interests.</p> <p>My youngest has asked, on more than one occasion, if he could take Tae Kwon Do lessons. A school near us promotes itself heavily including offering special sessions at his public school and hosting kids’ birthday parties, one of which my son attended. I’ve resisted his pleas, and while I wouldn’t mind him benefiting from the exercise and discipline, I just can’t justify $50 per month for, well, indefinitely. Kids take lessons 3-4 times per week for a few to several years. </p> <p>This summer, however, has been the most expensive ever (just under $1,500), mainly because my oldest child (a middle school student) is taking an online class in environmental science offered by a private university. The class and the cost was one that I considered very carefully but I decided that it was worthwhile for him to participate (it was really my idea and I had to convince him to sign up) because I wanted him 1) to get used to online class format with its discussion board and electronically submitted assignments, 2) to learn something about environmental science, and 3) to realize that there are some super-bright kids out there, who may one day (hopefully) be his university classmates or workplace colleagues. </p> <p>The oldest also spent a week at a church camp/youth retreat in the mountains. My youngest child is participating in a public school-sponsored enrichment program and taking classes in science, scenery design, and sports. </p> <p>Our spending during the school year looks quite different. Activities in the past year or so are listed here and free unless listed otherwise: </p> <ul> <li>Community Theater</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Cotillions (etiquette and dance, $75)</li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.odysseyofthemind.com" target="_blank" title="http://www.odysseyofthemind.com">Odyssey of the Mind</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li>Open Arms Community (outreach to children from troubled families) </li> </ul> <ul> <li>Vacation Bible School (one son was a participant; the other, a youth worker)</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Y League Basketball ($45)</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Art Lessons ($90)</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Swim Lessons ($45)</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Church Youth Group (talk sessions, games, suppers) </li> </ul> <p>At least one child has learned how to:</p> <ul> <li>sing and dance in a group;</li> </ul> <ul> <li>endure long theater practices;</li> </ul> <ul> <li>interpret instructions as a guideline not a limiting force; </li> </ul> <ul> <li>ask a girl for a dance; </li> </ul> <ul> <li>be yourself and enjoy people actually liking you just for that;</li> </ul> <ul> <li>give money to a <a href="http://www.heifer.org/" target="_blank" title="http://www.heifer.org/">cause</a> that helps to alleviate hunger through sustaining agriculture;</li> </ul> <ul> <li>swim backstroke;</li> </ul> <ul> <li>relate to other people even when they&#39;re being annoying.</li> </ul> <p>So, there’s our list of activities, not totally frugal but under $3,600 per year. As for me, I pursuing my interests, hoping to learn and grow by being involved in a book club, helping kids to lead brainstorming sessions as an Odyssey of the Mind coach, figuring out cycling and endurance fitness, and maybe picking up a new language soon (Spanish, sign language?), with costs ranging from free to much more for equipment and training facilities. If you (as an adult or a child) have participated in a particularly life-enriching activity, especially one that costs little, please share your experience. </p> <p>Photo of Environmental Science textbooks by me</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pursuing-interests-free-to-1k">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-6"> <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/summer-reading-made-easy">Summer Reading Made Easy</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-hobbies-for-introverts">8 Best Hobbies for Introverts</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-throw-a-kids-birthday-party-thats-fun-happily-memorable">How to Throw a Kid’s Birthday Party That’s Fun, Happily Memorable, and Not So Expensive</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/make-a-crafty-airbrush-out-of-old-junk">Make a crafty airbrush out of old junk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-autumn-is-good-for-your-mind-and-body">6 Ways Autumn Is Good for Your Mind and Body</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks activities Art and Leisure enrichment kids online classes summer activities summer camp Sun, 22 Jul 2007 16:00:00 +0000 Julie Rains 878 at http://www.wisebread.com Summer Reading Made Easy http://www.wisebread.com/summer-reading-made-easy <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/boy_at_library.jpg" alt="boy at library " title="boy at library" width="294" height="196" align="top" /></p> <p>If you&#39;re a mom, dad, grandma, granddad, aunt, uncle, big sister, big brother, friend, or tutor, you will most likely find yourself spending time with a child this summer. </p> <p>Kids ought to be spending some time outside, catching frogs, building a fort, furnishing a fort, playing baseball, or doing something that is pure fun, costs nothing, and requires little adult supervision. But they may be inside on an extremely hot day, thunderstormy day, or just time-to-rest day. When my kids are in, it takes some nudging but I like them to <strong>read </strong>just a little something. </p> <p>I wish they would wander over to the library, peruse the offerings, and pick up a few great books. But that&#39;s not been happening, so I want to hand them a book I&#39;m nearly 100% sure they&#39;ll like. A couple of summers ago, that was really easy when my youngest was into The Magic Tree House series. My oldest read nearly anything then but now that he&#39;s in middle school, he&#39;s