Since Christmas is just next week, it’s only a matter of days before the kids are coming back from school on winter vacation. Apart from that, you might have a toddler for whom you need to plan some fun-filled outdoor games.
So, the best way to keep your kids occupied and entertained is to arrange a christmas activity party. Check out these 4 unique crafts, activities, and games for your kids.
1. Poke-a-tree game
It is a game about finding gifts, hidden inside a tree. Kids will love to punch through the tissue paper to grab hidden gifts.
What you need: Green paper cups, Tissue paper, Rubber bands, glue, color pen.
How to play:
Fold a stack of tissue paper into fourths and cut out circles from from them. Place a toy, or other gifts inside paper cups. Attach a matching tissue paper circle on top of the paper cups. Use a rubber band to hold the tissue paper circle in place.
Use hot glue the cups to the foam core sheet like a Christmas tree shape.
Cut a tree trunk shape from papers and attach it straight under the last row of cups.
To play the game, poke your finger through the tissue paper and get the prizes.
2. Snowman drawing game
Ask your kids to draw a snowman on a large paper. The winner will get a amazing gift.
What you need: Large paper sheets, Color markers or pen.
How to draw:
This is a simple Snowman Game that can be played anywhere. It’s perfect to teach kids how to draw properly. This game is about growing interest about drawing skill.
Everyone must have large piece of paper.
KIds have to draw a snowman using the marker.
No one should peek each other’s’ papers.
Kids must complete the drawing by coloring it fully.
The best drawing will be rewarded with surprize gift, and others also get consolation prizes.
3. Snowman slam game
You can craft simple snowmen by using cups. Kids love tossing fake snowballs and knocking them down! This snowman slam game is very easy and takes little time for preparation.
What you need: White cups, white socks, black & orange craft foam, glue, scissors.
How to play it:
To make the snowmen, decorate six white cups by black and orange craft foam. Make tight the snowballs by using three white socks.
This game is easy, and the girls also love it. The idea is simple; toss the snowballs to knock down the snowmen.
4. DIY snow paint game
It is a great art activity during winter. Kids learn using of vibrant colors by using food dye, water, and spray bottles. Your kids can spend hours while making masterpiece after masterpiece in the snow.
What you need: spray bottles, non–toxic food color, water.
How to make it:
To create your DIY Snow Paint, fill the spray bottles with water. Then, add food color or dye to get the proper color you need. Screw the lid tightly of the bottle, and give it a good shake. You can adjust the nozzle to create a finer mist, or a more concentrated spray. You can mix colors, write out a Christmas message, draw pictures.
Round up your kids, and make sure that they are wearing deep colored, warm snow clothes. Start painting, and have fun. The things you need are easy to find, so it’s a great activity within low budget.
Christmas is the best time for movies and the celebrations are not done, till you, your cousins, your friends and nearly every hooligan you know,sit down to watch the coolest of movies in the chilly night!
I will try to give in the names of new releases for this year. So anyone searching for vintage classics won’t find it here. Pardon me for that.
These are the movies to watch this Christmas:
Number 1: Murder on the Orient Express:
Nothing gets better when it comes to a mysterious night on Christmas.
And that’s exactly what Agatha Christie talks through her novels.
Director and actor Kenneth Branagh brings the showdown with his newly released work “The Murder on the Orient Express”.
I won’t talk about how the movie opens up, or how it progresses. All I can say is the movie surely gives a call to its audience, and makes it worth a second watch!
Johnny Depp played the role of Senneth Ratchett, the businessman who gets murdered on board!
Branagh plays Hercule Poirot himself, and Penelope Cruz is the melancholic missionary Pilar Estravados.
It will surely make your Christmas as the movie’s all snow, cold and dark!
Number 2: Jumanji- Welcome to the JunGLe!
We can never forget the Robin Williams starrer Jumanji, that released back in 2004. Hell that was some movie man!
But there’s nothing to worry, we have Dwayne Johnson a.k.a ROCK in this movie.
“ A Game For Those, Who Seek To Find, The Way To Leave Their World Behind!”
Can any caption give you such a good feeling? Like escape from Reality?? (Except Harry Potter I mean)!!!
