Outdoor Winter Activities You Can Do With the Whole Family

Outdoor Winter Activities You Can Do With the Whole Family

The outdoor temperature might drop in the winter, but it’s not a season where your whole family has to be stuck inside the house. There are many outdoor winter activities to share with your family that don’t cost a lot of money. Plus, you will make memories that your kids will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Camping

With preparation and the right gear, your family camping adventures don’t have to end in the winter. With the latest innovations in clothing and camping gear, you can still enjoy the great outdoors comfortably in the wintertime. Make sure to dress for the weather by wearing layers. Have sleeping gear that is made to handle the temperature in your area, and make sure you know how to start a fire for warmth. Winter camping gives your family a chance to see the world in a completely different way. Unlike summertime camping, blazing heat won’t tire you out when you hike and play. Winter could become your family’s favorite time to camp.

Ice Skating

Ice skating is a fun activity for the whole family that is best followed by steaming cups of hot chocolate! Outdoor rinks often offer discounts if you bring your own skates. It’s also possible to find frozen ponds to ice skate on for free, but you need to ensure the ice is solid enough to hold everyone before skating. The physical endurance required to ice skate makes it a great workout, and it’s also fun whether you are good at it or not. Kids love to watch their parents on the ice, and it’s a great opportunity for bonding.

Snowshoeing

Few activities require less equipment or skill than snowshoeing. Just grab your snowshoes and layer up in warm clothes. If you want walking poles for support, feel free to use them. Then, you simply head out on a beginner’s trail to enjoy a laid-back workout that will give you a chance to explore the snow-covered world. If your family enjoys snowshoeing, you can learn how to go up and down hills and try more advanced trails. Even just sticking to easy paths will offer opportunities for your family to observe nature in winter and have time together.

The arrival of winter doesn’t mean you need to stop enjoying outdoor activities. As long as you wear the right clothes and bring the right equipment, you can enjoy all that winter has to offer. Best of all, your whole family can enjoy and grow together.

For deals and discounts on winter activities for your family, check out these resources!

Getting the Best Online Deals This Holiday Season

Getting the Best Online Deals This Holiday Season

The holiday season is a great time for getting together with family as well as eating some delicious food that you may not normally get a chance to eat. Another awesome thing about the holiday season is all of the great shopping and deals. With so many stores offering amazing prices, it can sometimes be difficult to decide which one to choose. Here are some tips to help make your shopping this holiday season go as smoothly as possible.

Wait for It

Although you may see that new gadget you’ve been wanting so bad marked down 30% off, don’t jump on it just yet. The closer you get to the day of the holiday, the better the offers will get. November tends to be the best month to shop if you want to get the biggest discounts. Shopping on weekdays during this time of year will probably get you the most bang for your buck. On the other hand, there are lots of deals that happen after the Christmas holidays as well. So, unless the items you want are going to be given as holiday gifts, you may be able to catch an amazing deal by waiting until after the holidays.

Watch Out for Scams

Nowadays, shopping has never been easier since virtually everything can be purchased online. However, when it comes to online shopping during the holidays, just as with traditional shopping, you have to be extra cautious about getting ripped off. Knowing how to protect yourself online is important as scammers can go under the radar during the holiday season. If a deal seems too good to be true, then, in most cases, it probably is.

Comparison Shop

As tempting as it may be to grab an item that is listed as the last one or available for a limited time only, don’t do it. Instead, do some quick price checking first to make sure that you are actually getting a deal after all. Some companies tend to hike up the price so that when they offer you a supposed discount, you are actually paying full price, or close to it, anyway. By checking around first, you may find that you not only get a better deal, but you also find a better product than the one you were going to buy in the first place. There are lots of different apps and browser extensions out now that you can install to help you comparison shop without even leaving the website that you are on. However, you should still double-check the price yourself because these extensions may not have all the best offers that are out there.

Even if you plan on shopping at the last minute to catch the best deals, it is still a good idea to comparison shop. This helps you get an idea of what the actual prices are so that you don’t get sucked into the holiday-sale frenzy and end up overpaying. Sales happen all year long, so be mindful, be cautious and, most of all, be merry.

