Monthly Archives: June 2015

Live Rich—Even on a Budget

Live Rich even on a Budget | Money Savvy Living

 

Living on a budget doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice quality. When people think of sticking to a budget, they automatically think that means that they have to give up something or choose cheaper, inferior-quality products or services. This definitely doesn’t have to be the case. If you’re savvy enough, you might get away with merely using a budget calculator.  Many times, you can keep the same lifestyle or still choose the high-quality products, you just have to be a bit savvier about when and how you purchase these items. Take a look at these seven ways that you, too, can live the good life… on a budget.

 

Golf

Everyone wants a 7:00 am tee time on a Saturday morning, right? While the sun peeking through the trees and the dew still shimmering on the grass does make for a beautiful and tranquil golfing experience, you can get a similar experience—possibly at half price—by going later in the day. Ok, the dew will be gone, but if you opt for a later afternoon tee time, the prices are much cheaper for 18 holes. Save yourself even more money, and take an early evening spot for nine holes of golf. Weekends are also the busiest time, so prices drop even more if you are willing to golf on weekday afternoons or evenings. Many courses also offer discounts on golf packages for the season, which can save you some money as well. We always hear about what an expensive sport golf is—but it doesn’t have to be. Knowing the best time to book your round can give you the golfing experience that you are looking for, at a fraction of the cost.

 

Sporting Events

Next time you want to attend a professional baseball game, you may want to look at going to the minor league version instead. Not only can you avoid the huge crowds, expensive parking, and the mile hike to the stadium, but you will save at least 50% on ticket prices. It is no surprise that the food at the concession stands are much cheaper as well. But the nicest thing about attending these minor league games is that the stadiums are just as nice as the bigger stadiums, and every seat is close to the action! Same great ball park experience, at a budget-friendly price.

 

Designer Clothing

If the designer label means a lot to you, but you don’t want to spend the designer price, there are still ways in which you can buy these clothes without breaking the bank. Of course, you are probably familiar with websites, such as Overstock.com or Zulily for bargains on designer goods; however, there is also a new trend in the world of second-hand designer goods. Poshmark, is an app that allows women to buy—and sell—lightly used designer fashions, so you can pick up some good deals, but also sell some of your own used designer items and pick up a few bucks along the way.

 

Luxury Car

While the thought of slipping into a brand new car and driving it off the car lot is appealing, you may want to think twice before signing and driving because once that car pulls off the lot, it is going to depreciate in value. That is good news, though. It means that you can pick up a used luxury car for a lot less than a new one. Even though it will have a few miles on it, the luxury amenities— such as leather, heated seats, premium sound system, and pretty much automatic everything—are still going to be just as nice. You can check out Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book to price and compare new and used car prices. For instance, if you are looking at buying a brand new 2015 BMW 335i Sedan, the price is around $39,500, but a used 2008 BMW 335i Sedan, with approximately 60,000 miles on it, is about 50-60% less than a new one, ranging from $15,800-$18,800.

 

Vacations

Even if you are on a budget, you can still take a nice vacation. The caveat is that you have to know when to go on vacation. Timing really is everything when it comes to being able to get a luxury vacation at a frugal price. If you want to plan a beach vacation, don’t go during the busy season—summer. Pricing during the busy season will cost you double, if not triple, what the same room would be during the off-season. A good rule of thumb for traveling, in addition to a destination’s peak season, is that holiday and weekends are typically going to cost you a bit more. An added bonus of traveling during non-peak season or non-holidays is that you will avoid the huge crowds too. If you have a flexible travel schedule, then you may also be able to take advantage of last-minute deals too.  For more ideas on how to save money on your next vacation, check out my article, Frugal Vacation Planning: 10 Ways to Save Money

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

 

Fine Dining

Believe it or not, you can still eat out at the five-star restaurants—even if you are on a budget. Again, knowing when to go, makes all the difference. Many times, these restaurants are open for lunch, or even have early-bird or weeknight specials. The food tastes just as delicious, and you will experience the same up-scale atmosphere and excellent service, but by avoiding the evening dinner pricing and the weekend crowds, you can have your Vanilla Bean Crème Brulée—or cake—and eat it too.

