fun activities http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9489/all en-US 8 Ways to Make Your Weekend Feel Longer http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-make-your-weekend-feel-longer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-make-your-weekend-feel-longer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_relaxing_in_a_hammock.jpg" alt="Young woman relaxing in a hammock" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What's not to love about weekends? The stresses of work fade away and life seems almost limitless. In fact, the only bad thing about weekends is their duration. Forty-eight hours isn't nearly enough time to decompress, recharge, and prepare for the coming workweek.</p> <p>So, how do we make those two precious days feel longer? Turns out, the trick is to try new things. As David Eagleman writes in his book, <a href="http://amzn.to/2sIwWUd" target="_blank">The Brain: The Story of You</a>, pursuing novel activities provides our brains with fresh data and &quot;stretches&quot; our perception of time. In contrast, doing the same old things (like binge-watching <em>Game of Thrones</em>) doesn't supply our noggins with new input and makes our weekends seem fast and forgettable. So on Saturday morning, resolve to break out of your routine and embrace the unfamiliar. Here are eight ideas to get your started.</p> <h2>1. Rise and shine</h2> <p>Expand your weekend by expanding your day. Wake up earlier than usual &mdash; perhaps even earlier than you do during the week &mdash; knock out a few household chores, and treat the dog to an extra long walk. By the time most folks are dragging themselves out of bed, you'll be energized and ready for a new adventure. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-benefits-of-being-a-morning-person?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Benefits of Being a Morning Person</a>)</p> <h2>2. Try a different mode of transportation</h2> <p>No matter where the weekend takes you, get there in a new way. Choose a slower pace by biking or walking to your destination. Make the journey part of the experience. Stop for coffee along the way, wander through a used bookstore, or explore a local farmers market. For longer trips, engage with fellow travelers and avoid parking hassles by taking public transportation.</p> <h2>3. Coordinate an escape room event with friends</h2> <p>Escape rooms are themed adventure games that require participants to solve a series of puzzles or riddles in order to &quot;escape&quot; from a room within a set period of time. To be successful, everyone has to work together, follow clues, and strategize. Enlist a group of friends and build a fun evening around this adrenaline-filled experience at your nearest escape room venue.</p> <h2>4. Browse yard sales and estate sales</h2> <p>Besides phenomenal bargains, yard sales and estate sales offer buyers a chance to hear the story behind each item they select. It's an interactive experience that just can't be matched in any other way. If you've never whiled away a Saturday wandering block-wide yard sales or strolling through a house where literally everything you see is for sale, give it a try. You'll be hooked.</p> <h2>5. Get out of town</h2> <p>Shake up your routine with a spontaneous weekend getaway. Pack the essentials, grab a friend or two, and see what other parts of your state have to offer. Many bus and train lines offer daylong excursions to nearby areas of interest. Bring a book and let someone else drive for a change.</p> <h2>6. Host a game night</h2> <p>When was the last time you devoted an entire evening to just having fun with friends and family? Hosting an informal game night puts people face-to-face again, gets them talking, and promotes something we all need a bit more of &mdash; unbridled silliness. If weather permits, try lawn games like ladder golf, cornhole, or badminton. If you're stuck inside, <a href="http://amzn.to/2rFhOCg" target="_blank">Jenga</a>, charades, and <a href="http://amzn.to/2rptLwC" target="_blank">Pictionary</a> are classics that everyone loves. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/score-how-to-host-a-great-game-night?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Host a Great Game Night</a>)</p> <h2>7. Go screen-free</h2> <p>Digital devices have a way of keeping us tethered to work, wrapped up in social drama, and consumed with mindless media. Oh, and in the process, they suck hours from our day. Encourage new thinking and new experiences by making at least part of your weekend completely screen-free. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-reasons-you-need-to-cut-back-on-screen-time?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Important Reasons You Need to Cut Back on Screen Time</a>)</p> <h2>8. Volunteer</h2> <p>Not only does volunteering make a difference in the lives of others, it helps us learn new skills and deepens our connection to the community. Consider donating your time and talent to a local animal shelter, youth organization, or food pantry. Just a few hours every weekend can change your whole perspective.