Monthly Archives: May 2015

Family Friendly Vacation Ideas and Exclusive Discounts: Summer 2015

If you are still looking for summer vacation ideas, check out this list of nationwide attractions– AND DISCOUNT PRICING– to help you plan an even better vacation and save a bit of money too!

NEW YORK CITY:

CLASSIC HARBOR LINE CRUISE

Family Friendly Boat Tours of Manhattan Dedicated to helping locals and visitors alike enjoy the unique wonders of New York City, Classic Harbor Line hopes for the privilege of escorting you on a relaxing, inspiring and breathtaking sightseeing cruise through the waters we proudly call home. The classic yachts – the Schooner Adirondack & Adirondack III and the Schooner America 2.0 (sailboats), and the Luxury Yacht Manhattan (motorized yacht) are reminiscent of the classic boats that cruised New York Harbor a hundred years ago.

My Readers receive 15% off each ticket purchased at www.sail-nyc.com using ONLINE promo code Mom2015 – Valid for any Day Sail, Sunset Sail, City Lights Sail aboard Schooner Adirondack, Schooner America 2.0 OR any Cruise aboard the 1920’s style motor yacht: Yacht Manhattan!

THE RIDE

THE RIDE uses New York City and its renowned landmarks as the backdrop for a theatrical event that blurs the boundary between tour and performance. The city becomes a stage, and soon you can’t tell where the street ends and the show begins!

THE RIDE gives you a front-row seat to the streets of New York City in a multi-million dollar motor coach that comes equipped with state-of-the-art audio/visual technology, including 40 plasma screen TVs and over 3000 LED lights. Enjoy the performance from the comfort of one-of-a-kind stadium seating and huge panoramic windows.

While navigating a 4.2-mile midtown path, our performers and native New Yorkers alike become performers for THE RIDE, showing guests an entirely new side of New York City they can’t see anywhere else.

Whether you’re new to the city or a long-time native, you’ll find something to enjoy.

Get On, and Experience the Ride.
$50 OFF Your Next Party with THE RIDE!

– See more at: www.experiencetheride.com

FRANKENMUTH, MI: BAVARIAN INN LODGE and RESTAURANT

The Bavarian Inn Lodge, nestled along the Cass River in one of Michigan’s top tourist destinations – Frankenmuth – is one of the state’s largest Indoor Water Park Hotels. The Lodge has 360 European-themed guest rooms, including whirlpool and family suites, an adult-only pool, two gift shops, two lounges and two restaurants — all under one roof. The Lodge’s expansive 35,000 square feet Family Fun Center houses two dramatic waterslides, three pools and two whirlpools, over 150 video and redemption games, a two-story children’s play village and Willy’s Kingdom indoor mini-golf course. Guests can also enjoy live, year-round, nightly entertainment and test their own musical skills during weekend family karaoke shows. In 29 years of business, the Bavarian Inn Lodge has been an important destination for travelers, evidenced by the 1.25 million room-nights that have been booked there since its opening, along with its top rating on TripAdvisor.
$35 off at the Bavarian Inn Lodge Code #1239JD (855) 421-1366
 

CONCORD, CA: WATER WORLD

About Waterworld California
Thank you for planning your visit to Waterworld California, Northern California’s Biggest & Best Water Park Experience. The Park is located less than 30 minutes east of San Francisco in the East Bay city of Concord. The 30-acre water park is home to more than 35 world-class attractions, including heart-pounding waterslides, the region’s largest wave pool, Northern California’s longest lazy river and whimsical water adventures for kids of all ages. Private poolside cabanas are also available for daily rental, making Waterworld California the perfect family vacation destination that’s affordable and close to home!

NEW! – Break Point Plunge
The World’s steepest body slide, Break Point Plunge takes brave riders to a towering height of more than six-stories. Once they reach the top, they enjoy a breathtaking view of the Park before stepping into an enclosed launch capsule where the countdown begins for what will happen next. Within seconds, the floor below drops out, sending riders through a heart-pounding 270-foot long looping adventure before reaching the runout below!

Special Discount for my readers!
Tickets include admission to Waterworld California and are good for any public operating day during the 2015 season.