So gear up fellas, it’s just going to make your day as the film gets released on December 20th!
Grab your tickets and get into action!
Number 3: DUNKIRK.
Guess two names will be enough, Christopher Nolan and Tom Hardy!
Even though this released way back in the mid of 2017, on 13th July, you can still watch it this Christmas.
The show will get even better, if you can get someone along with you, who has not watched it yet!
Critics have seriously stated that this is Christopher Nolan’s best film till date and probably the best war movie ever made.
To be practical what else can we expect from the creator of such masterpieces like The Prestige, Inception, Interstellar and the Batman??
So watch it again, and suggest it to your other friends too!
Number 4: HangMan.
Al Pacino is back with the new crime thriller film, that is expected to rock the film garden this year!
Nothing ever gets bad or wrong with this Pacino guy! He is the Man, and he comes with HangMan!
The movie plot is intriguing as the murders are based on the children game Hangman!
Even though the movie seems a bit complex, but the fingers are crossed, and let’s see how Pacino’s going to play it!
Number 5: COCO.
The most highly rated animation movie of this year.
COCO has already received high critical acclaim, and as of december 11, 2017, COCO has grossed $136.8 million in the United states and Canada.
The film has been praised for its graphics and visuals, and is said to be a treat for the eye!
You seriously don’t want your kids to miss it!
The film revolves around a small girl named COCO who wants to take up music as her life, but her family is no music at all!
See what happens as a Gig is about start and dead skeletons are coming for a visit from the Land Of The Dead!
Movies are fun, and Christmas celebration is the biggest priority!
But at the end of the day we must also keep a look at our pockets, so that celebration blasts don’t burn holes in them!
Along with good movies, friends, drinks and foods you must also be able to hold your finances steady!
Here are 3 budgeting tips for Christmas:
Don’t let the moment’s magic take control over you.
People are careless about money when it comes to festivals! But you should know how much you can spend.
Set up a budget now itself.
Make a list of all the possible expenses you are about to make, including the movie tickets and all!
Now add a few more bucks on top of your budget for emergency cash and happy spending!
This is the only decent idea I can come up with!
Sell unwanted items that you haven’t used for this year.
This is a great way to add some extra cash that can definitely buy you a few cocktails at a nightclub.
Old furniture? Sell it.
Old clothes? Sell it.
Old gadgets? Sell it.
Anything old and you don’t use, sell it!
Actually make it a habit to sell unwanted items every year in Christmas, and clean your house to make room for the new!
Make a savings plan for each Christmas:
This is my top notch suggestion for you!
If you really want your Christmas to be a grande party every year, then plan to do savings!
Open up an account and stash away an amount each month, and see it grow.
Voila! After 12 months, you are all set for a killer bumpy ride!
I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New year!
Do watch the movies and comment your views.
Also try to budget out your Christmas the coolest way with the budgeting tips I gave.
Maybe you have to work on Thanksgiving Day. Or maybe you have any sudden issue for which you couldn’t plan on hosting Thanksgiving dinner. Or maybe you’ve planned on hosting Thanksgiving but haven’t had a chance to decide the menu. Here’s what you can do to save the day:
You can feed eight people, but it’d be pretty easy if you want to make it for four. You just need to cut it in half.
1. Roast the turkey in pieces
Cut the turkey in several pieces (two bone-in breast pieces and two whole legs) before roasting.
The benefits are:
It’ll cook faster. It’ll take only 20 mins and keep keep all the moisture and flavor intact.
It’s easy to add more flavors and juice without tempering the shape. Brush melted butter under and over the skin. Place the pieces on a baking sheet and pour some wine around.
The pan juice can be used as a flavored sauce if you want more gravy.
2. Serve a delicious kale salad
To add something green and fresh with the turkey, you can use a kale and Brussels sprout recipe. It’ll add an italian flavor to your meal. It’ll take 20 minutes only to make it. Use your food processor to slice the kale, almonds, apple, cheddar, and brussels sprouts.
3. Roast some squash and sweet potatoes
You can roast a bunch of sweet potatoes and Delicata squash. Try to cut these veggies into proper circles. Then serve the pieces on a circular platter and highlight the plate with fresh thyme sprigs and red-pepper flakes. It’s ready, place it in the oven for roasting.