</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%2F8-ways-to-make-your-weekend-feel-longer&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Ways%2520to%2520Make%2520Your%2520Weekend%2520Feel%2520Longer.jpg&amp;description=8%20Ways%20to%20Make%20Your%20Weekend%20Feel%20Longer"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Ways%20to%20Make%20Your%20Weekend%20Feel%20Longer.jpg" alt="8 Ways to Make Your Weekend Feel Longer" 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/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-make-your-weekend-feel-longer">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/14-fun-ways-to-spend-a-snow-day-indoors">14 Fun Ways to Spend a Snow Day Indoors</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-common-weekend-money-traps-and-how-to-avoid-them">8 Common Weekend Money Traps (And How to Avoid Them)</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/13-free-or-cheap-ways-to-be-blissfully-unproductive">13 Free or Cheap Ways to Be Blissfully Unproductive</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/flashback-friday-143-fun-and-frugal-ways-to-spend-your-weekend">Flashback Friday: 143 Fun and Frugal Ways to Spend Your Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-winter-activities-to-keep-kids-busy-during-holiday-break">9 Frugal Winter Activities to Keep Kids Busy During Holiday Break</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment frugal fun fun activities relaxation weekend weekend fun weekend plans workweek Fri, 23 Jun 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1970389 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Fun Ways to Spend a Snow Day Indoors http://www.wisebread.com/14-fun-ways-to-spend-a-snow-day-indoors <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-fun-ways-to-spend-a-snow-day-indoors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-492188694.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to spend a snow day indoors" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm what you would describe as the &quot;indoorsy type.&quot; Not only is my skin capable of burning within five minutes on sunny days, but I am also a complete and utter wuss about any and all inclement weather, and my teeth tend to chatter when the temperature dips below 60 degrees F.</p> <p>Suffice it to say, I prefer to spend the long winter months holed up inside, particularly now that I have moved to the wintry tundra that is Wisconsin. Thankfully, staying indoors over the winter doesn't have to be a drag. In fact, all the frugal and fun indoor activities can make winter the best season of all.</p> <p>Here are 14 fun indoor activities you can enjoy while the wind is howling and the snow is falling outside.</p> <h2>1. Enjoy a Movie Marathon</h2> <p>There's no better time to watch movies at home than on a cold winter day. While you could just pop in your favorite DVD or pick something to stream on Netflix, it's even more fun to create a themed movie marathon. Some movie themes to consider:</p> <ul> <ul> <li>Watch every film in a franchise. Maybe you've always wanted to see all of Freddie's <em>Nightmare on Elm Street</em> adventures or watch every single movie in the <em>The Fast and The Furious </em>franchise.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Watch several films by a specific director. Check out early, midcareer, and recent films by a director you love to see how their talents have grown and changed over the years.</li> </ul> </ul> <ul> <li>Watch a remake back-to-back with the original.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Watch films from a best-of list.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Watch several of the most popular films from the year you were born.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Have a Spa Day at Home</h2> <p>A luxurious bath is a staple of indoor winter relaxation, but you can do much more than just stretch out in a hot tub with a book. Why not treat yourself to a mani/pedi, deep condition your hair, exfoliate your skin, and give yourself a facial while you're at it? These are all <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-spa-treatments-you-can-do-at-home" target="_blank">spa treatments you can easily give yourself</a> at home without breaking the bank. You'll feel refreshed, and you'll be helping to protect your skin and hair from winter dryness.</p> <h2>3. Teach Yourself to Draw</h2> <p>You can probably remember spending hours at a time drawing when you were a child, but it's likely you haven't done so in a while. Pull out some pencils and paper, and you'll soon remember just how fun drawing is. Whether you simply find pictures online that you'd like to copy (which is how art students learn, after all), or you take the time to learn the <a href="https://design.tutsplus.com/articles/i-want-to-draw-simple-exercises-for-complete-beginners--vector-20583" target="_blank">fundamentals of drawing</a>, your reintroduction to being an artist can be a thrilling way to spend your indoor hours during winter. The key is to let go of any perfectionist tendencies and draw the things that feel the most fun to you, whether that's unicorns, chain saws, or chainsaw-wielding unicorns.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-cheap-ways-to-beat-stress?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Cheap Ways to Beat Stress</a></p> <h2>4. Bake Some Treats</h2> <p>Nothing is more homey than the smell of fresh-baked cookies. Even if you have never made anything more complex than slice-and-bake cookies, following the recipe on the back of the bag of chocolate chips or oatmeal canister is an easy way to get started as a from-scratch baker.