Monthly Archives: September 2015

Apple Crisp: the Perfect Autumn Dessert

Apple Crisp | Money Savvy Living

 

 

Autumn has only been here a few days, per the calendar, but I have been in fall-mode for about a month now. When the kids go back to school, summer is over for me. That is my (un)official start of fall—and they have been back in school since mid-August.
With my early welcoming of autumn, I planted mums a few weeks ago and really felt like I was rushing the season change… until I was in Kohl’s a few weeks ago and saw a few Christmas displays out already, then they started popping up at Target and Walmart too… I decided I may actually be a bit late in starting my celebration of fall… As much as I love, Love, LOVE Christmas, I am not willing to by-pass autumn and all the great things that go along with it.
Fall is quite possibly my favorite season of the year. I enjoy the apple picking, crisp mornings, roasting marshmallows over the fire pit, the beautiful fall canvas of changing colors, hayrides, watching the kids select the perfect pumpkins for Halloween…

 

 

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The apple picking this fall was just a little bit extra special to me because the apples were from our own tree! Yes, the two little trees that we planted nearly 10 years ago are finally giving us some good apples. Well, one tree did. We bought two trees because one is the cross-pollinator for the other, so I am pretty sure that we would need another tree to cross-pollinate, but I honestly don’t even remember what variety of apple trees we bought. I am no expert in this area. I have no idea how long it should take for apple trees to bear fruit, but ours finally did, and I am excited!
The natural thing to do when you pick a bunch of apples off the trees that you have been growing for years is to make an apple crisp…so I did. Plus, I figured it would make my hubby happy.

Harvest Apple Crisp

Harvest Apple Crisp

Ingredients

  • 5-6 apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 c. oatmeal
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • ¾ stick softened butter

Instructions

  1. Filling: Mix the dry ingredients together and toss the diced apples in the flour/cinnamon/sugar mixture.
  2. Spread out in the bottom of your prepared 13×9 pan (spray the bottom of the pan with a bit of non-stick spray)
  3. Crumb Topping: In the same bowl, combine flour, oatmeal, sugar, and butter. I find it best to just go ahead and get my hands in and mix it together and then crumble on top of the apples. While you may be tempted, like I am, to eat this crumb topping mixture raw, I assure you that it is even more delicious when it has baked on top of the apples!
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
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http://moneysavvyliving.com/2015/09/28/apple-crisp-the-perfect-autumn-dessert/

This apple crisp is delicious when served warm (with ice cream!) or at room temperature.

 

Apple Crisp recipe | Money Savvy Living
You probably figured out that this literally cost me nothing to make. The apples were free since I grew them myself and only had the cost of the other ingredients, which I already had in my cabinet. Even if you buy the apples, this is an inexpensive, delightful dessert that really captures the deliciousness of the season.
ENJOY!

Share the Wealth Sunday Link Up {#23}

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)
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Feature:

Share the Wealth Sunday 23 | Money Savvy Living

East, Drink & Save Money: Cook Oatmeal in Your Coffee Maker

Fun Money Mom: 21 Things You Need to Buy at the Dollar Stores

Money Savvy Living: Raising a Confident Child

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:

10 Things You Shouldn’t Buy When You are Struggling Financially  If you want to get out of debt, it is necessary to make some cut-backs.

How to Pay Lower PayPal Fees  Good to know…

7 Low-Cost Amazing Fun Fall Date Ideas  It’s not about what you do, but who you are with.

10 DIY Projects Under $10  Some fun and inexpensive DIY projects to brighten up your home.

Ultimate Homeschool Freedom Giveaway  Enter to win $1500 all-expenses-paid family trip to the Freedom 2015 Conference (you can still enter through September 30)!

 

 

 

 

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Raising a Confident Child

 

Raising a Confident Child | Money Savvy Living

 

Do you ever wonder how you will ever possibly be able to teach your child everything that they need to know in order to successfully make it through life?  I can’t be the only one, overwhelmed at times, by this thought, can I? No… I’m sure you’ve thought this. I know that you have. Because, like me, you want the very best for your child.