Now, to add more variety you can prepare a gorgeous cranberry agrodolce. It’s a great sweet and sour italian dish, perfect for any occasion. You’ll require tart cranberries, red-wine vinegar, and sugar. You can use it as a condiment for the roasted turkey.
4. Make a skillet stuffing
Stuffing is must for any good recipe you make for Thanksgiving. So, on this occasion you can create a stuffing that’ll increase the taste of your turkey much more. For that, you’ll require ingredients like wild mushrooms (it’s the best thing for stuffing), hot & spicy Italian sausages, some fresh sage, and corns for extra flavour. You can also use white wine, grated cheese to make it richer and tastier. It’ll also take 20 to 25 mins, voila!! It’s ready to serve.
5. Make a frozen puff pastry
Now it’s time to prepare the dessert for Thanksgiving menu. You can prepare a maple-pear sheet tart, within 10 min. Just put it in the oven before starting up the dinner. You can use vanilla ice cream for dressing and pour some Italian amaro to drink after.
Why do we celebrate Veterans Day? Basically, to celebrate and to honor the brave soldiers, who have sacrificed their lives in America’s battles.
Veteran’s day was first celebrated as “Armistice Day”, on the occasion of the winning the war World War I between the Allies and Germany, at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918. Later, after winning the war over the Axis Powers in World War II, in 1954 the name was changed to “Veterans Day.”
It’s a day to honor American soldiers of all wars, for their sacrifice, patriotism and the commitment to serve for the good of the nation.
Veterans Day this year will be on Saturday, November 11th, 2017 and declared as a Federal Holiday on Friday, November 10th, 2017.
To pay respect to our veterans, popular stores like Walgreens, Lowe’s, and Dollar General offer attractive Veterans Day discounts.
Check out this 2017’s deals:
McCormick and Schmick’s Free Entree
Veterans and Gold Star families are offered a complimentary lunch or dinner at McCormick and Schmick’s on Sunday, November 5th, 2017.
All active military personnel and veterans can opt for a complimentary entree under $12.95 on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th November 2017. Any guests over age 21 can enjoy an alcoholic beverage for $6. Guests must provide their military IDs to get this offer.
Spaghetti Warehouse (Buy 1 Get 1 Free Meal)
Get a special “buy one entree, get one free” coupon offer from Spaghetti Warehouse. You can redeem coupons from 10th November through 12th November. The coupons will be available from 3rd November on the Spaghetti Warehouse website.
Firebirds Wood Fired Grill
Veterans or active duty service members can get free lunch or dinner on Friday.
Applebee’s will provide Veterans and Active Duty Military members free meal, select from a limited menu on Veteran’s Day. You need to provide proof of service.
Bob Evans Restaurants are providing free select menu items to Veterans and active duty military on Veterans day.
Free pizza will be provided if anyone shows a valid Military ID.
Friendly’s Free Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner
Friendly’s is giving a free dine-in breakfast, lunch or dinner from select menus to veterans, active members of US army by showing valid IDs on 11-11-2017.
Hy-Vee Free Breakfast
Hy-Vee is providing a free breakfast buffet during regular breakfast hours on Veterans Day.
They are also offering free meal includes choice of entrée, two vegetables, bread and beverage. Guests need to submit valid military ID on Veterans Day. Offer valid from 11a.m. to closing.
Little Caesars Pizza
On Saturday, 11th November 2017, from 11am to 2pm, veterans and active military members can get a free $5 HOT-N-READY® Lunch Combo at Little Caesars Pizza.
On Sunday, November 12, veterans and active army personnel can get a free entrée. There are several restaurants who also provide such offers, they are – California Dreaming, The Tavern at Phipps, Chophouse ’47, Carolina Roadhouse, Joey D’s Oak Room, Burro Loco, Chophouse New Orleans, New York Prime, Gulfstream Cafe, etc.
On this day, from 5 PM to 9 PM, Golden Corral offers a free sit-in “thank you” dinner for veterans, retirees, and active duty personnel.