 

Going to the Movies

If you went to the movies recently for date night, you know that the tickets and popcorn can really add up—and even more so, if you took the whole family. However, there is a way to still catch the newest Hollywood blockbusters without busting your budget: opt for the matinee or go during the weekdays—weekend and evening prices are always a bit higher. And if you don’t have the will-power to walk by the concession stand, and I know that I don’t—I mean, what is a movie without popcorn?!—share a larger size popcorn, rather than buying individual sizes and save a few dollars. And if you want to save even more money at the movies, Cinemark is running family-friendly kid specials all summer long for $1 per ticket, and even discounts on popcorn and drinks.

 

Share the Wealth Sunday Link Up {#10}

Share the Wealth Sunday | Money Savvy Livng

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 10 | Money Savvy Living 

East, Drink & Save Money: Best Time to Buy Anything

Fun Money Mom: Why I’m Going From Fashionista to Frugal Mom (and how you can too)

Money Savvy Living: 5 Ways for Kids to Earn Money this Summer

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:

How to Raise a Money Savvy Kid I cannot stress enough how important it is to teach your children these principles

How to Avoid the Scary Feeling of Running Out of Money  Very inspirational view of finances

Grilled Beer Cheese Fondue  YUM!  Enough said.

 

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

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5 Ways for Kids to Earn Money this Summer

5 Ways for Kids to Earn Money this Summer | Money Savvy Living

 

I like to think that I don’t just give my kids everything they ask for and want. My husband and I make a conscious effort to try to teach them the value of money and the feeling of accomplishment that they get when they have worked hard to earn money—and then saved up to buy something that they really wanted, like iPods.

 

Ok, I admit that I am a bit of a softy when it comes to buying them “small things” or even a package of overpriced Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreo cookies—you know, the packages that are like half the size of a regular package of Oreo’s but still the same price!

 

But for me, being able to tell the kids “no” was not always easy—especially during the toddler stage. Every mother knows that when you tell a toddler “no” in the middle of the store, tears start falling and the wailing ensues as though the child is actually in some sort of real pain. It’s a meltdown in the middle of the store. Shopping is over. Whatever you came to the store for needs to already be in the cart because it’s time to check out.

 

At least this gets better when they get older. Now, instead of the total meltdown, it’s just an over-exaggerated, dramatic whine, “We never get anything we want!” But at least now, they understand—money doesn’t just magically appear in daddy and mommy’s wallets—it has to be earned.

 

We are about one month into summer break already. So to keep the kiddos from getting restless, here are a few ways that they can stay busy, be productive, and even earn a little spending money:

 

Selling snacks at a garage sale is a great way for kids to earn a little extra cash.

Selling snacks at a garage sale is a great way for kids to earn a little extra cash.

 

Garage Sale

Every year, we have a big garage sale and the boys sort through toys that they want to get rid of and sell them for a few extra bucks. But their big ticket money at the garage sale comes from the snacks that they sell: water, pop, cookies, and chips. We buy it at Sam’s Club, figure out how much each item actually costs, and sell them for $0.50 each—then they figure out their profit. Earning money and a little math lesson too. Win-win.

 

Mow Lawns

Mowing lawns during the summer can be a great source of income for older kids or even teens. There may be many neighbors that are willing to pay your kid to mow the lawn each week. This can be a great service to elderly people or even for families that are busy with work or summer sports and just don’t have a lot of time to keep up with the lawn—your kids can make money and they would probably charge a lot less than an actual lawn service, so it is a savings for those utilizing the service too.  Another win-win.

 

Pull Weeds

If your kids aren’t big enough to handle the lawn mower, offering to pull weeds can be a nice little gig. A few years ago, two boys went around our neighborhood offering to pull weeds for whatever people were willing to pay. I have to say, I appreciate their ingenious summer business endeavor.  And they probably made a lot of money too.

 

Make Items to Sell Online

Of course, mom or dad will have to help with this one, but it you open an Etsy shop, have an account on Ebay, or other online store, you can sell, literally, anything. From hair bows to headbands, friendship bracelets to survival bracelets, to hand-painted mugs, the sky is the limit for creativity—and potential income.

