Last Updated On: January 26, 2015 10:31

Whether it’s a snow day or just a cold weekend, it can be difficult to entertain yourself and children for the long hours you may be cooped up indoors during the latest cold spell or blizzard. Remember, you don’t need to leave the warmth of your house, or spend a lot of money, to have a good time!

Game Day
Gather up all those board games you have collecting dust in your closets and challenge your family to a few games. A lot of games can also be educational – a plus for children while they might be missing school!

Indoor Obstacle Courses and Forts
Building simple obstacle courses for kids can easily be conquered with what you already have in your house. Use chairs, cushions, laundry baskets, cups, and toys you already have to make a fun path for kids to follow. Use your imagination to help the kids use up their endless energy! Another easy activity would be to use the furniture and blankets to create indoor forts. An even easier idea? Set up your tent in the living room!

Movie Marathon
Gather a few of your favorite films, popcorn, and some blankets and enjoy a relaxing day on your couch with your friends, family, or just yourself!

Crafts or Baking
Why not use the extra supplies in your house to make something new! Search through Pinterest to find fun easy crafts to make out of what you already have. Turn baking into a game – using what you have available, research recipes that use those ingredients, and then choose which recipe turned out the best.

Take advantage of these days to spend with your children or friends; mixing and matching these different ideas can make a dull snow day into a day that you won’t forget anytime soon!

Bookmark and Share Filed Under: Saving Money
Last Updated On: January 08, 2015 09:00

With the start of the new year, let’s review a few simple tips to keep your credit safe!

  • Check your credit often – at least once a year. Visit here to check out a few options on how to monitor and check your credit report.
  • Watch your bank and credit card statements. This is a great way to spot problems or errors right away!
  • Shred any paperwork with any personal information you no longer need - instead of just throwing in the trash. Don’t give just anyone access to your private information that can make it easier to steal your identity!
  • Don’t give your account information over the phone – unless you know the company and you’re the one that initiated the call. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be your bank, hang up and call either your local branch or the number found on the back of your card.
  • Keep a record of your card numbers, expiration dates, and phone numbers in a secure place. If your card gets stolen, this information will simplify the process of cancelling or reporting the card that was stolen or misplaced.

Following these tips can help keep your credit and personal information safe this year, but sometimes you will find that even if you do everything right, someone can manage to get ahold of your information. If you do suspect someone has used your name, Social Security Number, or driver's license to obtain credit, do not wait. Follow the steps below to make sure that your credit is still undamaged.

  • Contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax 1-800-685-1111, Experian 1-800-301-7195, and Trans Union 1-281-874-0169.
  • Report identity theft crimes to the local police or law enforcement agency in your area.
  • Put a fraud alert on your credit file. Also, report the possible theft to all credit card issuers. In addition, make sure to cancel all your current cards.
  • Notify your bank of the theft. Request new account numbers and a new ATM number and PIN.

Have a happy and (credit!) safe start to your new year!

Last Updated On: December 29, 2014 10:54

The year is quickly winding down and thoughts of the New Year (and resolutions!) is on the minds of many. One common resolution that is made every year is to get your financial health in better standing – here’s a few of our tips to help you get 2015 started on the right foot!

  1. Make goals, which includes starting a budget. Realistic goals and checkpoints are vital to your success this coming year.
  2. Save, save, save! Start with an emergency fund and continue from there.
  3. Pay off debt. Make a plan to significantly cut down your debts this year. Whether it’s student loans or credit card debt, even small dents in what you owe help!
  4. Cut out the spendy habits. Smoking, expensive drinks (your daily coffee and soda), and excessive dining out all add up! Try to at least cut back; not only is it good for your health to stop these habits, it’s good for your wallet!
  5. Improve your credit and use it wisely. Take small steps to get your credit score where you want it. Make sure to pay all your bills on time, open a secured card to build credit, and monitor your credit this year.

From all of us at, we wish you a Happy New Year!!

Last Updated On: December 09, 2014 11:14

How much do you plan on spending for gifts this holiday season? If you compare yourself to the average U.S. adult, plan to spend over $700. According to Gallup’s latest poll, you’ll spend an average of $720 on gifts this year; that’s quite a large amount to allot out of your budget, and for most, just isn’t an option. Check out our tips to save some dough on gifts this holiday season to make sure you don’t find yourself in debt for the new year!

  • When planning for family gifts: if you have multiple children, it might be a good idea to plan for a few little separate gifts per child with one bigger, more expensive gift for all the children to share. This cuts down the expense of buying each child one huge gift.

  • Set suggested price limits for gifts. This includes your older family members, friends, and coworkers. A spending limit is key, or just stick to doing a gift exchange including the whole group.

  • Shop the sales! Keep your eyes open while you’re shopping for the perfect gift at a discount.

  • Be mindful of the extra costs of wrapping paper and shipping – it all adds up. Use what you have and always look for free shipping coupons or other promotions when you’re online shopping.

Just remember, the real joy of the holiday season is spending time with your family and loved ones, not just spending money on them. Enjoy the holidays, but don’t go broke in the process! And, as always, start planning ahead for next year – the holidays will be upon us again before we know it!

Last Updated On: November 24, 2014 11:43

It’s almost time for Thanksgiving – which also brings one the most anticipated shopping days of the year: Black Friday. If you’re willing to brave the early hours, long lines, and other frantic shoppers, you’ll need a few of these tips to make the day a success.

1. Plan. Planning for this busy day includes a few steps: creating a budget, making a list, researching ads, and possibly even visiting the stores to find where the products you need are located.
2. Don’t get sidetracked. Stick with your plan and don’t be tempted by another deal you find that day. If it wasn’t on your list (or included in your budget) you don’t need it!
3. Think comfort. It will be long day, so wear comfortable shoes and clothes and also consider bringing a friend to keep you company in the long lines – and to help keep you sane!

Above all, just try to enjoy the day if you’re brave enough to venture out. Even if the last product of an item on your list is snatched up right before your eyes, keep cool. You’ve still got a few weeks before the holidays; plus, you’ve got Cyber Monday deals coming in a few short days to pick up anything you may have missed! Happy shopping!

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