Use Promo Code: 20FamilyFun
Discount: Save $13 on single-day General Admission, now through September 27, 2015
* Regular price: $35.99
* Discounted price: $22.99

Find further information about Waterworld California at www.WaterworldCalifornia.com

 

 

WELLFORD, SC: HOLLYWILD ANIMAL PARK

Hollywild Animal Park, set in rural Upstate SC is a gem among parks and zoos – it’s a combination of both! The natural pathways and open spaces with plenty of picnic areas make it a great place to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of life and explore: the laughter of your children, time together, and the great outdoors. But there’s more – more than 500 animals native to countries around the globe make their home at Hollywild.

In the walking area of the park, you are close to all kinds of animals from the curious camels and humorous bears (who can be seen playing on the park’s webcam www.hollywild.org Eyes on Hollywild) to the majestic great cats (lions, tigers, leopards, and cougars), striking baboons and ambassador wolves. Petting areas are intentionally placed throughout the park. Children wanting to pet the “kitty” may need to be redirected if that “kitty” happens to be a 500 pound Siberian Tiger, but just a few feet away you find a petting area where donkeys, alpaca, goats, and even pigs can be found ready for some attention. Free roaming birds like the brilliant peacocks, guineas, and exotic chickens show their colors throughout the grounds adding another element of fun to your visit. A bit of learning is tucked into a Hollywild visit too, with the aid of signage and the Creature Feature programs in the park’s amphitheater. Both showcase details about the featured animals and give you the inside scoop on their unique adaptations and behaviors. There just aren’t many places where you learn a little then spread out a picnic blanket beside a waterfall in view of a rare white lion, one of the newest additions to the Hollywild family. His inspiring story and Hollywild’s partnership in an international effort to conserve the rare white subspecies make it easy to see why this place is a treasure on so many levels.

Included in your admission is the Safari Bus Ride you won’t want to miss. Converted old-style school buses take you and yours on a journey you’ll not soon forget – on the ride you meet all kinds of herbivores: emu, donkeys, water buffalo, bison, watusi, and zebras who come to the bus for snack time. You just can’t see the foot-long tongue of a watusi up-close from anywhere – but you can at Hollwyild! From the bus, catch a glimpse of “Tank” the park’s rare white rhino and star of many television commercials. In fact, that’s where the park’s name originated – through the movie industry. Hollywild has a 40+ year history – starting from a modest private backyard collection of animals to the nearly 100 acre public access park it is today. It grew as a result of Hollywood movie makers calling founder David Meeks and asking to film his animals. The funds raised by those efforts built the park to be the great resource it is today. Walking through the park you can see the star signs indicating the movies that Hollywild animals have appeared in during the park’s history.

The park converted to a non-profit organization more than 15 years ago so that it would be run by a board of directors who could see to it that the park lives on as a great resource for generations to come. Many animals have been born here or brought here as rescues and some as ‘retirees’ from circus acts. Each has a special story worth hearing. Though staff recommend at least 2 hours for a visit during Park Season, others recommend just planning to spend the whole day as you can ride the bus as many times as you like and just relax enjoying the nature abundant around you. Picnics are welcome or you can purchase light concessions on-site. The park’s website www.hollywild.org has links to places to stay, eat, and play nearby making it easy to plan a weekend getaway to the Upstate area convenient to I-85 and I-26.

Free Child’s Admission with purchase of an Adult Admission

 

TEMPE, AZ: SEA LIFE

Discover SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium! With an amazing 360 degree ocean tunnel and more than 5,000 sea creatures including sharks, rays and seahorses, the aquarium is the perfect stop for family fun.

New for 2015, dive in to summer camp at SEA LIFE Arizona: June 15 – June 19, June 22 – June 26,  July 6 – July 10.
Discover amazing ocean creatures, enjoy hands-on activities and participate in exclusive experiences. SEA LIFE Adventure Camp is for kids age 7 to 12 years old and is $200 plus tax per Camper. Each 1-week session is Monday-Friday from 9:00am – 3:30pm. Select which session works best for you and enjoy 5 days of fun ocean-themed activities!

World Oceans Day
This World Oceans Day SEA LIFE Arizona will be taking part in the #BetterBagChallange. On June 8th, guests can bring in plastic bags, sign the #BetterBagChallange Pledge, and receive an amazing reusable tote. This will be a great way to help our oceans and receive something special for it.

