play http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8415/all en-US 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-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/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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-these-5-financial-lessons-most-people-learn-in-their-40s">Do You Know These 5 Financial Lessons Most People Learn in Their 40s?</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-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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-lessons-everyone-should-learn-in-their-30s-did-you">5 Financial Lessons Everyone Should Learn in Their 30s (Did You?)</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 11 Fun Games That Make You Smarter, Too http://www.wisebread.com/11-fun-games-that-make-you-smarter-too <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-fun-games-that-make-you-smarter-too" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-playing-chess-78375720-small.jpg" alt="couple playing chess" title="couple playing chess" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;Life is more fun if you play games,&quot; said Roald Dahl. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-five-economy-based-board-games-that-make-you-think?ref=seealso">5 Economy Based Games That Make You Think</a>)</p> <p>And there's even better news: Those same games can also make you smarter. Here are 11 games that exercise different mental skills.</p> <h2>1. Super Mario Brothers</h2> <p>Good news fans of the lovable Italian plumber! A neurological research study has found that playing Super Mario Brothers for at least 30 minutes a day for two months <a href="http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/v19/n2/full/mp2013120a.html">improves neural plasticity</a> &mdash; the ability of the brain to change and grow.</p> <p>Guiding Mario and Luigi through the different levels augments the gray matter in your brain that is essential for &quot;spatial navigation, strategic planning, working memory and motor performance.&quot; The researchers concluded that the right dose of Super Mario Brothers adventures can help those struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and neurodegenerative disease.</p> <h2>2. Scrabble</h2> <p>If you are competitive at playing Scrabble, you can brag to your friends that you have some mad language skills!</p> <p>A study comparing <a href="http://link.springer.com/article/10.3758/s13421-011-0137-5/fulltext.html">competitive Scrabble players against a test group of novice players</a> found that Scrabble experts are more adept at vertical fluency and semantic deemphasis. The first skill allows you to handle words presented in a vertical fashion, and the second one improves your ability to handle word responses. These two skills combined lead to better word recognition in adults. Unfortunately, the researchers <a href="http://bodyodd.nbcnews.com/_news/2011/08/18/7408409-confirmed-scrabble-players-are-smarter-than-everyone-else">don't believe that these same skills can be obtained</a> through Scrabble's digital counterpart, Words With Friends. So drop the smartphone and pick up the board game.</p> <h2>3. FitBrains</h2> <p>If the world-famous <a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3023881/fast-feed/rosetta-stone-buys-brain-training-app-seeks-to-expand-beyond-language-learning">Rosetta Stone invests $12 million in a suite of brain training apps</a>, you ought to give these apps a try. And boy, does the brain training app developer, FitBrains, have a pitch. They claim that by using its apps for <a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3027104/tech-forecast/do-brainpower-apps-really-make-you-smarter">15 minutes a day, five days a week</a>, you can improve your memory and concentration, and ward off mental diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. FitBrains includes memory, visual, focus, speed, logic, and language games, all accessible through its <a href="http://www.fitbrains.com">site</a> or its smartphone apps.</p> <h2>4. Chess</h2> <p>There is strong evidence of the mental benefits of playing chess on a regular basis across all age groups.</p> <ul> <li>Chess players in elementary schools make <a href="http://files.givewell.org/files/Analysis/margulies.pdf">significant gains in reading scores</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Elementary students who play chess show improvements <a href="http://chess.jliptrap.us/taas4.pdf">in mathematical skills</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Becoming proficient in chess at any age level is linked to <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21038986">better object and pattern recognition</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>There are several anecdotal accounts of <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/06/speed-chess-changed-my-brain/277151/">adults playing speed chess gaining benefits in other activities</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Testing the thesis that the <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/blogs/nurture-shock/2009/12/11/is-the-brain-like-a-muscle-really.html">brain works like a muscle</a>, the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that adults over 75 that engage in activities in &quot;brain stretching&quot; activities, such as chess, are less likely to develop dementia.</li> </ul> <p>This is why chess is part of school curricula in close to 30 countries, including Russia, Iceland, and Venezuela.</p> <h2>5. Mahjong</h2> <p>While chess is considered one of the ultimate tests of intelligence in the Western world, Mahjong is its counterpart in the Eastern world. With high popularity in Eastern and South Eastern Asia, mahjong is played with a set of 144 tiles based on Chinese characters and symbols. Adults with mild-to-moderate symptoms of dementia may <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16779765">improve their cognitive functions</a> by playing the game.