</p> <p>If you're willing to try other types of baking, the time you spend indoors on a long winter day is perfect for allowing bread dough or pizza dough to rise. There is something very satisfying about spending the day working on something you can eat and share with others.</p> <h2>5. Put Your Photos in Albums</h2> <p>Whether you have physical photos stored in old shoe boxes, or a computer full of photo files, a winter day spent indoors is the perfect time to organize your pictures into albums. It will be fun to walk down memory lane looking at your old photos, and you'll end the day with an enviable sense of accomplishment.</p> <h2>6. Have a Dance Party</h2> <p>You may be cooped up inside, but that doesn't mean you can't get some exercise in. Move your couch out of the way, turn on your favorite station on Spotify, and get down in your own private dance club. This is also the perfect time to learn how to do all of your favorite dance moves. Find some tutorials on YouTube and hone your moves at home.</p> <p>Finally, you probably still have that old Dance Dance Revolution video game and mat stashed somewhere. Dust them off and make your dance party an actual game challenge.</p> <h2>7. Break Out a Jigsaw Puzzle or Board Game</h2> <p>Whether you're rocking the snow day solo or with the whole family, you can have a lot of old-fashioned fun by dusting off a puzzle or board game.</p> <h2>8. Read by the Fire</h2> <p>One of my most cherished memories from my first house with my husband was the day I spent rereading <em>Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows</em> in the living room while snow fell just outside the windows beside me. There is something so cozy about curling up with a book on a cold day, especially if you are lucky enough to have a roaring fireplace next to you (not to mention a cup of hot chocolate).</p> <h2>9. Write a Letter</h2> <p>Receiving an actual letter in the mail is such a rare occurrence these days that we rarely think to sit down and write one ourselves. Taking the time to think of someone special you could write to and putting your thoughts into a handwritten note will make you (and them) feel great.</p> <h2>10. Take a Nap</h2> <p>Napping is one of life's pleasures, and adults don't often get to indulge. The only problem with napping is that it can sometimes leave you feeling groggier than you did beforehand. If you need to get anything done on your winter day inside (even if it's just making dinner later), then plan on following these <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323932604579050990895301888#project%3DSLEEP0902%26articleTabs%3Darticle" target="_blank">scientifically approved</a> tips:</p> <ul> <li>Aim for a nap during your natural energy slump in the afternoon. This is usually between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Thirty- to 60 minutes is the length of naps most likely to make you groggy after you wake up. Try to sleep either longer or shorter than 30-60 minutes.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you don't have more than an hour, plan on a quick 10-20-minute snooze, which will leave you feeling awake and alert afterward.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you've got plenty of time to nap, a 90-minute siesta lets you go through a full sleep cycle, which will allow you to wake up easily and feel refreshed.</li> </ul> <h2>11. Catch Up With Friends and Family</h2> <p>Extroverts who might otherwise be climbing the walls on days they are stuck indoors now have many different ways to stay in touch with their nearest and dearest, no matter how frightful the weather might be. Phone calls, Skype, and FaceTime all give you the opportunity to connect, as do Facebook and Twitter. A day of nowhere-to-be is a great time to reach out to those you may have been thinking about but haven't had the time to connect with.</p> <h2>12. Rearrange Your Furniture</h2> <p>Not only does swapping your couch with that chair and moving your TV into a different corner help your home feel new and improved, it also gives you a chance to clean some neglected spots. It's likely that you'll unearth some stale Cheetos and pet hair tumbleweeds from beneath the couch, which you can easily sweep up when the couch is pulled away.</p> <p>While cleaning is no one's idea of fun, rearranging furniture can bring new life to a tired room &mdash; and you can't help but clean while you go. It's immensely satisfying to throw yourself down on your newly moved chair and enjoy the new layout in your much cleaner living room.</p> <h2>13. Create Music Playlists for Your Every Mood</h2> <p>Putting together mix tapes is getting to be a lost art, but you can recreate the fun by creating playlists of tunes you love on your favorite digital music provider.</p> <h2>14. Channel Your Inner Bartender or Barista</h2> <p>Being stuck at home doesn't mean you have to miss out on happy hour or your favorite elaborate coffee drink. Use your indoor time to learn how to mix your favorite cocktails or brew your favorite coffee treats. You can find recipes and video tutorials online.