Octonauts Training Academy
Sound the Octo-Alert! This June 8th- 21st SEA LIFE Arizona welcomes Captain Barnacles and Peso from the hit animated TV show, The Octonauts. Participate in the Octonauts Training Academy and learn what it takes to become a member of the crew. As cadets, they’ll master the specialties of their favorite characters across 6 fun zones, meet Captain Barnacles and Peso in person* and then be rewarded for completing their training with a very special Octonauts certificate!
For more information please visit visitsealife.com/Arizona/Octonauts

My Readers Save $3 off Child Admission and $5 off Adult Admission! – Save $3 off Children’s Admission and $5 off Adult Admission at SEA LIFE Arizona. Valid for up to 6 discounts per coupon. Offer cannot be applied to pre-purchased or online tickets. Cannot be combined with any other discounts or offers. Additional restrictions may apply. The right of final interpretation resides with SEA LIFE Arizona. CODE: 1305

 

 

KANSAS CITY, MO: LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTER

Explore LEGOLAND Discovery Center Kansas City, the ultimate indoor playground for kids ages 3-10 who are the biggest fans of LEGO! LEGOLAND Discovery Center Kansas City is one of Kansas City’s best attractions for kids! Reach out and touch the stars in our 4D cinema, build the fastest car in Build & Test, save the princess at Kingdom Quest Laser Ride, or have the ultimate LEGO birthday party. Plan your family visit and jump into the biggest box of LEGO bricks!

NEW FOR 2015: Come and visit our LEGO Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope Miniland Model Display – Now Open!

As part of the new intergalactic exhibit, guests can help the Rebel Alliance destroy the Galactic Empire’s powerful Death Star, experience the epic duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader, watch in awe as the Millennium Falcon rises from the deserts of Tatooine, discover the bustling city of Mos Eisley, and take in the busy cantina where the band plays its familiar tune and dangerous characters lurk in dark corners.

My Readers Save $3 off Legoland Discovery Center! – Use this coupon to receive $3 off full priced admission at Legoland Discovery Center.
Code: 1053

 

DICKSON, TN: DICKSON RODEO DAYS

Saddle up for family fun at the 27th annual Dickson Stampede Days Rodeo, June 19 – 20 in Dickson, Tennessee. There’s hometown, professional rodeo from bronc riding to roping and bull riding. Two pro events are exclusively for women, plus there are two youth events for both boys and girls. You’ll see Rodeo Clown of the Year Dusty Myers, world champion cowboy Josh Crager, a wild-west rodeo opening and much more. Ride the mechanical bull and visit the western shopping mall. One dollar per ticket goes to Fight DMD, to help find a cure for the 100% fatal Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Save $2 on Kids Gen. Admission Tickets – This coupon is good for $2 off children’s General Admission tickets when purchasing a regular priced adult General Admission ticket for the 27th annual Dickson Stampede Days Rodeo, June 19 and 20, 2015 at 8 p.m. at the Dickson County Fairgrounds, Dickson, Tenn. (This coupon good a discount on up to four children’s tickets when accompanying a paying adult.)
http://usfamilycoupons.com/coupon.php?regionid=75&bid=12005&dealid=1942 @usfg

 

BOERNE, TX:  CASCADE CAVERNS

See Texas Downunder! Cascade Caverns has been declared a Texas Historical Site for its combination of history, geology & archaeological significance. Your guided 45 minute to one hour tour takes you through corridor after corridor of timeless beauty. The tour leaves continuously throughout the day but check seasonal schedules for specific times during the year. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a camera!


The cavern is a cool, living cavern with millions of glistening drops of pure water reluctantly falling on spectacular rock formations, a comfortable 64 degrees year round. Bring your picnic to enjoy on our 105 acre park before or after your tour. There are nature trails and a playground to explore as well as our unique gift shop.
Cascade Caverns is a fun and educational experience for adults, teens, and kids.
We also have the ideal setup for parties, rallies, musical events, or corporate retreats. Give us a call to see what we can do for you.