 

So, how do we raise kids in a way that will enable them to make good decisions in life; to find their own path to success; to believe in themselves and their abilities; to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are special and wonderful and loved by God and by their family; to be kind and loving to others without being taken advantage of? Confidence. Instilling your child with confidence will help them to not only stand up for themselves to a bully on the playground at school now, but also enable them to make decisions with certainty and self-assurance throughout their lives. Here are a few ways to help build confidence in your children that any parent can do:

 

Offer praise more than punishment

While it may seem obvious that, as parents, we should positively reinforce the behaviors that we want to encourage, it is so easy to fall into the negative reinforcement trap. Some days, it feels like all I do is tell my kids “no.”

“Can I have ice cream?” It’s before dinner… “NO.”

“Can I dive into the pool?” It’s 4-feet deep… “NO.”

“Can I do flips on the trampoline?” You could fall and break your arm (or neck)… “NO.”

No, no, no… much more prevalent in my vocabulary than it should be. I really do try to focus on the good, but I feel that it only sometimes barely equals that amount of times they are hearing “no…. stop that….don’t do that…” So to counterbalance all of the no’s or negative reinforcements that they hear, it is important to intentionally set out to look for ways to offer praise:

“Thank you for hanging up your laundry.”

“Good job cleaning up your toys.”

“You are a good big brother, thank you for helping your little brother with ________________.”

“Awesome job sharing the Wii.”

Each time we offer a word of praise to our children, their self-worth is built up. They hear and understand that we value them—they know they are important to us. When a child hears their parent praising them for something, confidence is reinforced within them.

 

Allow your child to learn from mistakes

There is a fine line here between a hands-off parenting style and an actively-involved parenting style that allows children to gain independence through experience and choice. The hands-off parent simply allows their child to do anything and offers very little guidance before, during, or after a mistake is made. The actively involved parent offers advice and encourages the child to make proper decisions, without enforcing what the child should do.

This can be very hard to do. We want everything to be perfect for our kids. We want them to not have to make the mistakes that we made. However, if our children grow up never having to make a decision and then realize the consequences that go along with that decision, we really aren’t doing them any favors. Allowing children the freedom to make decisions still requires an actively involved parent.

When we allow our children to make mistakes and learn from failures, we teach them that they aren’t perfect—and that is okay. Some things require hard work and practice. Life still goes on. You learn what you can from your mistakes and move forward, armed with the knowledge gained from the experience. Taking the time to talk about the situation and how your child could make a different choice in the future will build their confidence for future decision making, knowing you are there to support them.

 

Don’t Overschedule Your Child  

While your child may want to be involved in every sport, club, workshop, or after-school activity that is offered, you will do your child a favor to limit the amount of extra-curricular activities in which they participate. Or maybe your child doesn’t want to do any of these things, but would rather come home and play video games, so you, as the parent, have set a strict agenda of activities for your child of the things that you want them to do, including music lessons (for example) that you find yourself having to fight with your child about and feel like you drag your child to… lest your child end up a couch potato. Either way, having your child involved in activities is great, but overscheduling your child is not.

Things can be hectic—at times, too hectic. Sometimes, we just need to take a step back and slow down. If we are too busy to eat meals together, something needs to change. In the attempt to give our children exposure to different experiences, opportunities, and activities, we still want to maintain a healthy balance and make sure that we are spending time together. When we allow our children, or ourselves, to be overscheduled, relationships can suffer, academic achievement can suffer, even health and well-being can suffer.

As children grow up, allow them to try new sports and activities, but limit the amount of activities in which they participate at any given time. Help to lead and guide them based on interest and ability. But most importantly, take the time to get to know your child as they grow up, don’t just simply take on the role of chauffer.

Leading and guiding our children in a way in which they can succeed will build up confidence. Allowing them to over-extend themselves and not be able to commit the proper amount of time to school or activities can end up hurting self-esteem.