If you want to get some great holiday deals, check out our seasonal coupons and deals!

Why You Need to Teach Your Child About Social Media Safety

Why You Need to Teach Your Child About Social Media Safety

With the rise of social media as an integral part of life, children are jumping into this habit earlier than ever. Before you let your kids run their own social media accounts, it is vital that you educate them about using this medium responsibly. Failure to harness the power of social media for good can have lasting negative consequences on your child’s life and future opportunities. Here are three reasons why you need to teach your child about social media safety.

It Lasts Forever

Many kids erroneously believe that social media posts are temporary and fleeting. As a parent, you need to make sure that they understand that what they put out on the internet may last forever. Posting something inappropriate can come back to haunt them later if a potential employer or college admissions officer begins to dig around. Before you let your child engage in social media, you need to teach them that their reputation is at stake with every click of the button. This reputation needs to be protected at all costs.

What You Put Up There Matters

In addition to the social implications, there are a host of additional considerations that are not often taught. Did you know that social media posts can even impact your insurance claims? Because it is controlled by you personally, social media information gives a snapshot into your life. For this reason, it is important to carefully guard what gets released to the public to see. Prioritizing privacy and keeping everything that you allow your child to post on lockdown will help to ensure that it never gets into the wrong hands.

Understand That It’s Not Private

Many kids post with abandon, not considering that people other than the ones with direct access to their accounts will see the pictures and text. It is important to tell your kids that just like you monitor their account, other parents are checking out what their children and their contacts are posting. Before posting anything, your child should ask themselves if this is something that they also want all of the parents to see.

It is never too early to begin teaching your child about safe social media habits. Modeling this behavior for them will help them to see how to use this medium responsibly so that it does not ever negatively affect their life. 

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How to Start a Home Improvement Project

How to Start a Home Improvement Project

Updating your home can be a great way to increase the value of the space, get more joy out of your time there, and make it feel more welcoming. However, it’s easy to gather a lot of ideas and still not actually start your work.

Make Your Plan

Try not to start a remodeling venture that can make your home unlivable. If you’re updating the kitchen, invest in a foldable table and a small refrigerator that can serve as a temporary kitchen in another area of the house. If you’re moving walls, get out your tape measure and mark the floor where the new walls will be. Bring home large boxes and stack them in place of your new fireplace or your kitchen island. Find the cabinets, countertop, and carpet you like and get reliable estimates on materials and installation fees. Take those totals and bump them up by at least 30 percent to see if you can get financing. Finally, review your projected value house in comparison to similarly-sized properties in the area to see if you have enough space in the value of your home.

Financing Your Project

Even if you don’t have the equity in your home for the whole remodel, you can still get financing for the renovation. For example, if you’re making a large change to the footprint of the home, you might look at a construction loan. Ultimately, these loans have a shorter-term but can be refinanced into the mortgage when you’re done. You can also borrow against a retirement account for a home improvement plan and pay the interest to yourself. There are different types of financing you can choose from for your home improvement project.

Launch

One of the best ways to launch a home improvement timeline is to pack. Take the boxes you used to visualize your home improvement and pack up everything in your way. DIY demolition can save you quite a lot, but it’s still messy and disruptive. Once you’ve packed your items, put up plastic sheeting to keep down dust and cover the floor to avoid tracking debris through the house. During demo days, try to board your pets and ask Grandma to keep the kids for an overnight. This work takes focus to avoid accidents and injuries. Just make sure that if you board your pets that you send any medications or special food they need with them so they can be comfortable. The same goes for sending kids to Grandma’s. 

Your remodel will add great value to your home and increase your sense of ownership. Once you get started, the next steps will follow easily. Stay flexible, be careful, and don’t lose your sense of humor. If you follow these tips, your home improvement project will be less stressful and over before you know it. 

If you want to save money for your home improvement project, read more about how Rakuten can help you!