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-fun-ways-to-spend-a-snow-day-indoors">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-fun-things-to-do-when-youre-stuck-inside-during-winter">50 Fun Things to Do When You&#039;re Stuck Inside During Winter</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-much-should-you-actually-be-spending-on-a-date">How Much Should You Actually Be Spending on a Date?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hobbies-you-can-start-for-under-10">25 Hobbies You Can Start for Under $10</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-make-your-weekend-feel-longer">8 Ways to Make Your Weekend Feel Longer</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/learn-to-love-winter-with-some-simple-self-deception">Mental Tricks That Will Help You Hate Winter Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Lifestyle frugal fun fun activities rainy day rainy day activities SAD snow day stuck inside winter Mon, 27 Feb 2017 11:00:10 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1898664 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Frugal Winter Activities to Keep Kids Busy During Holiday Break http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-winter-activities-to-keep-kids-busy-during-holiday-break <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-frugal-winter-activities-to-keep-kids-busy-during-holiday-break" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-607926786.jpg" alt="frugal, fun ways to keep kids entertained over winter break" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are your kids counting down the days to winter break? While it might be a much needed vacation for your children, it can be stressful for parents. Not only do you want to keep the kids entertained, or at least engaged with something other than electronics, but you also want to do it on a budget.</p> <p>Here are a few ideas to make the most of winter break without spending too much money.</p> <h2>1. Volunteer</h2> <p>The holiday season is filled with wants. Children and teens are bombarded with ads, so it is only natural for them to have a huge list of wants for the holiday season. Help them refocus on what truly matters this season by seeking out volunteer opportunities. Local animal shelters and homeless shelters are a good place to start. You can also help elderly neighbors meet their needs, such as hanging Christmas lights or making them a meal.</p> <p>Volunteering is a great bonding experience for you and your child, and it also helps your child to meet others who are in need. It helps them realize that there is more to this season than the latest toy or gadget.</p> <h2>2. Go on a Nature Walk</h2> <p>Kids of all ages can enjoy a nature walk, especially if you have a goal in mind. I recently took my little ones for a nature walk to collect twigs and pine cones that I can incorporate in my holiday décor. Encourage kids to do the same, and make crafts or décor out of found goods.</p> <h2>3. Try a Kid Exchange</h2> <p>If you are feeling a little overwhelmed with your kids for the holiday break, chances are you are not alone. Find a family that has children in similar age groups of your own and propose to exchange nights. You can host a fun sleepover one night, and the other family can host a fun sleepover the next night. This will keep your children entertained for two nights, while giving you a night off. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-these-5-hidden-costs-of-winter?ref=seealso">How to Avoid These 5 Hidden Costs of Winter</a>)</p> <h2>4. Attend Local Plays</h2> <p>Many local theaters put on winter or children's performances during the holidays. Look for discounted or free shows to enjoy as a family.</p> <h2>5. Create a Holiday Library Scavenger Hunt</h2> <p>A trip to the library is free, but can sometimes leave kids complaining. Step up your library trip by making it into a game. Make a quick list of books your kids need to find to earn points. For example, have your kids find some of the following:</p> <ul> <li>A nonfiction kids' book about Christmas;</li> <li>A magazine with winter crafts;</li> <li>A book with the word &quot;Santa&quot; in it;</li> <li>A book with the word &quot;Snowflake&quot; in it;</li> <li>A book to learn about another culture's winter traditions;</li> <li>A funny holiday book.</li> </ul> <p>You can have your kids either write down the titles or check them out for some fun holiday reading.</p> <h2>6. Do Some Cookie Decorating</h2> <p>If the thought of baking cookies from scratch makes you break out in hives, relax! You can buy pre-made dough and some cookie decorating supplies for less than $10. Kids love to decorate cookies, and it can easily keep them occupied for up to an hour. For younger children, put frosting on a plate with a plastic knife, and give them a small cup of sprinkles, instead of the whole container. Listen to a holiday audiobook while you decorate for even more fun.</p> <h2>7. Camp in Your Living Room</h2> <p>Camping outside is out of the question if you live in cooler climates. However, a camp night in your living room will be something your kids remember for years to come. Either set up a tent or make your own tent out of chairs and blankets. Make s'mores on the stove and play fun campfire games, such as Name That Tune or Winking Assassin. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-staycations-you-should-take-before-winter-ends">5 Awesome Staycations You Should Take Before Winter Ends</a>)</p> <h2>8. Put on a Show</h2> <p>Tell your kids that you will be hosting a talent show with prizes before family movie night. This will hopefully motivate them to spend time practicing their talent before show time. That actual talent show will be a fun family moment that everyone can partake in before settling down to a movie. Don't forget to record the show for priceless memories.</p> <h2>9. Host a Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt</h2> <p>When you're a kid, there is no such thing as too many scavenger hunts. Fill mugs full of hot chocolate and pile everyone in the car for a fun Christmas light outing. You can either just drive around looking for Christmas lights or make it a game with a scavenger hunt.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-winter-activities-to-keep-kids-busy-during-holiday-break">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/8-reasons-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night">8 Reasons Frugal Families Love Boardgame Night</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins">7 Lessons About Money I Learned After Having Twins</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-sibling-discounts-that-can-save-you-big">6 Sibling Discounts That Can Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-the-easter-bunny-should-give-money-instead-of-candy">8 Reasons the Easter Bunny Should Give Money Instead of Candy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family family time frugal fun fun activities fun for kids holiday activities holiday break kids winter activities Tue, 13 Dec 2016 11:30:06 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1853169 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Smart and Fun Things You Could Do if You Paid Less Rent http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-and-fun-things-you-could-do-if-you-paid-less-rent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-smart-and-fun-things-you-could-do-if-you-paid-less-rent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000075723379_Large.jpg" alt="Woman enjoying life by paying less rent" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Paying rent is one of life's necessary evils. And you have to toil away to cover the cost of your too-small dwelling that seems to <em>always</em> need the Super to fix <em>something</em>. But let's think happy thoughts. What would you do, in a perfect world, if you paid less rent? Here are eight smart and fun things to do with all that extra cash in your pocket at the end of the month.</p> <h2>1. Take Classes to Learn a New Skill</h2> <p>A few years ago, my husband spent an incredible amount of money on helicopter lessons, because learning how to fly an aircraft has been a pursuit of his since his Navy days. Okay, I get it, people have dreams and all, but I also think that if you're not rich, like we aren't, those lessons should somehow pay for themselves or earn income down the road. But they didn't, and still haven't.</p> <p>Thus, let my disdain be a lesson in and of itself: If you want to use your leftover rent money to take a class, I highly recommend it, but you should have a purpose, an endgame. For instance, if you'd like to take a pottery class, that's all well and good, but are you doing it so you can make everybody ashtrays and vases for Christmas, or are you visualizing the potential of becoming proficient enough to sell the items or market yourself as a potter? The choice certainly is yours, but you'd be doing yourself a solid by trying to <em>monetize </em>your new skill, whatever it may be.</p> <h2>2. Upgrade Your Vehicle to Something You Want</h2> <p>There are upsides and downsides to buying a car brand new or used, which should be considered when deciding on a vehicle. But many times we get so lost in the details that we don't end up with the vehicle we actually <em>want</em>. If you're in this situation &mdash; driving a car or truck that gets you from A to B without much joie de vivre &mdash; maybe it's time to upgrade. It'd be a real possibility if you paid less rent.</p> <h2>3. Enhance Your Work Wardrobe</h2> <p>No matter where you work, somebody is judging you on your professional attire. And whether or not you want to believe it, the way you look plays a part in your income potential. It's not fair, no, because dressing &quot;well&quot; is a relative concept, but it behooves you to be on the trendier, more fitted side of the spectrum. If you're not feeling as confident as you'd like when you walk into the office, use your rent surplus to upgrade and enhance your wardrobe. Just a few key pieces &mdash; a fitted suit and shinier shoes &mdash; can do the trick.</p> <h2>4. Pursue a Healthier Lifestyle</h2> <p>It's true that nobody really needs to pay for exercise. You can do that on your own, without a trainer or even a gym. However, having the ability to work out by your own motivation and <em>wanting</em> to do it are two different things. I'm a self-motivator in all other aspects of my life, but when it comes to exercise, I need help. Which is why I don't feel bad paying for my gym membership or my personal trainer because I'm using these services to their full potential and seeing results (which is necessary for these expenditures to make sense).