</p> <p>However, various studies point out that the <a href="http://repository.ied.edu.hk/dspace/handle/2260.2/13144">health benefits of mahjong extend beyond seniors with dementia</a>. Mahjong improves social skills, memory, and even math skills.</p> <h2>6. Tetris</h2> <p>If you are still suspicious that playing video games can make you smarter, then here is one game that will cast away your doubts. Through the use of brain-activity tracking technologies, researchers found that <a href="http://www.biomedcentral.com/1756-0500/2/174">adolescent girls showed improved brain activity</a> after three months of Tetris practice. The girls age 12 to 15 practiced Tetris 1.5 hours per week during the three-month period. During and after a Tetris session, your brain experiences significant activity that leads to greater brain efficiency. On top of improving your noggin, playing <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666314000828">Tetris may help you fight off cravings</a> and become part of your weight management or habit reduction plan.</p> <h2>7. Monopoly</h2> <p>This is my favorite board game, so I was thrilled to read comments about the game from renowned board game designer Philip Orbanes. He is a global authority on Monopoly and has judged U.S. and World Monopoly Championships for over 30 years. (Watch him judge the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZwmPBP2JHI">final game of the 2009 Monopoly Championship</a>, which gathered national champions from Russia, Norway, New Zealand, and the U.S.) He strongly believes that <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324590904578288400723946868">Monopoly provides real life financial lessons</a>.</p> <p>Orbanes points out that <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2013/03/20/what-monopoly-can-teach-you-about-smart-investing">Monopoly can</a>:</p> <ul> <li>Provide kids their first important lessons in the art of negotiations in a safe environment;</li> <li>Teach players of any age an understanding of the concept of diversification;</li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Monopoly-Money-You-Game-2019s-Secrets/dp/0071808434">Offer practical training in managing money</a>;</li> <li>Help to exercise arithmetic and statistical skills without feeling like homework.</li> </ul> <p>Turns out that Monopoly is serious business!</p> <h2>8. Lumosity</h2> <p>This is an alternative to FitBrains. If you have seen one of Lumosity's ads on TV and decided to visit its site to check out <a href="http://blog.lumosity.com/the-science-behind-lumosity-3/">what neuroplasticity is all about</a>, you're not alone. The site has <a href="http://blog.lumosity.com/50millioninfographic/">over 60 million subscribers</a>, spending a bit over <a href="http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/lumosity.com">11 minutes on the site per session</a>.</p> <p>Lumosity provides 40 games that are designed to increase memory, attention, processing speed, mental flexibility, and problem solving skills. For example, the <a href="http://games.lumosity.com/waiter.html">Waiter Game</a> jogs your ability to remember names and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9d8cxl05k4k">RainDrops</a> works your problem solving. Could you search free alternatives to all 40 games on your own? Sure, but Lumosity already did the work for you and can provide you personalized reports and suggestions on what to work next.</p> <h2>9. LittleBigPlanet</h2> <p>If Lumosity sounds too grown-up for the taste of your inner child, then give <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001IVXI7C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001IVXI7C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=E6Q6WL5Z3C22XZ3E">LittleBigPlanet</a> a try. This game requires such high levels of critical thinking and creativity that a <a href="http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2009-09/first-public-school-based-games-set-nyc-debut">New York public school added LittleBigPlanet to its curricula</a>.</p> <p>There are many versions of LittleBigPlanet but the one that has been lauded the most for its skills development benefits is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002I0K780/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002I0K780&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=O4CTH55QJA5BAWKT">LittleBigPlanet 2</a>. Given the availability of an in-game level editor to make custom levels, many have noted how it provides players a basic introduction into computing or game design. This opportunity to <a href="http://www.gamesradar.com/14-golden-rules-for-making-littlebigplanet-levels/">design and test your own game</a> levels could be a great investment. After all, the video game design industry offers <a href="http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/video-game-designer3.htm">annual salaries ranging between $37,000 and $200,000</a>.</p> <h2>10. Charades</h2> <p>The classic family living room game is a great way to give your brain a workout. Trying to decode and to communicate only through gestures recruits a series of areas of the brain that are <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0006801">necessary for simulation and mentalization</a>. While the benefits of charades are best enjoyed when actively trying to guess the charades, there are also marginal benefits when merely observing. Having to role play and present information without talking trains charade players to make sense out of new information more efficiently. Also, performing role plays facilitates your <a href="http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2206080">ability to put yourself in somebody else's shoes</a>.</p> <h2>11. The Professor Layton Series</h2> <p>Last but not least is the <a href="http://professorlayton.nintendo.com">popular saga for the Nintendo DS game platform</a>. While the game is known for its beautiful animation sequences, it is downright addictive due to its smartly designed brain busters. Up to 75% of players of indicate that the <a href="http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/brand-map-51-of-professor-layton-players-are-female/096842">mental challenge is their most preferred aspect</a> of the game. This motivator is more than double than any other included in the survey. The variety of logic challenges keeps you engaged and, if you find them too easy, you can increase the difficulty level. Before settling on a specific game to buy, you can test drive a few of the puzzles, such as the ones from the <a href="http://professorlayton.nintendo.com/azran-legacy/#/demos">Arzan Legacy series</a>.