 

Do Extra Chores

I am really not very big on just giving kids money to do stuff they are expected to do. Cleaning up toys, making the bed, helping with laundry—that is just stuff that I want my kids to do because it must be done and I want them to learn responsibility. However, maybe there are some “big” projects that you can give them to do in addition to their regular household chores: helping clean out the garage, painting the shed, or re-organizing the storage area of the basement.

Homemade strawberry jam– money savvy and healthier than what you buy at the store

Homemade strawberry jam... delicious and makes a wonderful gift idea

Homemade strawberry jam… delicious and makes a wonderful gift idea

 

There is nothing better than homemade jam on a hot, homemade biscuit! One of my favorite indulgences– and it brings back wonderful childhood memories of my grandmother who always made special, bite-sized biscuits for us kids. Of course, my mother also made delicious biscuits which we would top with butter and strawberry jam. YUM. YUMM. YUMMMM…

 

Besides the fact that homemade jam is sooo much tastier than store-bought, it also comes with other benefits: no articial flavors, additives, or high fructose corn syrup… and it will save you money!

 

Making homemade strawberry jam consists of just three things: strawberries, sugar, and fruit pectin. This is huge when you consider that regular jam that you buy off the shelf at the grocery store has high fructose corn syrup, with other additives for color or flavor. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take strawberries and sugar over high fructose corn syrup and additives any day.

 

To buy a jar of strawberry jam at the store with high frustose corn syrup and other additives, you will spend about $0.17-0.22/oz. If you are fortunate enough to find a brand or line of product that doesn’t have the high frustose corn syrup, you will definitely spend more. Much more, in fact, anywhere from $0.25-0.38/oz. Making it myself, the final cost was $0.14/oz! So to buy the kind of jam at the grocery store that I make at home, I would spend 2-3 times as much!!

Homemade Strawberry Jam

  • Servings: approx. 28 ounces
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

3 cups crushed strawberries (2 pounds whole strawberries)
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp of fruit pectin

*optional*
1 tsp lemon juice
small pat of butter (I always put a little butter in to cut down on the foam)

  • Only use ripe berries at their peak
  • Wash strawberries, remove tops/stems
  • Crush with a potato masher. Pour into pan
  • Mix about 1/4 c sugar with the fruit pectin, add to strawberries
  • Bring to rolling boil
  • Stir in remaining sugar, bring to full rolling boil stirring constantly for 1 minute
  • Remove from heat, skim off foam
  • Pour into prepared jars (clean and dry)
  • Wipe away any excess from rim, place canning lid and ring on jar

**Jams are the only thing that I will can without using a canner or placing in boiling water. At this point, I invert for about 20 minutes. Place jars upright and check to be sure the lid is completely sealed (should not be springy) for storage.

 

But strawberry jam isn’t the only great summertime recipe, featuring this juicy, delicious fruit.  Here are some other great recipes for strawberries:

Best & Easiest Strawberry Pie Recipe / My Creative Days

strawberry pie

Strawberry Cheesecake in a Cup / Tastefully Frugal

Strawberry Cheesecake-In-Cup

Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles / Tastefully Frugal

Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles

Lemonberry Slush / Tastefully Frugal

Strawberry Lemon Berry Slush HERO

Share the Wealth Sunday Link Up {#9}

Share the Wealth Sunday | Money Savvy Livng

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 9 | Money Savvy Living 

East, Drink & Save Money: 20 Ways to Celebrate the Fourth of July on a Budget

Fun Money Mom: How to Pack Like a Champ for Your Big Move

Money Savvy Living: Major Credit Card Changes Coming, October 2015

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 Things You Shouldn’t Say to Someone that is Paying off Debt  Getting debt-free does take a lot of hard work and sacrifice, and in this age of buy now, pay later, it is quite an accomplishment!

Budgeting Helps Couples Avoid Conflict  Talk about how you want to spend money as a couple, not with just individual interests in mind… great advice.

Copycat Starbuck’s Strawberry Frappuccino  Save a few bucks and make your own at home!

It’s Your Life Natural Living Magazine  Lots of great tips and advice!

 

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

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Major Credit Card Changes are Coming, October 2015

Major Credit Card Changes Coming | Money Savvy Living

Major changes are coming to a store—and wallet—near you this fall.