What you’ll think if I told you that you can save dollars without doing anything or without making any frugal plan? I guess you will be shocked or assume that I’m just kidding?
When you fall in debt, it’s hard to get rid of it. So, it’s better if you can save enough money to pay off your debts easily.
It was easy to learn about the conventional ways to save money by reading tutorials, or by following online videos, TV shows, or from Ebooks. But how about saving money without doing nothing, is there any way?
After a lot of research and discussion with my friends, I have found few ways to save dollars doing nothing or without any frugal plan. Let’s check them out guys.
Everybody should hate drinking and smoking. Actually it is ridiculous spending $120 on liquor or cigarettes. They actually have zero health benefits. Additionally, the cost of alcohol or cigarettes is high. There’s no meaning of converting your hard earned money into ashes.
Healthwise, both nicotine and alcohol can make you sick. Cigarettes causes lung cancer and alcohol may damage your liver.
The average cost of cigarettes are between $6 and $8. Expensive ones cost around $12.85. Recently, Mayor Bill de Blasio in New York announced that the cost of cigarettes will be increased to $13 from $10, each pack. So, if you are a chain smoker, then your total monthly expense will be sky high. Check out the price of cigarettes state-by-state and compare the prices. It’s better just quit smoking…you know.
Never trust a person who is into drugs; even in vacations. Drugs have dragged too many people into living hell. Drugs not only affect your health and finances, but also demolished your family life. You’ll become isolated from your family, friends, even from society.
The drug is an addiction. Stay away from people who used to have recreational drugs. Selling and buying drugs is an illegal offence. So, avoid drugs at any cost.
We, humans are selfish, greedy and unsatisfied in every aspect. They pine for costly things which they don’t even require. People want fast cars, want to watch latest movies, want to wear the trendiest fashion, use the latest sound system, play latest video games, etc. What we fail to understand that these are only waste of money, nothing more.
If you want to save money, then stop pining for the greatest things. You can buy a good conditioned used car, a second hand music system may also give you the same experience. You can play free online video games. You can read free eBooks. You can watch latest movies later online, totally free. It’s that easy.
Don’t forget one thing, the more you eat, the more you pay. Junk foods not only make you fatter, but also drain your savings. It is tough to ignore delicious burgers, pizzas, french fries, ice cream, cookies, and hot dogs. But you must draw a line.
Start avoiding junk foods for a month. You’ll be surprised that your body and wallet, both will become healthy..
Drive safely and obey traffic rules. It will help you to save a good amount on auto insurance premiums. The lower your premium, the lower will be your car maintenance cost. Accidents not only can ruin your life, but it can cause fatal damage to someone else.
Sometimes the difficult thing of money saving habit is just how you can start the habit itself. It is really very difficult to find out easy ways to save money and how you can use your savings to reach your financial goals. So, let’s discuss few basic tips that can help you to develop a realistic money savings habit.
The first step would be figuring out the amount of your spending. Keep track of all your expenses. This may include the cost of newspaper, coffee/snacks, etc. After getting the data, categorize them according to their total amount. You can use your credit card or bank statements as reference.
Once you have the idea of your monthly spending limit, you can execute a budget and try to fit your expenses into it. Apart from your monthly expenses, you must also consider expenses that occur often but not regularly. These may include car maintenance cost, home renovation, etc.
After planning the budget, try to put away 10–15 % of your income as savings. If you save money every day as well as reduce your fixed monthly expenses, very soon you’ll be able to build up a good saving habit.
Try to set a goal. You need a specific target for which you’ll cut off expenses and save money. Figure out how much time you need to save for it. If you need help figuring out a time frame.
These are some examples of short- and long-term goals:
Short-term (1–3 years)
Long-term (4+ years)
If you’re saving money for your child’s higher education and your retirement fund, then you may invest your money in IRA or a 529 plan. These investments might come come with risks but they also give you good, compounded returns if you plan properly.
Almost all banks offer automated transfers between your checking and savings accounts. You should decide the time, the amount , and the account where you’ll transfer the money to. You can also divide your income between your checking and savings accounts. Automated transfers are a great way today to save money as you don’t have to twice about separating money into two accounts manually.