Save $1 Off Child OR $2 OFF Adult Admission OR $5 Off Camping at Cascade Caverns – Present this coupon and receive $1 Off Child OR $2 OFF Adult Admission OR $5 Off Camping at Cascade Caverns. One coupon per family visit – not valid with other offers. Code: SanAntonioKidsGuide.com

Share the Wealth Sunday Link Up {#6}

Share the Wealth Sunday | Money Savvy Living Do you have a great money saving idea—or want to hear what other people are doing to save money and still feel like they are living the good life—even on a budget? It’s that time of the week again: Share the Wealth Sunday Link Up time! I look forward to sharing (and learning!) many great money saving ideas again this week! Come visit us on social media and say hi! We’d love to get to know you more! It would be great if you would follow us too: Share the Wealth Sunday | Money Savvy Living

Hannah at eat, drink & save money | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram

Lisa at Fun Money Mom | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram

Gina (that’s me!) at Money Savvy Living | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram

 

Suggested guidelines:

  • Link to anything that can save people money: recipes, DIY, crafts, printables, tutorials, or any and all personal finance/budgeting ideas
  • Leave up to three links that you have not linked up within the last six months
  • Leave specific links to posts (not your entire blog)
  • Do not link to any Etsy shops
  • Grab the Share the Wealth Button for your blog
  • Have fun! Check out the other great money saving ideas…and share/interact with as many as you can!
  • Follow your hosts on Facebook and other social media—we want to stay in touch!

 

Feature:

Share The Wealth Sunday {#6} | Money Savvy Living

East, Drink & Save Money: Which College Savings Plan is Right for You?

Fun Money Finds: Remodel Monday: Let There Be Light

Money Savvy Living: 5 Ways to Invest in Your Children’s Future

Round Up:

Each week, I will pick a few awesome posts from the week before to share with you. That will mean additional exposure for your post and blog! Here some of my favorites from last week:

Financial Wellness Checkup: Have you examined your finances lately?  Do you have enough insurance?  Are you paying for services that you don’t need?

200 Free Summer Activities for Kids: Do your kids every say, “I’m bored!”  Here is a great list of activities that they can do…and it won’t cost you a dime.

10 Minute Sesame Noodle Recipe: Frugal and delicious. Need I say more?!

Free Homeschool Field Trip Ideas: These ideas are great for ANY classroom to take for a field trip.

4th of July Wreath: Learn how to make a beautiful red, white, and blue decorative wreath.

Weekly Menu: Meal Planning and Free Printables: You can save a lot of money on groceries each week by planning ahead…check this article out for free printables to help you get organized.

 

Feel free to grab this 150 x 150 button and share on your page to let others know about this link up:

Share the Wealth Sunday grab button

Link Up:


The Launch of Moneyworks: Customized Money-Saving Android App

MoneyWorks | Money Savvy LivingMoneyworks is an Android App on Google Play that you can download to help you save money. Of course, there are several money-saving apps out there, but this one is a bit different.

 

Instead of searching for any and all random coupons or deals in your area, Moneyworks will actually analyze your buying history from credit card purchases to find deals/savings that are customized to you and your purchase habits.

 

wand_logo

 

Moneyworks has an extensive network of retailers, from which it will search and find deals on items that you might like. Because this app analyzes your previous purchases, it will send those specific savings to you, so you don’t miss out on a deal just because you didn’t search specifically for an item.

 

Major retailers that Moneyworks searches for deals: Groupon, Yelp, Living Social

Launch of MoneyWorks  App | Money Savvy Living

This app is now available– download this free app today to start receiving your customized savings.

 

*This is a sponsored post

 

 

 

Share the Wealth Sunday Link Up {#5}

Share the Wealth Sunday | Money Savvy Living Do you have a great money saving idea—or want to hear what other people are doing to save money and still feel like they are living the good life—even on a budget? It’s that time of the week again: Share the Wealth Sunday Link Up time! I look forward to sharing (and learning!) many great money saving ideas again this week! Come visit us on social media and say hi! We’d love to get to know you more! It would be great if you would follow us too: Share the Wealth Sunday | Money Savvy Living

Hannah at eat, drink & save money | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram

Lisa at Fun Money Mom | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram

Gina (that’s me!) at Money Savvy Living | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram

 

Suggested guidelines:

  • Link to anything that can save people money: recipes, DIY, crafts, printables, tutorials, or any and all personal finance/budgeting ideas
  • Leave up to three links that you have not linked up within the last six months
  • Leave specific links to posts (not your entire blog)
  • Do not link to any Etsy shops
  • Grab the Share the Wealth Button for your blog
  • Have fun! Check out the other great money saving ideas…and share/interact with as many as you can!
  • Follow your hosts on Facebook and other social media—we want to stay in touch!