gotten finicky. </p> <p>As you most likely know, you can get a <strong>library card</strong> with access to its catalog that, depending on your particular system, should allow you to search the entire catalog, place a hold or reservation on a title, and request that the book be delivered to the library closest to you. I suggest the digital options because I find that during the summer, bookshelves are often picked clean of the most popular books; if I get on the waiting list, I can schedule my library visits for times when I know I will find what I want. </p> <p>Other <strong>frugal options</strong> are to visit your used book store, and either trade in your used books or buy them at a discount; check out the offerings at Goodwill or yard sales; or borrow from and/or share with friends. Half.com is also an inexpensive option as are online booksellers of new, almost new, and used books if the previously listed sources don&#39;t have what you are looking for. </p> <p>As an Internet surfer, I have discovered that uncovering book recommendations is easy; but sorting through long lists is tedious. Those lists with 10-20 recommendations suit me best. I&#39;ve compiled some sources of book lists (with choices that my kids or I have read) and included some books I&#39;ve enjoyed recently. Here are my ideas:  </p> <ul> <li><strong>Emerging to beginning readers: </strong>check out this interactive storytelling, phonics site <a href="http://www.starfall.com/" target="_blank" title="http://www.starfall.com">http://www.starfall.com/</a> (my dad, the elementary school tutor recommends it); read books by Dr. Seuss, which are fun and have wisebready messages, such as protecting the environment from exploitation of natural resources (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0394823370/ref=nosim/?tag=wwwwisebreadc-20" target="_blank" title="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0394823370/ref=nosim/?tag=wwwwisebreadc-20 "><em>The Lorax</em></a>) and avoiding advertising-induced status symbols (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0394800893/ref=nosim/?tag=wwwwisebreadc-20" target="_blank" title="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0394800893/ref=nosim/?tag=wwwwisebreadc-20 "><em>The Sneetches</em></a>).</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>1st through 3rd graders:</strong> let your kids see life through new friends&#39; eyes, such as Jack and Annie of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0375813659/ref=nosim/?tag=wwwwisebreadc-20" target="_blank" title="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0375813659/ref=nosim/?tag=wwwwisebreadc-20"><em>Magic Tree House</em></a> books, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0061246476/ref=nosim/?tag=wwwwisebreadc-20" target="_blank" title="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0061246476/ref=nosim/?tag=wwwwisebreadc-20 "><em>Ramona</em></a>, and <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0020421702/ref=nosim/?tag=wwwwisebreadc-20" target="_blank" title="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0020421702/ref=nosim/?tag=wwwwisebreadc-20">Orville and Wilbur Wright:Young Fliers</a></em> in the Childhood of Famous Americans series.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>4th through 12th graders:</strong> choose from the book list developed by <a href="http://www.battleofthebooks.org/selection.html" target="_blank" title="http://www.battleofthebooks.org/selection.html">America&#39;s Battle of the Books</a> (You don&#39;t have to compete to enjoy the books. Last summer, I used this list to find books for my middle-schooler; he enjoyed <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/078684907X/ref=nosim/?tag=wwwwisebreadc-20" target="_blank" title="http://www.amazon.com/dp/078684907X/ref=nosim/?tag=wwwwisebreadc-20">Peter and the Starcatchers</a></em> and then devoured <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0142406112/ref=nosim/?tag=wwwwisebreadc-20" target="_blank" title="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0142406112/ref=nosim/?tag=wwwwisebreadc-20"><em>Stormbreaker</em></a> and all of Anthony Horowitz&#39;s books.)</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>For grownups and near grownups:</strong> check out <a href="http://books.google.com/googlebooks/banned/" target="_blank" title="http://books.google.com/googlebooks/banned/">this banned book list</a>, <em>Wall Street Journal&#39;s </em><a href="http://www.booksmedia.com/cj/Pgs/WSJ_Best.htm" target="_blank" title="http://www.booksmedia.com/cj/Pgs/WSJ_Best.htm">bestselling business books</a>, and <a href="http://www.pulitzer.org" target="_blank" title="http://www.pulitzer.org">Pulitzer prize winners</a> (I have enjoyed reading the novels, which reflect the social and economic circumstances of the times. My library system has a listing of these titles as well as bestsellers on its main search page).  </li> </ul> <p>If you&#39;ve got a great list or books to recommend, especially for kids&#39; summer reading, let me know. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/summer-reading-made-easy">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/pursuing-interests-free-to-1k">Pursuing Interests: Free to $1K+</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-more-classic-personal-finance-books-you-must-read">8 More Classic Personal Finance Books You Must Read</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/the-8-classic-personal-finance-books-you-must-read">The 8 Classic Personal Finance Books You Must Read</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/free-childrens-book-from-barnes-and-noble">Free Children&#039;s Book from Barnes and Noble</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-3-best-books-to-start-investing-today">The 3 Best Books to Start Investing Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks book lists books kids reading summer activities Thu, 28 Jun 2007 17:08:38 +0000 Julie Rains 780 at http://www.wisebread.com