Check your progress every month. Keep eyes on your checking and savings account. This will not only help you to stick to your savings plan but it also helps you identify and fix problems quickly.
These easy tips to save money will be very helpful to you and will inspire you to build a good money saving habit.
Great guest post from William Cain over at www.adultingmoney.com
With the popularity of the 401k growing across America, more people than ever are jumping on the compounding interest, employer match bandwagon. And who wouldn’t! Your employer is giving you “free money.” If you’re not currently signed up then stop reading this and sign up now! It’s one of the best retirement vehicles on the market today.
Most employers draft it from your paycheck (pay yourself first!), and you can also select a Roth option if available. Most experts recommend contributing at least 15% of your income to ensure you’ll have a comfortable and adequate retirement. But who really wants comfortable and adequate??? Not me, and definitely not my fiance’s shoe closet.
So let’s say you up it to 15% of your $85,000/year household income and your employer matches 5%. Nice, up to 20%! Bring on that McMansion.
We’ll also assume it returns a 7% interest rate per year on average. How are we looking 35 years from now when we have to retire???
So we’re going to be totally “multi” millionaires and burn $100 bills to light our $200 cigars with our $300 bottle of Pappy Van Winkle.
Not so fast. Here are some things to think about.
First, the money you contributed was pre-tax, which means once you take it out the government will want to collect on it AND the profits. Stupid taxes. The amount depends on which tax bracket it puts you in when you decide to withdraw. While we don’t know the tax climate 35 years from now, let’s say 15%.
$2,450,000 x .15% = $2,085,500. Still ok right?
But wait, there’s more!
Here’s the secret retirement killer, that hits everyone just the same regardless of how smart or dumb you were with your money.
It’s a scary word.
Using an excellent future inflation calculator
we can guestimate how much our remaining retirement monies will be worth in today’s dollars when we retire.
In this example, accounting for a 3%/year inflation rate, in today’s dollars, it leaves us with the same spending power as $741,000…
At age 65 this is the same monthly purchasing power as $5,638 and at 85 it’s $3,122.
Sure, hopefully, we’ve had our house paid off, rarely get new cars, and settle down into watching TV 8 hours a day. However, some people’s expenses actually increase once they retire. They now have the time to travel, play golf or a massage every week. What about medical bills? You know they’re coming, it just depends on how big they’re going to be. The average retired couple spends approximately $250,000 during retirement just on premiums! Are you helping your grandchildren through college? Helping your adult children through, well, adulting. There are so many factors and possibilities being supported on an ever-dwindling income.
So let’s reverse engineer it. Let’s figure out the kind of life we want in retirement, the things that are important to us, that we think may be important to us, and create a buffer the unexpected.
Next, let’s find out how much is it going to take to have the life we want in 2052 using our future inflation calculator.
Lastly, using simple 401k calculator lets see how much we really need to be contributing to hit our goals.
This isn’t meant to scare anyone or show unattainable goals and savings, but rather to shed light on how our retirement could truly shape up to be. The worst thing possible is to get to retirement only to realize it’s not the life you thought you had created, and it’s better to start working on a plan now to prepare then later.
This also highlights the need for additional passive sources of income among other well thought out investment strategies.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article and I’m always open to learning about topics that are of interest to you! Please send me an email, pigeon, or hit me up on the blog in the comments section.
As always, happy adulting out there!
Sometimes, due to the frequent classes, homework, meetings and your social lifestyle, you may skip the habit of keeping a good health. Being a student is tough, you might think that health is such a topic which you don’t have to bother much. But developing healthy habits can help you to stay healthy throughout your total lifespan. Here are 5 tips that’ll help you to stay healthy being a college student.
Eating healthy food can help you to boost your body’s immune system. Sometimes it’s not possible to eat healthy food during college, but there are easy ways you can manage your eating habits.
First, don’t skip breakfast. Grabbing a cake or banana might give you the boost to carry on throughout the day. Try not to skip meals. You always need to eat when you are hungry, don’t kill it. Take a bowl full of salad or sandwich as per your requirement.
Keep these three things in your mind while eating foods – quality, variety and balance. Try to maintain a balance between dairy foods, whole grains, veggies, fruits, and ofcourse..protein intake daily.