 

Feature:

Share The Wealth Sunday | Money Savvy Living

East, Drink & Save Money: Star Spangled Sangria Spritzer

Fun Money Finds: 5 Reasons to Avoid Shopping With Children

Money Savvy Living: Frugal Vacation Planning: 10 Ways to Save

Round Up:

Each week, I will pick a few awesome posts from the week before to share with you. That will mean additional exposure for your post and blog! Here some of my favorites from last week: Feel free to grab this 150 x 150 button and share on your page to let others know about this link up:

Don’t Shop on Autopilot

Take a Bite Out of the Grocery Budget

Financial Priorities: Glamour on a Budget

6 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your First Home

 

 

Share the Wealth Sunday grab button

Link Up:


Frugal Vacation Planning: 10 Ways to Save Money

Frugal Vacation Planning: 10 Ways to Save Money | Money Savvy Living

 

Taking a frugal vacation doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice fun. Regardless of your destination, there are still steps that you can take to save some of your hard-earned money. This list of ten items will help you to have a great time with your family, without breaking the bank:

 

Flexible travel schedule—So, when is the best time to plan your vacation and book a flight? Research has shown that the best time to book a flight is on a Tuesday at 3pm EST, 50-100 days out. Apparently, airlines release their new fares for the week on Tuesdays, so that is the time that there is the most competition for your dollars. Take a look at the different pricing options for leaving a few days earlier or later because you may also notice that you can save a few bucks by traveling on certain days of the week. Of course, as you get closer to the time that you want to vacation, and flights and hotels begin to fill up, you will start to see price increases. On the other hand, if you are totally flexible, you may be able to book last minute to get cheaper flights and deals on hotel rooms that haven’t yet filled. Unless your plans can be easily altered though, you may want to stick with the 50-100-days-out option.

 

Take advantage of the free continental breakfast at the hotel—this can save you a minimum of $20-40 per day, depending on where you may choose to eat breakfast with the family. Even though breakfast is typically the cheapest meal of the day, it is still worthwhile to eat for free, if possible. Saving that $20 to $40 every day can go toward souvenirs, or just make your vacation a little less costly.

 

Ask about discounts—so many hotels and tourist attractions offer discounts for AAA members, military, teachers, and of course, senior citizens. Even if you don’t fit into any of these categories, you can still ask the customer service representative about specific hotel specials or any other discounts that they offer. Even if you have looked up prices online, if you have the time to call, you may very well uncover additional discounts or savings that do not show up online.

 

Rewards programs—many hotel or resort chains offer a rewards program. They are free to join and you can earn points for staying at that same chain each time you vacation. If you are taking a week-long vacation, you may even earn enough points to get a free night or two away during the year, or just save the points until you vacation again. Most programs are not timely to set up and, typically, the points don’t expire, so if you don’t need them right away, they can benefit you down the road.

 

Go with a group—most major attractions offer discount pricing to groups. Even if you have as few as ten people in your group, you may be able to qualify for group pricing. If the entire family meets up for vacation every year anyways, you may as well save a little extra. Group pricing often requires you to plan ahead though, so make sure to call ahead of time to see how the amusement park or attraction handles group ticketing and pricing.

 

Join the ASTC travel Passport Program (Association of Science – Technology Centers)—this may not be something that you are aware of, but there are over 250 science centers and museums that are a part of this program. Once you pay for a membership at one, you are eligible to visit ANY other and gain free admission (the only exception is that you DO NOT get free admission to any other science center within 90 miles of where you originally purchased your membership). With science centers and museums that are part of this program all over the world, you may very well be able to take advantage of this program on your next vacation.

 

Rent a condo or house—while hotels can be really convenient, and maybe even have amenities that a condo or house does not, such as a pool, room service, housekeeping, or exercise facility, they can also end up being really costly. Often times, you can rent a home for an entire week for the same price that you may pay for just a few nights at a resort. Another perk of a condo or house is that there is a full kitchen. Taking the time to make your own food, at least for some of the meals, can save you a lot of money overall. One such website that offers great pricing is Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO).

 

Stock your room with snacks and bottled water—whether you are driving or flying, make sure that you have enough snacks and bottled water. If you can stop by a store like Walmart and get a few snack items, this will prevent you from having to buy expensive items from a vending machine or nearby snack bar. I don’t know about you, but I have three kids, and they are always in need of water or a snack.