</p> <p>If you're like me, there's no harm in using what you would have paid in rent to better your health and your body by getting help along the way.</p> <h2>5. Save for That Always-Out-of-Reach Vacation</h2> <p>If you find yourself with the good fortune of paying less rent, you probably won't be able to pack your bags and jet off on your dream vacation right away. With about a half a year of saving &mdash; depending on how much you were able to shave off your rent &mdash; that always out-of-reach vacation will be much easier to grasp.</p> <h2>6. Establish a New Side Gig or Small Business</h2> <p>With the sharing economy in full effect &mdash; thanks to services like Airbnb, DogVacay, and Uber &mdash; you can start earning income with little to no investment. But not all side gigs or small businesses are that easy. If you have an idea in mind that requires start-up capital, use your rent surplus to fund this endeavor.</p> <p>In fact, I would say that this opportunity trumps everything else on this list so far. Adding another source of income can help you get to those other things faster, but establishing a new revenue generator should always be a priority. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-must-know-about-money-before-you-take-a-side-job?ref=seealso">10 Money Moves You Need to Make Before You Take a Side Job</a>)</p> <h2>7. Funnel Cash Into Your Home-Buying Fund</h2> <p>Nobody will ever convince me that <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303948104579534230618539424">renting is better than owning</a> your own home &mdash; not even the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>. Because why pay someone else to live in their house when you can pay yourself to live in your own house? Get out of that rental prison quicker by establishing a down-payment savings account and sending your rental savings there every month. Stick to it, and you'll have enough for a down payment before you know it.</p> <h2>8. Invest in Yourself</h2> <p>Go back to school, pursue a higher paying job, learn a new language &mdash; do something that will make you a better person <em>and</em> a more attractive employee. The best investment you can make is in yourself. Unless, of course, you have a hot tip on stocks; then I'll stand corrected.</p> <p><em>What are some of the smart and fun things you would do if you paid less rent? Let me know in the comments below.</em></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/8-smart-and-fun-things-you-could-do-if-you-paid-less-rent">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-10"> <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-simple-ways-to-live-rent-free">5 Simple Ways to Live Rent-Free</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/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-resist-a-splurge">6 Ways to Resist a Splurge</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/5-budget-overhaul-tricks-for-the-recently-unemployed">5 Budget Overhaul Tricks for the Recently Unemployed</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/34-ways-to-come-up-with-the-rent-before-the-month-ends">34 Ways to Come Up With the Rent Before the Month Ends</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Real Estate and Housing budget frugal fun activities rent rent money Spending Money Mon, 25 Jan 2016 16:00:03 +0000 Mikey Rox 1643601 at http://www.wisebread.com 21 Experiences That Make Great Gifts http://www.wisebread.com/21-experiences-that-make-great-gifts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/21-experiences-that-make-great-gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_ice_skating_000021770346.jpg" alt="Couple finding experiences that make great gifts" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know about you, but I have way too much stuff in my house. When I think about holiday gift giving, I get sort of frantic thinking about the new stuff that might come in. And when I'm planning gifts for others, I don't want to spread around that kind of burden. Consider giving experiences to your friends and family this year instead of tangible items. Here are some ideas to get you started. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-fun-ways-to-give-experiences-instead-of-stuff">12 Fun Ways to Give Experiences Instead of Stuff</a>)</p> <h2>1. Ice Skating</h2> <p>Bundle up and take the whole family ice skating. There's likely a rink right in your neighborhood with modest skate rental prices. Don't forget the camera either, as you won't want to miss your brother slipping and sliding around out there.</p> <h2>2. Art Classes</h2> <p>For those of you more into drawing, painting, photography, and other arts, check around your city for classes. Some meet just once for a few hours while others, through community colleges, for example, meet weekly.</p> <h2>3. Children's Museum Pass</h2> <p>Give those kids in your life a pass to the local children's museum or science center. Many passes are accepted at other area museums, zoos, etc. You'll make parents happy, too! While you're at it, consider gifting passes to other attractions in your area.</p> <h2>4. Concert Tickets</h2> <p>Is your friend just dying to see her favorite band? Find out if they're on tour in a city near you, and treat her to the night of her life. Rocking out for a whole night? This is one gift she won't soon forget. You can have just as much fun at the symphony.