Good sleep is required to maintain a balance between your physical and mental strength. It will help to keep your metabolism rate normal, improve your memory, and removes toxins from the muscles.
Lack of sleep reduces your energy, concentration power, increases anxiety, and depression. Lack of sleep also increase in appetite, and that may cause a weight gain. Try to maintain a regular sleeping pattern of minimum 7 hours at night, wake up early and exercise.
Doing exercise in a busy college schedule is difficult. But today, most of the colleges have arrangements for students to get exercise. But initially you can start exercising by walking to your class. Depending on your class schedule, you can do this for 20 minutes to 1 hour everyday.
Most colleges also offer free or discounted memberships to gyms. Consider your gym class like an extra class in your daily routine.
You can try different forms of exercises like – kickboxing, cycling, swimming, yoga, tennis, or soccer. These are all great ways to become fit.
There are four types of drinks or beverages that can affect your health. These are 1. alcohol, 2. soda and soft drinks, 3. caffeinated drinks, and 4. water.
The excessive consumption of alcoholic drinks can damage your health. Studies reveal that if you consume alcohol regularly, it will impair your ability to absorb nutrients.
Intake of soft drinks, sodas, and sweetened fruit juices can cause abnormal weight gain and improper digestion. SO TRY TO AVOID THEM AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.
Caffeinated drinks like tea or coffee can make your body dehydrated, make sure to intake two glasses of water for every coffee or energy drink you consume. Also, too much drinking coffee can hamper your quality of sleep at night.
Make sure you drink plenty of water everyday. Drinking plenty of water can increase your appetite, removes toxins from your body, and also keeps your stomach fit. Try to drink a glass of water every hour.
Washing your hands can save you from multiple germ infections, and viruses. College students are always in close contact with others, so it is easier to catch colds or viruses. Wash your hands properly before every meal, while touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Smoking causes cancer, and many more lung diseases, heart disease and emphysema. For those who want to quit smoking, can join student health centers for several anti-smoking programs.
You might have finished back-to-school shopping for classroom supplies, uniforms, lunchbox, bedding etc, but have you done your child’s health issue? Your kids must start the new school year in good health.
So, let’s discuss some tips on your child’s eyesight, dental care, sleep, prevention for disease, safety, and other health oriented issue.
In a classroom session, 80% of learning is based on visual elements. So, your kid should have a clear vision before going back to school. An eyesight problem may still arise even if your kid has passed an eye screening test. So, before hitting the new session, you kid must need a comprehensive eye exam so that he or she can contribute the most of them.
The vaccination schedule can protect your kids from the different illness. Kids who suffer from allergies might get into trouble during school where dust mites, mold, and other allergens flourish in the classroom. Contagious illness spread from person to person through different mediums like air, water or from physical contact. Teens and young kids must get their vaccination as early as possible.
3. Dental health
Kids must follow good dental routine just as they do their school routine. Whenever they are, they must brush twice a day for two mins, at early morning and after the meal.
4. Bedtime routine
Kids have a tendency to skip proper sleep during summer. They also wake up late during that time because of the holidays. So, start shaking them up early morning, starting from today. Their school-time sleep routine must become their habit unless they’ll fall asleep during class. Don’t let them back into their summer schedule.
5. Hygiene issues
Seeing any excessive head scratching? Might be head lice. Ask your kids not to share combs, hats, and clothes with any other kids from the class. Do a visual check once a week for ticks. The most easier way to avoid catching germs and maintain hygiene is to encourage your kids to wash hands properly. Hand sanitizers work well if they can’t arrange soaps. Ask them not to use the same clothes every day, especially undergarments.
Here we will take a look at some of the most common financial mistakes that the majority of people make. You might say, this doesn’t apply to me. Are you being truthful with yourself? My gut tells me you are in denial if you believe you don’t have some sort of financial problem.
1) Frivolous and Excessive Spending
Many people assume that their day to day spending is in control. What is the big deal about the $4 coffee or the $9 lunch? These are normal, right? Wrong. Small purchases add up quickly. The frivolous $15 spent per day is huge when measured on an annualized or compounded basis. $15 x 365 = $5,475. If this $15 per day was invested over 40 years at 8% interest, the balance equates to $1,592,772. Frivolous spending is debilitating. Get your act together. This is low hanging fruit. Be disciplined.