 

Parenting is hard. There is no guide to tell you what to do in every situation. Or how best to handle each child’s unique personality. Or what the long-term effects will be of a particular decision. There is no, one right way to raise a child.  Being there for your child, and simply offering a loving environment, will go a long way in giving your child the foundation which they will need to succeed in life.

“…do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”—Ephesians 6:4

 

Domestic Violence Being Joked About in Fourth Grade Curriculum

Lab Safety? | Money Savvy Living

 

This is not a topic that I would have even thought to write about on my own. It wouldn’t have even crossed my mind. Until, I was helping my son review for this science test a few days ago. I mean, why would I have even had reason to believe anything about domestic violence would show up in a “Thinking Like A 4th Grade Scientist” packet? Well, it did.

 

There were a couple of page on Lab Safety. Makes sense. Teach the kids to be safe when conducting experiments in the lab. Most of the rules and explanations sounded fine, until we get to “Horseplay out.” Here’s the entire excerpt of that section:

 

“Horseplay can lead to chemical spills, accidental fires, broken containers, and damaged equipment. Never throw anything to another person; be careful where you put your hands and arms; and no wrestling, punching, or shoving in the lab. Save that for when you get older and start dating.”

 

Did you catch that? “Save that for when you get older and start dating.”

 

Exactly what are they supposed to save for when they get older and start dating? Wrestling? Is this a lewd comment about making-out or some other sort of hanky-panky? Punching or shoving? Why would anyone need to save punching and shoving for dating?? Punching and shoving within a relationship is not a joke, it’s not flirtatious—it’s abuse. And why is the mention of dating even necessary when talking about lab safety for 4th grade science class anyways?

 

At best, this sentence is meant to be a joke—a very bad and inappropriate joke. At worst, it is trying to somehow justify physical violence within a relationship as acceptable. Either way, no student (not even in high school) should be exposed to this type of rhetoric, especially, not a child as young as fourth grade.

 

Why am I making such a big deal of this? It’s only one, little sentence, right? Well, the things we say to kids matter. They remember it. They are like little sponges, soaking up information about what we, as adults, say and do. So if they bring home something from school (a trusted source) that nonchalantly jokes about physical violence within a relationship—“when you get older and start dating”—then we are sending a message to our kids that it’s not a big deal, probably even acceptable, and should even be expected. That’s not the message that I want to send to my children.

 

Don’t get the wrong idea here. I am NOT blaming the school or my son’s teacher. As a teacher myself, I understand that it is totally possible and reasonable to expect that a teacher, or the Board of Education who probably approved the curriculum, has NOT read every single sentence of every textbook or supplemental material packet that is going to be used. They are looking at an overview of the curriculum and trusting that the publisher has taken their due diligence within the writing and printing of materials. It is not until teachers actually start teaching from a particular series that they can fully know how the implementation of that material is working.

 

We are very fortunate to be in a great district and when I contacted the teacher, he was very understanding and said he didn’t know that sentence was in there until the packets had already gone home and would remove that sentence for future use. I truly couldn’t have asked for a better resolution in this situation.

 

But I still had to think, what if my son’s teacher wasn’t so understanding and willing to resolve this issue immediately? What if I hadn’t read through my son’s curriculum to find it in the first place? I’m sure there are many districts across the country that do actually use controversial curriculum and probably don’t even care the message it sends to kids. How many other publishers, like the Wild Goose Company—the creator of this ridiculousness—are slipping in controversial remarks or weaving inappropriate undertones into curriculum that are slowly and methodically ingrained into our children as core beliefs?

 

I don’t know if the teacher would have caught it. I don’t know if other parents caught it. What I do know is that we have the right, and responsibility, as parents to speak up for what we want our kids to be taught, and when something doesn’t seem right, say something.

As parents, be involved in what your children are learning. Be an active participant in their education.