 

Utilize complementary transportation or public transportation—depending on where you are going, you may be able to take complementary transportation from the airport to the hotel, or from the hotel to an amusement park. Or larger urban areas, it may even be possible to take a bus, train, or subway at a much cheaper rate than actually renting a car.

 

Limit the amount of souvenirs—while it can be tempting to want to buy an expensive souvenir at the hotel gift shop or from a major attraction, you will spend double, or even triple, what a similar souvenir would cost from a discount shop that is located offsite. Don’t forget, taking pictures or videos can be just as much of a memento of the vacation as a trinket can—and those don’t cost a thing.

 

For more money saving tips, check out this article:

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Next Vacation | Money Savvy Living

 5 Money Saving Tips for Planning Your Next Vacation

 

Share the Wealth Sunday Link Up {#4}

Share the Wealth Sunday | Money Savvy Living Do you have a great money saving idea—or want to hear what other people are doing to save money and still feel like they are living the good life—even on a budget? It’s that time of the week again: Share the Wealth Sunday Link Up time! I look forward to sharing (and learning!) many great money saving ideas again this week! Come visit us on social media and say hi! We’d love to get to know you more! It would be great if you would follow us too: Share the Wealth Sunday | Money Savvy Living

Hannah at eat, drink & save money | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram

Lisa at Fun Money Mom | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram

Gina (that’s me!) at Money Savvy Living | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram

 

Suggested guidelines:

  • Link to anything that can save people money: recipes, DIY, crafts, printables, tutorials, or any and all personal finance/budgeting ideas
  • Leave up to three links that you have not linked up within the last six months
  • Leave specific links to posts (not your entire blog)
  • Do not link to any Etsy shops
  • Grab the Share the Wealth Button for your blog
  • Have fun! Check out the other great money saving ideas…and share/interact with as many as you can!
  • Follow your hosts on Facebook and other social media—we want to stay in touch!

 

Feature:

Share The Wealth Sunday | Money Savvy Living 

East, Drink & Save Money: Mixed Nuts and Dates Granola Bar

Fun Money Finds: Wednesday Roundup: Summer Swimwear

Money Savvy Living: Rent vs. Buy: How to Know When Renting is the Best Option

Round Up:

Each week, I will pick a few awesome posts from the week before to share with you. That will mean additional exposure for your post and blog! Here some of my favorites from last week: Feel free to grab this 150 x 150 button and share on your page to let others know about this link up:

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

How to Regrow Fresh Produce

10 Easy, Inexpensive DIY Gifts

10 Resume Tips

 

Share the Wealth Sunday grab button

Link Up:


Renting vs. Buying: How to Know When Renting is the Best Option

Renting VS Buying | Money Savvy Living

If you are getting ready to graduate from high school or college and are thinking about moving out on your own, it can seem a bit overwhelming—and confusing. There is so much to consider: where you want to live, how much of a payment you can afford, will you have roommates, and what does all of the paperwork actually mean…

 

Let’s start at the beginning. The first thing that you need to look at when you are deciding to get your first place, is whether you should rent or buy. Surprisingly, the answer for most young adults, just leaving their parents’ home, is to rent. Why? Isn’t that just throwing money away, when it could be building equity in your own asset? Not necessarily. Here are 3 reasons, that renting may be your best option.

 

SAVE UP FOR A DOWN PAYMENT

In order to get a conventional mortgage, you can only finance 80% of the loan to value of the home you want to buy. If you are above that amount, you have to pay PMI (private mortgage insurance) or find a lender that will do a 2nd mortgage. Taking a few years to stash some cash away for a down payment on your home—and to cover closing costs—will be a huge benefit to your finances down the road.

 

BUILD YOUR CREDIT

If you are just moving out on your own, you may not have much of a credit history built up, even if you do have a credit card or two. Without much of a credit history, which lenders use to determine your ability to repay the mortgage loan, you may be considered a higher risk consumer, and end up with a higher rate. You can take steps, during the few years that you are saving up for a down payment, to build your credit history and increase your credit score.