2) Never-Ending Payments
How can anyone gain considerable wealth by staying on the payment plan? Whoever invented lifelong payment plans is a genius. People assume it is natural to have 15 reoccurring payments each month. Anything subscription taking away money from me each month does not feel natural. I am sure you could eliminate half of the plans without much pain.
To name a few:
3) Living on Credit Cards
For households that carry credit card debt, it costs them about $1,300 a year in interest. Today, the average household with credit card debt has balances totaling $16,748. Only 52% of credit card owners pay their credit card in full each month. Living on borrowed money will only cause heartache. I have seen too many close friends or family give away their freedom to this kind of behavior. Don’t be another statistic. You will never generate wealth by living on borrowed money.
Never fall behind on your credit card payments. Always pay your balance in full. The U.S.News and World Report explains that 35% of your credit score is based on your payment history. Another 30% is based on amounts owed. Don’t ruin your life by having an unpaid credit card balance. There’s a reason why credit card companies offer huge promotions for new card holders. They count on you carrying high balances. It just means more revenue for the credit card companies.
4) Buying a New Car
New cars depreciate very quickly. Payment plans are debilitating. Don’t get more than what you need. The economic, older car will still get you to your destination. What is the purpose of a vehicle? To get you to the destination. Nothing more, nothing less. So why get the big, expensive SUV with all of the bells and whistles? You are not impressing anyone. The seat is not that much more comfortable. If you can’t pay for the car with cash, you probably can’t afford it. Being able to afford the payment is not the same thing as being able to afford the car.
I feel bad for people when they buy a new car. They post a picture on Facebook and everyone “Likes” their new purchase and congratulates them. Why congratulate someone for signing up for another payment plan? Please, don’t encourage the wrong behavior. Instead, I wish more people would recognize payment plans as a form of bondage. Payment plans are miserable. Payment plans are not your friend. They take all your money each month and charge you interest. Doesn’t sound very friendly to me.
5) Spending Too Much on Your House
Housing is the number one expense for most households. Owning a big, fancy house just means a big, fancy payment plan. Mrs. H and I have chosen to live in a modest condo that is completely paid off. It feels wonderful to not be on the payment plan. We could sell our four paid off condos and purchase a very nice house. Instead, we choose to live in a condo and generate rental income on the other 3 condos. There is always an opportunity cost. People justify buying a huge house as an investment. Over the long run, owning a house appreciates at the same rate as inflation. Instead, I consider a house a liability. It takes money away from your monthly income. Anything that negatively impacts your income is a liability in my book. Minimize your liabilities.
Never refinance your house. Refinancing and taking cash out is a bad strategy. This will reduce your net worth and increase your monthly payments. Also, it will cost thousands of dollars in interest and fees.
6) Living Paycheck to Paycheck
This is a miserable way to live. Just think about it, constantly living in fear of not being able to pay your bills. Always one paycheck from being evicted from your home is a terrible way to live. If you believe it is impossible to save money, you are in denial. There are ways. Get creative. Make sacrifices. Avoid eating out. Stop buying the $0.99 soda on your way home from work. This all adds up.
Here is irony: when you get a 20% raise, you still somehow find yourself living paycheck to paycheck. Living paycheck to paycheck is less dependent on your income and more dependent on your choices. There are many low-income earners that are never living paycheck to paycheck. In contrast, there are many high-income earners constantly on the brink of financial ruin. Don’t make excuses. Life is expensive. It always has been and always will be. Just change the way you choose to live.
You might say that your scenario is unique and there is no way to get out of the rut you are in. I would say that it is possible to get out of your imaginary long term out. Imagine you and I could have a personal conversation. Within 5 minutes we could come up with 5 relatively simple strategies that could be implemented immediately. You can change your circumstances but you must first Believe it is possible. The work every day to make your dream a reality. Life isn’t meant to be dictated by uncontrolled finances. Money is a tool to gain freedom, not lose freedom.
Contributed by Mr. Hammocker