It is something that you do several times a week and probably don’t even think about it. You go to the store and upon paying for your goods, swipe your credit card and then sign at the terminal. But soon, this will be a thing of the past.

 

Starting in October 2015, a big change-over is coming to stores nationwide—and to your very own wallet. Swipe-and-sign credit card terminals will be replaced with new terminals, chip-and-PIN, which you will insert your credit card into for a chip to provide information and can enter a PIN for verification—as opposed to swiping the magnetic strip and signing. You are probably already familiar with this process if you have ever used your bank card at the ATM: insert your card and enter your PIN number to complete the transaction.

 

So why are credit card companies making this widespread switch?

There are a couple of benefits to switching to this new chip-and-PIN system, known as EMV:

 

Operates Offline—while being able to access information from both credit card and bank to authorize an expedient transaction is not a problem in the U.S. as it has been in other parts of the world, it does offer a way to process the transaction independent of this type of communication.

Digital Seal

A transaction-unique digital signature in the chip proves its authenticity in an offline location and averts criminals from using fraudulent cards 

 

Reduce Fraud—many markets around the world have already switched to this system in order to reduce fraud, which has actually had the effect of rising fraud here in the U.S. Whether being used as EMV Contact or Contactless, the payment chip cards hold an embedded microchip, which is a type of small computer that provides robust security features and other capabilities not possible with magnetic stripe cards.

EMV Contact

You may have noticed a metallic square on the front of some of your current credit cards; this is used for an EMV contact card is known as the card’s contact plate. A microchip is embedded in a small cavity directly behind the contact plate, protected by a thin resin capsule. When inserted into a card acceptance device, such as a terminal, the contact plate allows the chip to connect to a reader. This connection enables the chip to get power from and exchange data with the terminal.

EMV Contactless

Contactless EMV works by holding a contactless, chip-enabled payment device, such as a credit card or smartphone, within proximity of a contactless-capable reader. The reader activates the chip embedded in the card and allows exchange of data via radio frequency without the payment device ever leaving the customer’s possession.

Major Credit Card Changes | Money Savvy Livng 

What is important about the October 2015 deadline?

For the consumer, there is not really anything important about the October 2015 deadline, except for the fact that the process will change and you will probably receive new credit cards in the mail by that time. At least initially, consumers will still be able to sign for purchases if your bank has not chosen to issue cards that require PINs because PINs will not be required as of October 2015.

 

The Liability Shift

 

Part of the October 2015 deadline in our roadmap is what’s known as the ‘liability shift.’ Whenever card fraud happens, we need to determine who is liable for the costs. When the liability shift happens, what will change is that if there is an incidence of card fraud, whichever party has the lesser technology will bear the liability.

 

If a merchant is still using the old system, they can still run a transaction, using a swipe and a signature; however, they will be liable for any fraudulent transactions if the customer has received and is using a chip card. And vice versa—if the merchant has a new terminal, but the bank hasn’t issued a chip-and-PIN card to the customer, the bank would be liable.

 

The main purpose of a liability shift is not merely to shift liability around the market. Its purpose is to provide incentive to create coordination in the market, so you have issuers and merchants investing in the migration at the same time. In theory, fraud is not necessarily shifting around within the system, but being driven out of the system.

 

Some merchants already have the new terminals in place, so be on the lookout over the next few months for these subtle, yet major, changes in the way in which you can pay for goods and services.

Share the Wealth Sunday Link Up {#8}

Share the Wealth Sunday | Money Savvy Livng

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 #8 | Money Savvy Living

East, Drink & Save Money: How to Avoid the Pink Tax

Fun Money Mom: Remodel Part 9: The (First) Final Reveal

Money Savvy Living: Ultimate Guide to Summer Fun: Discounts for 250+ Attractions Nationwide

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:

How to Save Money this Summer You can have a lot of fun with the kids this summer– and don’t have to spend a lot of money to do it!

Make Ornaments with Graduation Tassels Very timely craft of this time of year: take your graduate’s tassel and up-cycle it into an ornament.  Great keepsake!

Chicken Parmesan Tenderloins with  Roasted Garlic Spaghetti I love pasta dishes because they are a great way to stretch your grocery budget.