  • Get a credit card—having a credit card that you use monthly and make a payment on monthly will start building your credit history in a positive way. While racking up a bunch of credit card debt is not good, utilizing a credit card to pay monthly expenses, then turning around and making a payment to the credit card company (on-time) every month, gives you a credit history because your credit card company, most likely, reports to at least one of the three major credit bureaus.
  • Pay your rent on-time every month—even though most rental owners or apartment complexes don’t report to the credit bureau, you actually can build a rental payment history by paying your rent each month by personal check from your bank. This will give you a paper trail of a rental payment history; and often, lenders will accept bank statements to prove this.
  • Finance a larger purchase, such as furniture or a car—even if you have the cash to buy a car or furnish your new apartment, taking out financing on a major purchase like this is a great way to show your ability to repay a loan and can build your credit.

 

DECIDE ON THE PERFECT LOCATION

If you are just graduating and moving out on your own, chances are you haven’t found your dream job. So unless you know for sure that you plan on living in the same area for at least five years, purchasing a home may not make financial sense anyways. When you purchase a home, there are closing costs involved, and typically, it takes at least a couple of years to recoup those transaction costs. The first few years of any mortgage that you take out is also the time during a loan that most of your payment is going toward the interest. So if you move within the first five years of taking out a mortgage loan, you may actually lose money if you sell your home.  In most short-term living situations you are probably better off to just rent, and then buy when you have settled on a location.

 

Share the Wealth Sunday {#3}

Share the Wealth Sunday | Money Savvy Living Do you have a great money saving idea—or want to hear what other people are doing to save money and still feel like they are living the good life—even on a budget? It’s that time of the week again: Share the Wealth Sunday Link Up time! I look forward to sharing (and learning!) many great money saving ideas again this week! Come visit us on social media and say hi! We’d love to get to know you more! It would be great if you would follow us too: Share the Wealth Sunday | Money Savvy Living

Hannah at eat, drink & save money | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram

Lisa at Fun Money Mom | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+

Gina (that’s me!) at Money Savvy Living | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram

 

Suggested guidelines:

  • Link to anything that can save people money: recipes, DIY, crafts, printables, tutorials, or any and all personal finance/budgeting ideas
  • Leave up to three links that you have not linked up within the last six months
  • Leave specific links to posts (not your entire blog)
  • Do not link to any Etsy shops
  • Grab the Share the Wealth Button for your blog
  • Have fun! Check out the other great money saving ideas…and share/interact with as many as you can!
  • Follow your hosts on Facebook and other social media—we want to stay in touch!

 

Feature:

Share the Wealth Sunday {3} | Money Savvy Living 

East, Drink & Save Money: DIY Beeswax and Soy Candles

Fun Money Finds: Trendy Totes

Money Savvy Living: The One Thing Every Mother Needs to Hear

Round Up:

Each week, I will pick a few awesome posts from the week before to share with you. That will mean additional exposure for your post and blog! Here some of my favorites from last week:     Feel free to grab this 150 x 150 button and share on your page to let others know about this link up:

5 Ways You Should NOT Pay Off Your Mortgage

5 Ways to Save on Birthday Parties

Financial Knowledge for Millennials

How to Decorate on a Tiny Budget

Share the Wealth Sunday grab button

Link Up:


My three-year-old still likes his bottle, and I’m ok with that

Toddlers and bottles | Money Savvy Living

 

“Every child is different.”

“We need to allow our children to be themselves.”

“Everyone parents a little bit differently and that’s ok.”

“You have to do what’s best for your family.”

 

These are some of the expressions that you will hear parents say. Everything in the parenting world is flowers and butterflies until you try to apply these expressions to certain aspects of parenting. By certain aspects of parenting, I mean: potty-training, giving your kid a pacifier, or how long you let them have a bottle.

 

By age one, you are supposed to put your kids on whole milk and take away a bottle. If you allow your kid to have a pacifier at age two you clearly don’t care about your child’s dental health. And if your kid isn’t fully potty-trained before they turn three, then you are just a lazy parent. Well, that’s what a lot of parental bystanders will say.

 

Why, all of a sudden, do we go from tolerant, loving people, encouraging parenting each child differently and doing what is best for the family, to a judging, accusatory society that attacks any parenting style that doesn’t align with the arbitrary standards of what we are supposed to do?