Share the Wealth Sunday Link Up {#22}

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
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Feature:

Share the Wealth Sunday 22 | Money Savvy Living 

East, Drink & Save Money: 3 Reasons We Aren’t Aiming to be Debt Free (Right Now)

Fun Money Mom: 21 of the Best Grilling Recipes for Your Backyard Cookout

Money Savvy Living: 10 Reasons Why the Toddler Years are the Best (& Worst) Years of Your Life as a Parent

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 Build a Mini Kid’s Library for Cheap  You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get quality books for your child.

10 Things to do with Over Ripe Fruits and Veggies  No, you don’t have to throw them away (and your hard-earned money with it).  Great ideas!

30 Cheap, Fun Things to do This Fall  Fun doesn’t have to be expensive…

5 Ways to be More Sustainable with Fashion & Style  Looking like a million bucks, doesn’t mean you have to actually spend a million bucks…

 

 

 

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Share the Wealth Sunday Link Up {#21}

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 21 | Money Savvy Living 

East, Drink & Save Money: Too Early for Pumpkin Spiced Muffins?

Fun Money Mom: Lasagna Cups: A Fun Twist on the Classic Recipe

Money Savvy Living: The Payday Savings Plan

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:

7 Reasons Why You are Always Broke  Don’t feel like you have enough money?  One of these 7 reasons may be why.

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins  Homemade is always a money saver, right?  And these look absolutely delicious!  A must-try this fall!

25 of the Greatest, Budget-Friendly Family Activities for Fall  It’s a great time of year!  Make sure to include some of this frugal family fun!

13 Foods Not to Waste Your Money On  Do you buy these foods?  Sometimes the convenience comes at a price…

 

 

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10 Reasons Why the Toddler Years are the Best (& Worst) Years of Your Life as a Parent

10 Reasons the Toddlers Years are the Best | Money Savvy Living

 

As a new parent, things seem overwhelming. You have to change the way that you do EVERYTHING. You can no longer just roll out of bed and be ready to leave the house within 20 minutes. You no longer can go where you want, when you want. You no longer leave the house without a huge bag of stuff for the baby that will include anything that you could possibly ever need while not at home.

 

You probably don’t even recognize your life anymore—but in a good way.

 

Just wait a couple of years. Things change again. Your child hits their toddler years.

 

Yes, the toddler years come with some frustration and challenges. However, now that my third child is almost done with his toddler years and starting preschool, I find myself longing for the days when my kids were younger and all I had to worry about was the toddler stuff.

 

As a parent, those are the best—(and worst)—years of your life. Here’s why:

  1. You get special snuggle and cuddle time with your toddler at bedtime. (Your child will not fall asleep unless you are right. there. by. them. Don’t move because they will wake up and you will have to start the process all over again.)
  2. Your child wants to be with you all the time. (Going to the bathroom by yourself is not even possible anymore.)
  3. Your toddler loves to learn and explore. (Your house is a constant mess for a few years—don’t even bother trying to keep it clean. It. Won’t. Happen.)
  4. Reading books with your toddler is a daily occurrence. (It is inevitable that your child will decide that he or she likes ONE specific book and you will have to read it over, and over, and over, and over… again. You will probably memorize this book and will be able to recite it word for word without even looking at it.)
  5. Your child is gaining independence and can get dressed by themselves. (Your child will end up wearing her favorite pajamas to the grocery store, or insist on wearing clothes that don’t match, but you will allow it because you don’t want to deal with the inevitable meltdown that would ensue otherwise.)
  6. Toddlers LOVE to “help out” around the house. (It will now take you twice as long to do laundry and cook a meal because you have a “helper” who really doesn’t help, but actually makes more messes along the way for you to clean up.)
  7. Toddlers are carefree, happy, and inquisitive. (You must watch your child like a hawk because if you don’t, they will be running out into traffic, playing with sharp objects, or trying to stick something into electrical outlets before you know it. You do not get to rest until you fall asleep at night—maybe not even then.)
  8. Your child receives ample toys from everyone for their birthday and Christmas. (Your house has been taken over with kid stuff—it is pretty much unrecognizable to the way your house used to look before you had kids.)
  9. Grocery shopping and dining out are an adventure with a toddler. (You will learn how to complete your grocery shopping within 15 minutes of entering the store because, after that, it all falls apart. Eating out…well, let’s just say that you had better bring something to entertain your little one and hope that the restaurant is not busy.)
  10. Your little one puts his arms around your neck and says, “I wuv you, Mommy”—multiple times a day. (Sometimes you come to find out that he has made a huge mess and is just trying to charm you, but most of the time, he does it just because)….