</p> <p><em>What is your favorite game that helps you become smarter? Please share in comments!</em></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/11-fun-games-that-make-you-smarter-too">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/5-things-play-teaches-you-about-personal-finance">5 Things Play Teaches You About Personal 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/25-ways-to-make-yourself-smarter-today">25 Ways to Make Yourself Smarter — Today!</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/10-things-you-didn-t-learn-in-college-but-you-should-have">10 Things You Didn’t Learn in College (but You Should Have)</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/heres-how-spending-3-on-you-will-advance-your-career">Here&#039;s How Spending 3% On You Will Advance Your Career</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/13-easy-ways-to-improve-your-brain">13 Easy Ways to Improve Your Brain</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development education games intelligence play Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:00:05 +0000 Damian Davila 1213032 at http://www.wisebread.com Having Fun at Work, Life, and Everything In-Between http://www.wisebread.com/friends-for-work-life-and-everything-in-between <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/friends-for-work-life-and-everything-in-between" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/1134525_person_pyramid.jpg" alt="person pyramid" title="person pyramid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It turns out that all work and no play may make Jack a dull boy, but it might also make him an unhappy and unhealthy person, as well. According to <a href="http://psychcentral.com/news/2009/04/17/leisure-play-is-important-for-human-collaboration/5398.html">developmental psychologists</a>, early humans used fun and leisure for more than just a good time. It was also a way to establish relationships and develop collaborations that may have helped them band together as a cooperative group, a characteristic of early hunter-gatherers that gave them a survival advantage.</p> <p>Taken in the context of the modern world, it has been theorized that the rise in importance of winning over simply playing and having fun may in fact discourage cooperative behavior and encourage selfishness and greed. </p> <p>This is especially true when it comes to the unstructured fun and play of children, which is believed to nurture early feelings of compassion, empathy, and connectedness. Psychologists are quick to point out, however, that this does not include watching TV, playing video games, or competitive sports, especially when parents are present to push the competitive atmosphere to a higher level. </p> <p>Left alone to their own devices, children will establish relationships and work together to achieve common goals (i.e., having fun), a basic quality of human interaction. In kids, it harks back to a simpler time when unstructured play was a hallmark of children&rsquo;s lives after school or during vacations and weekends. Cooperation was necessary in order to satisfy the needs of the individual as well as the group in order to prolong play as long as possible and keep them coming back for more. </p> <p>In adults, the interactions that can stem from fun and leisure can result in a better personal as well as professional relationships, encouraging such things as loyalty, cooperation, and friendship.</p> <p>And as scientists are beginning to learn, friends may be a potential key to good health, even more so than family. In fact, studies are beginning to reveal that having strong social ties may help not only our <a href="http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/AJPH.2007.113654v1">minds</a> and our bodies stay healthy, but may even help us <a href="http://jech.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/59/7/574?maxtoshow=&amp;HITS=10&amp;hits=10&amp;RESULTFORMAT=&amp;fulltext=friends&amp;andorexactfulltext=and&amp;searchid=1&amp;FIRSTINDEX=0&amp;sortspec=date&amp;resourcetype=HWCIT">live longer</a>, as well.</p> <p>Why this is the case is anybody&rsquo;s guess, but it goes without saying that having friends to share in our moments of glory and turn to in our times of need can have a profound impact on our peace of mind, and by extension, our personal and professional lives. Friends can also encourage us to do more and to try harder.</p> <p>While it goes without saying that it can complicate matters when you either do business with friends or are too close to the people you work with (after all, there is something to be said about separating work from pleasure), there are certain undeniable benefits to liking the people you work with.</p> <p>Having a pleasant work environment and good relationships with the people that surround you make loyalty, cooperation, and trust more of a possibility, which can result in greater efficiency. Besides, taking a Machiavellian approach to your job and undercutting and competing with your co-workers will maybe further your career, but might not make work, and for that matter, your life, so enjoyable, and could lead to unpleasant circumstances on the job (just look at what happened to Enron). It might also make your colleagues less enthusiastic about working with you or helping you.</p> <p>So the next time you feel the urge to compete and win, just try to keep things in perspective and remember to also have some fun. Don&rsquo;t always place so much emphasis on winning or getting ahead at the expense of the people around you. Sure, a little competition can be good for you, but when it consumes you, then your life becomes about a fleeting moment of victory rather than everything in between. And when you really get down to it, life is really about the journey.