</p> <h2>5. Game Tickets</h2> <p>Round up the guys and surprise them with tickets to the big game. If the cost climbs too high, you could also throw an awesome party at your place and watch it together. Body paint is optional, but highly recommended.</p> <h2>6. Wine or Beer Tasting</h2> <p>For your beverage-loving friends, a wine or beer tasting afternoon is where it's at. You can stick with one of your favorites, or make it a tour of your area's finest. Be extra generous to everyone and appoint yourself the designated driver or arrange for other transportation.</p> <h2>7. Mini Trip</h2> <p>You don't need to be gone for a whole week to have an awesome vacation. Pick a destination that's only a couple hours from your hometown and plan out an amazing long weekend. Try ski lodges, family themed hotels (<a href="https://www.greatwolf.com">Great Wolf Lodge</a>, for example), or anywhere else that seems worth the trek.</p> <h2>8. Movie Tickets</h2> <p>Pile your family in the car and drive to your local movie theater to catch a new flick. Matinees are typically cheaper, especially for larger groups. And if you're short on cash, try dollar theaters or other discounted shows that feature slightly older movies on the big screen.</p> <h2>9. Park Passes</h2> <p>Is there an outdoorsy person in your family? Give the gift of total access to state or <a href="http://www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm">national parks</a>. That way, your special person can hike, fish, camp, or do all other sorts of cool nature things.</p> <h2>10. Restaurant Certificates</h2> <p>Wow your foodie friends with restaurants gift certificates. You can give them a night out at their favorite eatery or a unique experience someplace new. Check out sites like Restaurant.com for great deals in your area.</p> <h2>11. Dance Lessons</h2> <p>Whether it's a year of ballet for your four-year-old daughter or a couple's ballroom class, dance lessons are a fun gift to give. Bonus: You'll be giving your fitness goal-making friends an excuse to get moving and grooving in the new year.</p> <h2>12. Cooking Classes</h2> <p>Community centers, grocery stores, restaurants, farms, and cooking shops often offer cooking classes to the public. Comb their websites for a calendar of events or simply call and ask. I took a mozzarella cheese making class at a dairy farm once, and it's a skill I'm glad to have in my back pocket.</p> <h2>13. Tours</h2> <p>Take your mom on that Historic Homes tour she's been talking about all these years. Or round up your siblings and take a ghost tour. If you're more into city tours, check sites like <a href="https://www.toursbylocals.com/find_guide">ToursByLocals</a> to find area guides near you.</p> <h2>14. Something Crazy</h2> <p>Ask your dad what's on his bucket list. If the answer is something like skydiving, you have yet another great experience gift idea. The sky's the limit here, but it's the crazy things that people never tend to do on their own.</p> <h2>15. Music Lessons</h2> <p>Last year, I signed my husband up for an online course in guitar. He has now mastered bar chords and many of his favorite songs. Best of all? He plays his guitar every single day. Contact the music department at your town's high school or college to get information on local instructors.</p> <h2>16. Train Ride</h2> <p>Take your family on a train ride or a ferry cruise. Or maybe even a hot air balloon excursion. The fun is in the moments you spend together taking in the scenery. Of course, you can combine your travel with many of the other gift ideas on this list.</p> <h2>17. Spa Day</h2> <p>Let your mom relax with a long day at the spa. You can choose to join her or let her breathe in peace. Also, this is a great experience to gift yourself when all you want for Christmas is alone time.</p> <h2>18. Gym Membership</h2> <p>While we're on the topic of wellness, gift a gym membership to your favorite athlete (or wannabe). Definitely check with your recipient to find out about preferences for the gym's location and features. Otherwise, search around for promotional deals that can cut out a good chunk of registration fees and monthly charges.</p> <h2>19. Fitness Classes</h2> <p>Is a la carte fitness more your loved one's style? Give your aunt the gift of yoga or Pilates with a class pass. Maybe your brother wants to try a session at that new CrossFit gym. There are fitness classes for everyone on your list. Who knows? Maybe they'll want to sign up for more.</p> <h2>20. Babysitting</h2> <p>Let your sister and brother-in-law have a night on the town while you watch their kids. Offer your services for a few hours up to a night or two, depending on your comfort level. I guarantee (as someone who would love to receive this gift!) they'll be thanking you for years to come.</p> <h2>21. Giving Back</h2> <p>Volunteering is another wonderful way to celebrate the holidays. Gather your friends and family together and donate your time at a soup kitchen. Assemble bags of canned goods for a local food bank. Visit a nursing home and plan an activity for the bunch. Or read books to kids at your local library. Here are more holiday volunteer opportunities on <a href="https://www.volunteermatch.org/search/index.jsp?l=United+States&amp;k=holiday">VolunteerMatch.org</a>.</p> <p><em>What other experiences make great gifts? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-experiences-that-make-great-gifts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gifts-6-fun-games-that-teach-money-and-finance">Holiday Gifts: 6 Fun Games That Teach Money and Finance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-winter-activities-to-keep-kids-busy-during-holiday-break">9 Frugal Winter Activities to Keep Kids Busy During Holiday Break</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-self-care-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">6 Self-Care Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season</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/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">25 Gifts That Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Christmas gifts experiences fun activities gift guide holiday shopping Wed, 16 Dec 2015 16:00:14 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1619707 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Fun Activities That Are Breaking Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-fun-activities-that-are-breaking-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-fun-activities-that-are-breaking-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_sports_fans_000050277380.jpg" alt="Family doing fun activities that are breaking their budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></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 fun activities that are breaking your budget, fun activities that can make you money, and unusual uses for WD-40.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0902/Four-fun-activities-that-are-breaking-your-budget">Four fun activities that are breaking your budget</a> &mdash; If you're paying full price on tickets for concerts and sports games, then you aren't doing your homework! You can find deep discounts and coupons at ScoreBig and BradsDeals. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/11-fun-things-to-do-that-actually-earn-money/">11 Fun Things to Do That Actually Earn Money</a> &mdash; Like being on camera? Start a video podcast or blog on YouTube and enable ads. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/20-unusual-but-handy-uses-for-40-indoors-and-out/">20 Unusual but Handy Uses for WD-40, Indoors and Out</a> &mdash; The mighty WD-40 can clean grass stains, paint and dog poop off shoes. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Declutter-Rules-34388673">12 Golden Rules of Decluttering</a> &mdash; Sell, donate, or trash any duplicates of things that you don't actually use. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://phroogal.com/blog/6-hacks-to-help-you-save-money-at-the-airport/#.VedCIX3R3lY">6 Hacks To Help You Save Money at the Airport</a> &mdash; Check your credit card benefits for travel perks like discounts on airport/in-flight purchases and free checked bags. [Phroogal Blog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2015/09/4-things-experts-learn-faster.html">4 Things Experts Do to Learn Faster Than You</a> &mdash; To really succeed, you need to have well-defined goals. The more specific it is, the more focused you'll be when you practice. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2015/09/02/37-ways-to-keep-fido-happy-healthy-on-a-budget/">37 ways to keep Fido happy, healthy on a budget</a> &mdash; Be careful about overfeeding your pet! Don't feed them from the table and ask your vet how much they should be eating. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="https://www.listenmoneymatters.com/ten-bad-money-habits/">Ten Bad Money Habits</a> &mdash; Are you surrounded by friends, family, and TV ads that want you to buy, buy, buy? Don't fall under their influence; spend more time with financially responsible friends instead. [Listen Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://ridiculouslyefficient.com/6-signs-its-time-to-quit-a-client/">6 Signs It&rsquo;s Time to Quit a Client</a> &mdash; If you find yourself working a lot more or a lot less that what was agreed on, then it's time to reassess your relationship with the client. [Ridiculously Efficient]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/what-to-do-with-your-childs-birthday-money">What to Do With Your Child's Birthday Money</a> &mdash; Use this opportunity to teach your kids about managing money by giving them the option to spend, save, or donate their birthday cash. [Parenting Squad]</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-fun-activities-that-are-breaking-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-make-your-weekend-feel-longer">8 Ways to Make Your Weekend Feel Longer</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/14-fun-ways-to-spend-a-snow-day-indoors">14 Fun Ways to Spend a Snow Day Indoors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gifts-6-fun-games-that-teach-money-and-finance">Holiday Gifts: 6 Fun Games That Teach Money and Finance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-celebrities-with-shockingly-low-net-worths">6 Celebrities With Shockingly Low Net Worths</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-podcasts-for-travel-lovers">6 Podcasts for Travel Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment best money tips fun activities Tue, 08 Sep 2015 19:00:15 +0000 Amy Lu 1548744 at http://www.wisebread.com