 

There are examples of this everywhere. But this one hits home for me:

 

Recently, Melissa Joan Hart posted a photo on Instagram of her napping toddler.  She captioned the picture: “Sometimes I have flashes where I can see my boys 20 years in the future. Especially when they do these grown men things like hands down the pants. PS someone needs a hair cut on his giant head”.  So what is wrong with this?  Well, the napping boy happened to have a pacifier in his mouth—and social media went crazy criticizing her parenting style for allowing her son to still have a pacifier.

 

Really, people don’t have anything better to do than criticize that??

 

Photo via Instagram: @melissajoanhart

Photo via Instagram: @melissajoanhart

 

And they probably won’t have anything better to do than criticize me either.

 

My son is 3½ years old. For the most part, he is potty trained (although, that just recently became the case, but that is a different story), but he still likes to drink his milk from a bottle. He is fine drinking water or juice from a sippy cup, a cup with a straw, or even an open cup (with a little help so he doesn’t spill). But when he comes home from preschool and says in that cute little voice, “Mom, I want a ba (his term for bottle) and snuggle.” I mean, seriously, who can say no to that? I don’t even want to say no. I actually sort of bask in the fact that my three-year-old wants to sit still for a few minutes and snuggle with me—because Heaven knows he is moving at the speed of lightning the rest of the day.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong, we have tried to get him to give up his bottles. For two days, all I offered him was milk in a sippy cup. He ate meals normally, refused to drink milk at all, and cried so much he worked himself into several naps both days—and that is highly unusual. We have offered prizes and sticker charts. We even went so far as to have Santa ask him to give up his bottles. Now you would think that most children would be mesmerized by Santa and be willing to do anything that he would ask. Not my little boy. He very adamantly told Santa “NO!”

 

 

While our tactic didn’t work, it was kind of funny to watch the scenario play out.

 

Should he still have a bottle? Probably not… but really, how is this harming him? Will it somehow cause physical or psychological damage to him that I have allowed him to drink milk from a bottle for this long? No. Does he need a bottle in public or does it restrict his everyday activity? No. Does he only want to drink milk from his bottles and neglect his other food, which he needs in order to get a well-balanced diet? No.

 

My three-year-old still likes his bottle and I'm ok with that | Money Savvy Living

 

So when I ask myself these questions and find that the answer is “No” to each one, I relax a little bit and have decided that it’s ok. Eventually, when he is ready—as we keep encouraging him to drink milk from a sippy (yes, I am one of those parents that thinks that learning is a process)—he will give up his bottles.

 

Share the Wealth Sunday Link Up {2}

Share the Wealth Sunday | Money Savvy Living

Do you have a great money saving idea—or want to hear what other people are doing to save money and still feel like they are living the good life—even on a budget?

It’s that time of the week again: Share the Wealth Sunday Link Up time! I look forward to sharing (and learning!) many great money saving ideas again this week!

Come visit us on social media and say hi! We’d love to get to know you more! It would be great if you would follow us too:

Share the Wealth Sunday | Money Savvy Living

Hannah at eat, drink & save money | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram

Lisa at Fun Money Mom | Facebook | Pintereset | Twitter | Google+

Gina (that’s me!) at Money Savvy Living | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram

 

Suggested guidelines:

  • Link to anything that can save people money: recipes, DIY, crafts, printables, tutorials, or any and all personal finance/budgeting ideas
  • Leave up to three links that you have not linked up within the last six months
  • Leave specific links to posts (not your entire blog)
  • Do not link to any Etsy shops
  • Grab the Share the Wealth Button for your blog
  • Have fun! Check out the other great money saving ideas…and share/interact with as many as you can!
  • Follow your hosts on social media—we want to stay in touch!

 

Feature:

Share The Wealth Sunday {#2} | Money Savvy Living 

East, Drink & Save Money: Paint Your Own Pottery: Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

Fun Money Finds: Remodel Monday: What Now?

Money Savvy Living: Mother’s Day Keepsake Journal

Round Up:

Each week, I will pick a few awesome posts from the week before to share with you. That will mean additional exposure for your post and blog!

Here some of my favorites from last week:

5 thrifty DIY projects that will save you money

Brand Name Children’s Clothing on a Discount Store Budget

Mom School: Apple Pie Playdough

Family Tradition: Saturday Morning Breakfast

 

Feel free to grab this 150 x 150 button and share on your page to let others know about this link up:

Share the Wealth Sunday grab button

Link Up:

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