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s like what your parents told you when you were growing up: just have fun, winning isn&rsquo;t everything, even if they were threatening your soccer coach with physical violence because they didn&rsquo;t let you play enough. </p> <p>It was only because they love you.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fred-lee">Fred Lee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/friends-for-work-life-and-everything-in-between">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/11-ways-freelancers-and-telecommuters-can-make-friends-and-network">11 Ways Freelancers and Telecommuters Can Make Friends and Network</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-joining-an-excellent-startup-company">Tips for Joining an Excellent Startup Company</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/this-interview-technique-will-get-you-hired">This Interview Technique Will Get You Hired</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/are-online-certifications-worth-the-price">Are Online Certifications Worth the Price?</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-simple-networking-tricks">15 Simple Networking Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Career Building friends Health networking play Mon, 27 Apr 2009 12:35:31 +0000 Fred Lee 3088 at http://www.wisebread.com Make Your Own Moon Sand, Dirt Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-own-moon-sand-dirt-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-your-own-moon-sand-dirt-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5066827629_45e7bb3caf_z.jpg" alt="moon sand" title="moon sand" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the hot Christmas items this year was Moon Sand. But while it's certainly not a bank-breaker, it is costly for what is basically wet sand. So, I did a little digging around (pun intended) and discovered a way to make your very own moon sand. Here's the best part...the homemade stuff will set you back less than 60 cents per pound! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-birthday-party-games" title="5 Frugal Birthday Party Games">5 Frugal Birthday Party Games</a>)</p> <p>As you may know, there are several Moon Sand kits out there, and they come with all sorts of the usual <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-kids-diy-projects-in-your-pantry" title="3 Kids' DIY Projects in Your Pantry">play-dough</a> style gadgets and molds. But if you just want a bucket of the stuff, the best deal I have found so far is at Amazon, where a 7 1/2 lb tub will cost you $18.74, down from $29.99 (at the time this article was published).</p> <p><img height="187" width="218" title="moon sand" alt="moon sand" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u17/313MJRRVUAL__SS400__0.jpg" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000SOZ5SA?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread07-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000SOZ5SA">Moon Sand 7 1/2lb Mega Bucket</a><img height="1" width="1" src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wisebread07-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=B000SOZ5SA" alt="" /></p> <p>Now, if you do the math you'll figure out that Moon Sand is roughly $2.50 per pound on sale, down from $4/lb. Not bad, but not great. With the following recipe you can create around 50lbs of homemade moon sand for $30. That equates to 60 cents per pound, over 4 times cheaper than the sale bucket! So, grab your rubber gloves and lets get to work.</p> <p><img height="150" width="150" title="play sand" alt="play sand" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u17/631282240701.jpg" /></p> <h2><strong>Recipe for Homemade Moon Sand (1 batch)</strong></h2> <ul> <li>6 cups of play sand (I got a 50 lb bag from Lowe's; it was $4.99 plus tax.)</li> <li>3 cups of cornstarch (Most dollar stores carry it for $1 per box...you'll need around 24 boxes for the whole 50 lbs!)</li> <li>1 1/2 cups of cold water</li> </ul> <ol> <li>Mix the water and cornstarch together thoroughly, this will take a few minutes to get it nice and smooth.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Gradually mix in the sand, one cup at a time. You'll need to really work it in with your fingers.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Play with it!<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>When you're all done, pop it in an airtight container.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>When you next play with it, you'll need to revive it with 2-3 tablespoons of water. Just sprinkle it over and work it in.</li> </ol> <p>That's all there is to it. Very cheap, very easy and the kids will get to play with heaps of the stuff. Play sand also comes in different colors, so buy different colored bags to mix things up a little. Have fun!</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%2Fmake-your-own-moon-sand-dirt-cheap&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FMake%2520Your%2520Own%2520Moon%2520Sand%252C%2520Dirt%2520Cheap.jpg&amp;description=Make%20Your%20Own%20Moon%20Sand%2C%20Dirt%20Cheap"></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/Make%20Your%20Own%20Moon%20Sand%2C%20Dirt%20Cheap.jpg" alt="Make Your Own Moon Sand, Dirt Cheap" 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/make-your-own-moon-sand-dirt-cheap">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-more-cheap-and-easy-diy-toys-kids-will-love">15 More Cheap and Easy DIY Toys Kids Will 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/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</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/10-fun-toys-and-games-you-can-make-at-home">10 Fun Toys and Games You Can Make 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/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes</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/11-cool-uses-for-popsicle-sticks">11 Cool Uses for Popsicle Sticks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY activities children how to make play toys Mon, 31 Dec 2007 00:04:15 +0000 Paul Michael 1561 at http://www.wisebread.com