3 Steps I Followed to Smash My Student Loan Debt If you have student loans (or any other large, overwhelming debt), this is a must-read.

What Consumers Can Do to Offset the Rising Cost of Eggs If you have been watching the news and heard about food prices rising, you will want to find out more about how to store this perishable product.

12 Sites with Great Budget Travel Tips Planning a vacation?  You may want to read this article first– it may save you some money!

You Won’t be Waffling Over This! Bison Meat Waffles with Egg Yolk Syrup… so unique you have to at least read about it!

 

 

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

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Ultimate Guide to Summer Fun: Discounts for 250+ Attractions Nationwide

Summer Fun Discounts 2015 | Money Savvy Living

If you are looking for some summer fun that the entire family can enjoy, check out this list of over 250 attractions, theme parks, and water parks offering special discounts in over 35 states nationwide.  As a U.S. Family Guide blog member, my readers can enjoy savings by clicking on the links and printing coupons or codes to save money at each of the attractions below:

2015 Theme Park, Waterpark and Summer Attraction

 

 

Printable Coupons and Promo Codes, by state:
Alabama

USA Triathlon 2015 Splash & Dash

 

Arizona

AZ Air Time Scottsdale

Kiwanis Park Recreation Center

Arizona Museum for Youth

SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium

Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium

INSPIRE Entertainment

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center – Tucson

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center – Phoenix

Carrie Curran Art Studios

Arizona Rafting

 

California

California’s Great America

Gilroy Gardens

Hollywood Wax Museum

Madame Tussauds Hollywood

Newport Landing Whale Watching

Pirate’s Dinner Adventure

Raging Waters

Waterworld California

Mulligan Family Fun Center

Guinness World Records Museum

Bladium Sports & Fitness Club

BounceU – Orange

Downtown LA Walking Tours

Fillmore & Western Railway

 

Colorado

Copper Mountain Resort Association

Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park

Water World

Pirates Cove

The Splash at Fossil Trace

Boondocks Fun Center

Dinosaur Resource Center

Children’s Museum of Denver

Butterfly Pavilion

Downtown Aquarium

Evolve Action Sports Park

A+ Athletics

Adventure Golf and Raceway

RaftColorado.net

Earth Treks Climbing Center

Broken Tee Golf Course

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

American Paintball Coliseum

Grand Adventures

SK Horses

Putter’s Pride Mini Golf

FatCats Bowling Centers

Putting Edge Glow-in-the-Dark Mini Golf & Arcade

Snow Mountain Ranch

Dart Warz

Unser Karting & Events

Bladium Sports & Fitness Club

K1 Speed

Colorado Sports Hall of Fame

Denver Firefighters Museum

Blitz Paintball

Silverthorne Recreation Center

Friends of Dinosaur Ridge

Gateway Park Fun Center

 

Connecticut

Flight Trampoline Park

My Gym Enfield

My Gym Glastonbury

My Gym of West Hartford

Lakeside Pottery Ceramic School and Studio

 

Florida

Adventure Landing

Adventure Landing & Shipwreck Island Waterpark

Amazing Urban Scavenger Hunt

Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park

Bluefoot Pirate Adventures

Everglades Holiday Park

GameTime

Putting Edge Glow in the Dark Mini Golf

Sky Zone Fort Lauderdale

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

 

Georgia

Amazing Urban Scavenger Hunt

Lane Southern Orchards

LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Monster Mini Golf

Wild Adventures Theme Park

Georgia Renaissance Festival

Smoke Rise Summer Camp

 

Hawaii

Hawaii Game Truck

My Gym Kailua

 

Idaho

FatCats Bowling Centers

 

Illinois

Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm

Go Bananas LLC

Jump America Indoor Trampoline Park

Odyssey Fun World

Pump It Up Chicago

Putting Edge Glow in the Dark Mini Golf

Safari Land

Discovery Center Museum

Exploration Station

My Gym Aurora

My Gym Buffalo Grove

My Gym Chicago

My Gym River Forest

 

Iowa

Monkey Joe’s Of Des Moines

 

Kansas

All Star Adventures

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Kansas City

SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center Overland Park

Wichita Riding Academy

 