 

And you realize that your life is just about perfect with these sweet little people, that God has entrusted you to raise, in it.

 

Even through the frustrating and challenging days, take the time to slow down and enjoy what you will surely look back on as some of the best days of your life.

The Payday Savings Plan

Payday Savings Plan  | Money Savvy Living

 

It’s a simple concept: pay yourself when you get paid.

 

Instead of just budgeting to pay bills, make savings a part of your monthly budget. If savings aren’t a part of your monthly budget, then the chances of you actually setting money aside each month are greatly diminished.

 

Realistically, most of us spend based on what we see in our wallets or as our checking account balance. After all your bills are paid, if you have $500 left in your account, you probably feel that this entire amount is your disposable income. If, however, you have included savings into your budget—let’s say, $200—and prioritized it as you would any other expense, you would now only see $300 in your account as disposable income. This would force you to adjust your spending.

 

The payday savings plan enables consistent savings, sets aside money before it is spent on other disposable income items, and prioritizes savings as a part of your budget.

 

Pay Day Savings Plan | Money Savvy Living

 

You must plan to save money. Saving is not something that is going to happen on its own. It is a habit that you must purposefully implement into your budget.

 

Look at your entire budget.

Before you can decide how much to save, you must look at your income and expenses. After all of your bills are paid each month, the money that is leftover is your disposable income. So, for example, once you know that you will have approximately $500 a month left after all your bills are paid, you can then decide how much to set aside for savings.  Build savings in as a part of your budget.

 

Decide how much you can afford to save each month.

After you have taken a look at how much money is left over each month after all of your monthly obligations have been met is your disposable income. The disposable income is the money that you spend on the stuff you want—not the stuff you need. This is your fun money. Yes, it is fun to eat out or buy a new pair of shoes, or whatever your extra money each month goes to, but the short-term disappointment of sacrificing some of these wants will reap huge benefits for you in the long-term by saving and planning for retirement.

 

Commit to a fixed amount that you can put into savings each pay period.

It is easier to save each month when you are setting aside a set amount each time you get paid. Some savings plans tell you to start out saving $1 the first week and working your way up to saving $52 the last week of the year; this sounds good, but the reality of this means that the first month, you are saving $10, and the last month, you are saving over $200. That is a huge swing in your budget, one that can be hard to stick to, especially when unexpected expenses come up. Setting aside a specific amount allows you to budget more consistently.

 

Set up automatic funds transfer.

Whether your savings are through an employer-sponsored retirement plan or just depositing in a savings account each, set it up to go directly from your paycheck to that account. If the money is set aside before it even hits your bank account, it is not every likely to be spent. You know the old saying: out of sight, out of mind…

 

Don’t turn down “free” money.

If you have an employee sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401k, you are turning down free money if you aren’t participating in it. Many companies have some sort of matching component to their 401k plan. So if you contribute 2% of your paycheck, your employer will match that and also contribute 2%. If you aren’t contributing to a company sponsored plan, you are literally turning down free money.

Even if your employer doesn’t match or if you are self-employed and it is just you contributing to your account, you are still missing out on free money if you aren’t contributing each month. How is that possible? It has to do with the time value of money and the compounding effect that it has. Ok, this may sound a bit confusing, but simply stated, your savings account balance grows by compounding on the principle and interest each month. So the more you contribute, the more interest you will get on the larger balance each and every month. So the sooner you can start saving, the better.