How to Give Your Kids a Great Holiday Experience When Money Is Tight

How to Give Your Kids a Great Holiday Experience When Money Is Tight

The commercialization of the holidays has made it more difficult than ever to enjoy the season without breaking the bank. This is especially true when you have kids in the house. Here are three ways that you can give your kids a magical holiday experience when money is tight:

Focus on Experiences, Not Things

By focusing on the experiences during the holiday season rather than the giving of gifts, you will naturally save money. Not all experiences have to be costly ventures. Something as simple as making hot chocolate at home and then heading out to look at Christmas lights is a true treat for young children. Or simply going outside together during the first snowfall can turn into an epic adventure that your kids will remember for years to come. Remember that memories created as a family will last longer than anything that money can buy.

Save Throughout the Year

For most families, it is difficult to come up with the money needed during the holidays all at one time. Saving throughout the year will help to take the sting out of the high cost of this season. Even putting away just a few dollars per week will add up throughout the year. If your budget is tight as a result of a job loss or injury on the job, be sure to look into the many resources available to help people in your situation. If you’ve lost time at work, you could get workers’ compensation benefits for certain injuries.

Give Back

One of the best ways to cultivate gratitude during the holiday season is to give back to those in need. Instead of going on an expensive holiday vacation, you can stay home and volunteer in your community. Waking up Christmas morning and heading to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen to give your time will take the focus off of the presents. You do not even have to go far to give back. Simply baking holiday cookies for your neighbors is a festive gesture. As a bonus, your children will develop a sense of inherent joy in serving others. 

Do not let social pressure cause you to spend more than you need to this holiday season. There’s no reason to open a new credit card for the holidays, only to start the new year in massive debt. With a little creativity and the right attitude, you can make this special time of year truly magical without busting your budget.

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How to Use Rakuten to Earn Cash back at Amazon and other sites

How to Use Rakuten to Earn Cash back at Amazon and other sites

About Rakuten

Rakuten is a cashback site that allows you to make a portion of money back on every online purchase you make when you visit websites through the Rakuten link. Online stores pay Rakuten a commission for sending out customers their way, and Rakuten shares that commission with you.

It’s so simple– you shop at your preferred shops (over 5000 to select from), you accumulate money back in your account, and you earn money through a check or PayPal once a quarter. You do not need to do anything differently with your online purchases besides make certain you’re going to online shops through the Rakuten link. It doesn’t take long for your cash to begin amounting to a nice payout. Be sure to check out to the end of this post to discover a $10 welcome gift for new Rakuten users.

You can likewise utilize Rakuten to make money back on overhead, such as office supplies and travel costs. Paul uses Rakuten to schedule our hotels and flights on websites like Travelocity and Priceline, and the percentage discount rate for our travel can build up quickly.

We likewise use Rakuten for our personal online shopping as well, whether we’re searching for household items or presents for various celebrations. This time of year (Q4) is when Rakuten can be golden– all your holiday presents and Black Friday purchases can be earning you cashback!

Rakuten is pretty simple to use– just go to the Rakuten website, look for the store where you want to shop, then click their link to begin shopping. The process ends up being even easier if you utilize the Rakuten Chrome extension or Safari button. With one click of the extension, you can trigger Rakuten on your purchase directly from an online store, without having to browse to the Rakuten site.

When you have triggered the Rakuten extension and you’re preparing to finish your purchase, Rakuten will provide you a notification if there are coupon codes available for that online shop. You can save even more money while Rakuten’s assist you with coupon codes!

Throughout specific times of the year, shops will use an even higher percentage off for Rakuten customers, as a way to encourage shopping on their website. You should be on the lookout for percentages as high as 25% cashback around Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and sometimes they both double and triple cashback on other big online shopping days.

There truly is no good reason not to register with Rakuten and start earning money back now. The cashback process actually works and is so simple. My Husband & I like earning money back from Rakuten and saving it to go towards our vacations or house repairs. In 2018 we utilized Rakuten to go to our preferred vacation spot in Oklahoma. In 2019 we used our Rakuten money to help spend for our brand-new fence.

Are you currently using Rakuten? If not, you should register today! Do not let any more shopping get by you without starting to make money back. As a welcome to the program, Rakuten is offering a $10 present if you register through this link.   That’s free cash on top of free cash, and you can’t beat that.

Get your free $10.00 today!

Are you using Rakuten? Share with us in the comments below how much you have saved!