Kentucky

Gattitown Lexington

 

Louisiana

Amazing Urban Scavenger Hunt

Steamboat Natchez

 

Maryland

Earth Treks Climbing Center

Madame Tussauds Washington, D.C.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

My Gym Bethesda

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center of Timonium

My Gym Owings Mills

 

Massachusetts

Amazing Urban Scavenger Hunt

Classic Harbor Line – Boston

On Location Tours

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center

Rock Spot Climbing

 

Michigan

Bavarian Inn Lodge

Berlin Raceway

High Velocity Sports

Putting Edge Glow-in-the-Dark Mini Golf & Arcade

 

Missouri

Castle of Chaos

Hollywood Wax Museum

SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium

The Bretts

The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum

America’s Incredible Pizza Company – St. Louis

America’s Incredible Pizza Company – Springfield

Cool Crest Family Entertainment Center

Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Kansas City

Putting Edge Glow in the Dark Mini Golf

Shoot for the Stars Mini-Golf

World’s Largest Toy Museum & Attraction

The Little Gym of Fenton

Mad Science of St. Louis

 

Montana

Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center

 

Nebraska

My Gym Childrens Fitness Center – Lincoln

 

Nevada

Amazing Urban Scavenger Hunt

Wet’n’Wild Las Vegas

BounceU – Henderson

 $5 Off Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus – XTREME

 

New Hampshire

Liquid Planet Water Park And Zip Lines

Water Country

 

New Jersey

Wild West City

International Sports Skating & Fun Centre & Deptford Skating & Fun Center

Pump It Up – Roselle Park

Pump It Up – Freehold

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center – Glen Rock

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center – Westfield

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center – Manalapan

 

New Mexico

Tours of Old Town

 

New York

Adventure Landing – Greece

Adventure Landing – Tonawanda

Adventure Speedway

Amazing Urban Scavenger Hunt

Classic Harbor Line

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester

Madame Tussauds New York

On Location Tours

The Ride

New York Baby Show

Bounce Magic

Gamin Ride

My Gym Children’s Fitness – Stony Brook

The Little Gym of Kingston

 

North Carolina

Adventure Landing – Gastonia

Adventure Landing – Winston Salem

Adventure Landing – Raleigh

Adventure Landing – Pineville

 

Ohio

Magic Mountain Fun Centers – Polaris

Magic Mountain Fun Centers – East

The Beach Waterpark

Ohio Renaissance Festival

Akron Fossils & Science Center

Family Karate

 

Oklahoma

Andy Alligator’s Water Park

America’s Incredible Pizza Company

Bouncin Craze

Bouncin Craze II

 

Oregon

USA Triathlon 2015 Splash & Dash

 

Pennsylvania

Flight Trampoline Park

Fun Slides Carpet Skatepark

Monster Mini Golf

Sunset Mini Golf

Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway

Slide The City

BounceU – Exton

BounceU – Warrendale

Snapology Discovery Center – South Hills

Snapology of East Pittsburgh

Gymkhana Gymnastics

Soccer Shots

The Valley Skating Center

Color Me Mine Pottery Studio

 

Rhode Island

Rock Spot Climbing

 

South Carolina

Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors

Hollywood Wax Museum

Outbreak

Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry

Hollywild Animal Park

My Gym Northeast Columbia

 

Tennessee

Castle of Chaos

Guinness World Records Museum

Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors

Hollywood Wax Museum

Ripley’s 5D Moving Theater

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Odditorium

Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini-Golf

Ripley’s Haunted Adventure

Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze

Ripley’s Old MacDonald’s Farm Mini-Golf

Dickson Stampede Days Rodeo

America’s Incredible Pizza Company

 

Texas

Adventure Landing

Amazing Urban Scavenger Hunt

Cascade Caverns

LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Moody Gardens

Natural Bridge Caverns

Schlitterbahn

SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium

Shore Club Volente Beach

Splashtown San Antonio

Trinity Forest Adventure Park

Woodlawn Theatre

Amazing Jake’s Plano

America’s Incredible Pizza Company

Gatti’s Pizza

Gattitown

Inflatable Wonderland

Nickelrama Arcade

Drama Kids International

Olympian Fencing Club

 