Share the Wealth Sunday Link Up {#20}

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 20 | Money Savvy Living 

East, Drink & Save Money: 11 Hair Tips that will Save You Money

Fun Money Mom: Easiest Every S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Money Savvy Living: Every Kid in a Park: Fourth Graders and their Families get FREE admission to National Parks

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:

Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte  Just because I know that you are soooo ready for PSL!  Now you don’t have to wait for it to come back this fall to Starbucks.

Advice I’d Give My College Freshman Self  Great advice, especially about understanding your student loans and the debt that you are potentially taking on…

Why Every Family Needs a Health Savings Account  If you do not currently have a HSA, read this… and start one.

Keeping Your Affairs in Order: Legal Matters

The Biggest Financial Mistake Women Make  Are you making this mistake?

 

 

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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Every Kid in a Park: Fourth Graders and their families get FREE admission to National Parks

Every Kid in a Park | Money Savvy Living

 

Is your child a fourth grader for the 2015-2016 school year? If so, your fourth grade student—and entire family—qualifies to visit all national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and other federal park lands throughout the 2015-2016 school year—for FREE as part of the Every Kid in a Park initiative!

 

Every Kid in a Park passes are scheduled to be available on September 1, 2015. Passes will be good for one year. Details on obtaining and using the passes will be announced September 1, to coincide with the launch of the program. As information is released, or as updates are made, check the Every Kid in a Park page for the most current program details.

 

Every Kid in a Park joins the National Park Foundation’s Open Outdoors for Kids program in helping children learn history, culture, and science while exploring the great outdoors. With kids spending more time in front of technology these days—smart phones, video games, tablets—it is more important than ever to encourage children to learn by experiencing and not just researching online.

 

Because the fourth grade student and their entire family can get into the parks for FREE, visiting one of America’s beautiful national parks would be a frugal—and educational—vacation for your family this year.  Want to plan a trip?  Click here to get a pass for your fourth grader and family.

 

Following is a list of the parks that are a part of this program. Check out the locations and links and start planning your visit today:

 

Acadia NP—Bar Harbor, ME

Arches NP—Moab, UT

Big South Fork NRRA—Oneida, TN

Biscayne NP—Homestead, FL

Bryce Canyon NP—Bryce, UT

Cape Cod NS—Wellfleet, MA

Cape Hatteras NS—Manteo, NC

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal NHP—Hagerstown, MD

Death Valley NP—Death Valley, CA

Everglades NP—Homestead, FL

Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP—Fredericksburg, VA

Glacier Bay NP and PRES—Gustavus, AK

Glacier NP—West Glacier, MT

Grand Canyon NP—Grand Canyon, AZ

Grand Teton NP—Moose, WY

Great Basin NP—Baker, NV

Grand Sand Dunes NP and PRES—Mosca, CO

Great Smokey Mountains NP—Gatlinburg, TN

Harpers Ferry NHP—Harpers Ferry, WV

Lassen Volcanic NP—Mineral, CA

Mammoth Cave NP—Mammoth Cave, KY

Mesa Verde NP—Mesa Verde, CO

Mount Rainier NP—Ashford, WA

Olympic NP—Port Angeles, WA

Ozark NSR—Van Buren, MO

Rocky Mountain NP—Estes Park, CO

San Antonio Missions NHP—San Antonio, TX

Sequoia and Kings Canyon NP—Three Rivers, CA

Shenandoah NP—Luray, VA

Sleeping Bear Dunes NL—Empire, MI

Theodore Roosevelt NP—Medora, ND

Virgin Islands NP—St. John, Virgin Islands

Yellowstone NP—Yellowstone NP, WY

Yosemite NP—Yosemite NP, CA

Zion NP—Springdale, UT

 

*The initiative is an administration-wide effort among the National Park Service, Forest Service, Department of Education, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.