5 Free Things To Do With Young Children!

 

With summer coming, it’s a great time to stock up on ideas of things to do with your kids over summer break. If you have have multiple little ones and need to be cost effective be encouraged, there is a wealth of free things to do right in your own area. I have put together a list of some of our favorites from when my kids were little.

Visit Your Local Library

There is a multitude of things to do at your local public library, from story times for the little ones and clubs for your teens.  They will also be starting their summer reading program soon to encourage kids to continue reading over summer break.

Many library also lend more than just books and videos.  My local library also offers toys that can be checked out, as well as certain musical instruments. It is worth a visit to see what yours offers

Visit Your Local Park Or Playgrounds

This was a favorite when my kids were little! Who doesn’t love to go to the local playground! Meet up with a few friends, pack a lunch and make a play date out of it.

Start Your Own Playgroup

Coordinate with a few other moms and start your own playgroup.  Meet weekly, biweekly, or once a month with a different mom hosting each time. This is a great, cost effective to get out of the house and have something to look forward to on a regular basis.

Take A Hike

Hit your local hiking trail or walking path and go out for a stroll. If you don’t have one, perhaps you can take a walk around the neighborhood. Don’t underestimate the enjoyment of just getting outside for some fresh air and sunshine.

Read A Book

Sit down with your kids and read a book. It’s a great way to establish a love of reading in your kids. As they learn to read, let them read to you and show off their new reading skills.

Find some craft books that only require supplies you would find at home and incorporate a craft into story time.

Finding fun things to do does not have to be complicated, nor expensive. All it usually takes is a little bit of time and to plan these activities that your kids will enjoy!

What are some fun things you have planned for the kids this summer?

 

7 Steps To Start Saving Your Money

 

Who doesn’t want to save money? I would be surprised (and concerned) if you actually found someone who wants to remain in debt!

Imagine being free to devote your time and energy on the pursuits that are important to you with out having to worry about debt! We will always have some sort of financial responsibility but the more debt we eliminate the less likely we are to be stuck in a job we hate just to make ends meet.

To make this happen you need a plan.  It will take a little work and some patience, but so do most things that are worth your time and effort.  Below I have outlined some steps to start getting your finances under control and start eliminating  debt.  I am by no means a financial expert, but by applying these principals, we have been able to once again live on one income.

 

7 Steps to Saving Money

Total Your Debt

Take an inventory on how much you truly owe. While we may have a general idea how much we owe, it is important to have an accurate total. Make a list of all your financial responsibilities, along with their due date and percentage rate if applicable.

 

Track Your Spending

The next step can be rather eye opening, but it is imperative. This may be as easy as viewing your account online. We want to get a clear picture of where are money is going. I suggest doing at least 2 to 3 months to get an accurate picture of where your money is going.

Categorize Your Expenditures

 Once your list is compiled, go through and label each item as a need or a want.  As you label, really think these through. Are there things we are currently viewing as needs that we can temporarily do without while we paying down our debt. The more needs you have the less you will have to pay down debt.

Eliminate Wants

Temporarily eliminate wants. This does not need to be forever,  make it work for you. It all depends how quickly you want to get out of debt. If you want to plan in some “wants” to your budget that is also an option. This is not to be an exercise in deprivation, but a way to make our finances work for us, not vice versa.

Review Needs List

Examine your needs list and begin finding ways to save. For example, there are many ways to save on food, from buying the store brand to shopping sales. We will be looking further into this in future posts. Be creative, it’s your money, why spend more of it then you need to.

Formulate A Payment Schedule

 With your list of debts and needs, put together your payment schedule. Make sure you pay your accounts on time to avoid late fees. Write out what gets paid and when and stick to it.

Begin Paying Down Debt

With the money saved from temporarily eliminating “wants” and reducing the cost of “needs”, start paying down your debt with the highest interest rates. This will help you save in the long run. The other alternative is to pay down off your lowest debt first and when that debt is paid off apply it to the next higher debt. The option is up to you.

The more money you can save from eliminating your unnecessary expenditures, the quicker you can pay off your debt and truly pursue what makes you happy.

What are some ways you have found to save on some of those “needs” items? Please comment below.