Utah

Amazing Urban Scavenger Hunt

FatCats Bowling Centers – Salt Lake City

FatCats Bowling Centers – Ogden

FatCats Bowling Centers – Provo

This Is The Place Heritage Park

Boondocks Fun Center

Discovery Gateway: The Children’s Museum of Utah

My Gym Children’s Fitness Center – Layton

Adrift Adventures

 

Virginia

Flight Trampoline Park

My Gym of Hampton Roads

Mad Science of Hampton Roads

 

Washington

Amazing Urban Scavenger Hunt

 

West Virginia

West Virginia Mountain Rail Adventures

 

Wisconsin

Blue Harbor Resort & Spa

Door County Trolley

Egg Harbor Fun Park

Gravity Trails

Badger Bouncers

Sky Zone Milwaukee

Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley

 

Share the Wealth Sunday Link Up {#7}

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 #7 | Money Savvy Living

East, Drink & Save Money: Why Women Overspend on Beauty Products

Fun Money Finds: Man Math (Or How to Explain Your Shopping Trip to Your Husband)

Money Savvy Living: Get Your Home Ready to Sell: 3 Simple Steps

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:

How to Save Money When You are Living Paycheck to Paycheck

How to Reduce Your Spending

Get-out-of-Debt Budget

20 Summer Must-Do Family Activities

 

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:


Get Your Home Ready To Sell In 3 Simple Steps

Get Your Home Ready to Sell | Money Savvy LivingAs a licensed Realtor, I’m constantly giving advice to clients about how to best prepare their homes for showings. My recommendations don’t just come as part of my profession, but are based on my own experience as a seller. You see, over the last 14 years, my husband and I have been in the position of seller nine times. Seriously, NINE times! Each time we market our home, we follow these simple steps:

 

Declutter, Declutter, Declutter.

This can be anything from rooms overstuffed with bulky furniture, kitchen counters covered with appliances, to closets overflowing. All of these things distract from your home’s selling features. Since you will have to pack everything eventually anyways, clearing out the things that you can now, will make moving that much easier. When you pack, you will have to go through literally every item in your home. If you love it or regularly use it—keep it. If not, this is the perfect time to part with those things you really don’t need: sell items online, have a garage sale or donate charity.

The goal is to make each room feel spacious and functional. It can be a good investment to rent a storage unit for the few months your home will be on the market. It will provide a place to keep all those items that you don’t want to part with, but can’t stay at the home during showings.

 

Take Care of Deferred Maintenance

Though your home might not be brand new, it will be the buyer’s “new” home. If you want top-dollar you have to make buyers feel like they are walking into a move-in-ready home. On the other hand, if your home is full of half-finished projects or has several fixes that need to be made, you are literally leaving money on the table. Spend the time to freshen up paint and make needed repairs. Don’t forget the curb appeal—spruce up the landscaping, put down new mulch, and pressure was the exterior if needed.

 

Make Your Home Shine

Now that your home is decluttered and all of your fixes have been made, there is one final step—cleaning. This step can feel especially hard if you have children. My kids can take a beautiful, show-ready home and have it looking like a tornado came through within minutes! And since keeping the kids out of the house constantly isn’t an option, I had come up with a system to get the house ready.

  • Before your home hits the market deep-clean: wash windows, dust the woodwork, clean the carpets, scrub the bathrooms, clean the garage…you get the idea. This will make it so much easier to go through the house and tidy up quickly before showings. If the major cleaning is done it takes little effort to keep things in order.
  • Before each showing, make a “clean sweep” through each room: open the curtains/blinds, turn on the lights, and make sure nothing was overlooked.

There are a couple of commonly heard “tips” missing from my list. I don’t recommend that clients repaint their home in neutral or completely depersonalize. I think that homes void of color and personality tend to feel cold and uninviting. I’ve never removed my wedding photos from the wall or taken down pictures of my children. In fact, I advise my clients to keep these personal touches, as well as add some colorful pillows, throws, and flowers prior to showings.

Alison

 

Alison is a Licensed Realtor, Recipient of the OAR Award of Achievement, and President’s Sales Club 2013 & 2014.

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