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Unfortunately for many, it means lots of debt. Here are some tips for tackling holiday debt.

Tips for Tackling Holiday Debt

The holiday season is an exciting time of year for many people. It’s a time to spend quality time with family and friends, enjoy delicious food, drink eggnog by the fire, and exchange presents with loved ones! But it can also be a stressful period for some people because they often overspend during the holidays. This article will provide tips for tackling holiday debt so you can have peace of mind this holiday season.

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Practical Ways To Boost Your Savings

Are you tired of spending every dime you make (or more)? Maybe you don’t like the feeling of not having a nest egg or want to save for a big-ticket purchase. Whatever the case is, your savings account balance isn’t increasing fast enough to accomplish your goals. While finding ways to increase your income or earn more money is one way to solve the problem, perhaps the answer is easier than you think. 

When you’re trying to save money, you have to evaluate your spending habits. By learning how to eliminate or reduce unnecessary expenses, you generate more money to put away for future use. What are some areas you might consider changing? Continue reading to learn more. 

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My Favorite Frugal Fall Activities

To be honest, it’s really difficult for me to believe that the fall season is here again already. Although, it is my favorite season so I’m not really complaining. And it’s also my favorite time of the year to take advantage of as many outdoor activities as possible. Preferably for free, of course. So here are some of my all time favorite ways to ways to enjoy some frugal fall activities.

FESTIVALS

My family and I just love fall festivals! It seems as if every year there are more and more of them. Well, there were more and more of them before COVID hit. But, it looks like some of them are starting to come back. Which I’m pretty excited about. Due to that, the most difficult part is choosing which ones we want to attend.

Luckily for us, we live in an agricultural state. And this means there are lots of apple and pumpkin festivals popping up at our disposal. However, in addition to those there are also quite a few other festivals we’ve found to check out. Some of these include:

  • Arts and crafts festivals
  • Beer festivals
  • Corn festivals
  • Gluten-free festivals
  • Kids festivals
  • Oktoberfest
  • Pet festivals
  • Plant festivals
  • Renaissance-themed festivals
  • Scarecrow festivals
  • Vegetarian/Vegan festivals
  • Tree festivals
  • Wine festivals

Before COVID the list seemed endless, but since the pandemic hit, it seems that people are getting even more creative with their festivals. So, I’m interested to see what our options are this year. In most cases, the festivals we usually partake in don’t have a cost associated to get into which makes them great frugal fall activities. Although, some of them do ask for a donation, if you are feeling charitable. Others do require an entrance fee. So this is something to discern before you show up at a festival since you don’t want to blow your entire entertainment budget on just the entrance fee alone.

If you aren’t sure how to find festivals near you that fit your interests, it’s best to do a quick internet search to see if there is a master page with that information. For us here in North Carolina, I usually just check the NCFestivals.com website and it lists everything coming up, things in the past, cancelled events, etc. This tool has been extremely helpful to me in the past when it comes to planning out the festivals we really want to attend within our budget.

NATURE WALKS

Nature walks are some of my favorite things to do all year long. But during the fall they are so much better because the weather is cooler.

Even if you’re one of those people who lives in a sprawling city you can still find access to at least one nature trail. A lot of cities have recently been implementing more green spaces in their urban areas. The goal of this appears to be to get more residents outside for some fresh air and exercise, which boosts overall health. And the health of the citizens is extremely important to a city’s overall health and survival. Therefore, I always look for walking trails or greenway trails whenever I’m traveling, including around my own state.

One example of a great nature walk find we had was while we were on a family vacation in Greenville, SC. That city has done wonders with the natural river that runs through its downtown area by naturally incorporating it into their updated downtown vibe. Using the river as the focal piece, the city has created around it:

  • long greenway style walking trails
  • benches and swings for sitting and having conversations
  • native flowers and plants lining the walkways
  • awesome suspension bridges
  • an outdoor amphitheater with free productions

While this is just one of our favorite most recent finds, we have seen this sort of change in a lot of cities we have visited. Especially since COVID hit. So, even if you don’t live in an area that typically has a lot of hiking trails you can take advantage of, this may be another option to fully enjoy fall.

If you’re not sure what may be around you, Traillink is a great site to search for greenways and trails all over the country. You may just be surprised by how many walking trails and greenways have been right under your nose all of this time.

LEAF TOUR

Along the same lines as nature walks are leaf tours. These are some favorite pastimes of most people I know around here because of how many options we have nearby to appreciate the leaves changing. If you’re lucky enough, like us, to have deciduous trees near you, then this is a fantastic frugal fall activity to embark upon. Since it will only cost you the little bit of gas you may need to get there, if that.

But, if you have to drive to see the trees, you will have to pay more for gas and maybe food or lodging. However, if you choose this option, you could turn it into a frugal weekend getaway instead. And I’m all for that in the fall! Especially if there’s a way to combine every aforementioned fall activity into one weekend.

There is almost nothing else on earth as beautiful as watching the leaves change color. So take advantage of mother nature’s masterpiece if you can this fall. You won’t be disappointed.

parks and Rec

Parks and Rec has been one of my go to resources since my kids were small for free classes around me. Every state has a Parks and Recreation department where you can look up classes and events. In some cases, these can be free events, but others cost a minimal amount of money to participate in.

Just this year so far, we have engaged in the following free activities through this resource:

  • Birding classes
  • Nature hikes
  • Jewelry making classes
  • Art classes for kids
  • Dog hikes
  • Homeschool community groups

While this list may not seem long, these were all free, so I’m not complaining. There are some other classes that I’ve put my kids in since they’re homeschooled that have cost a minimal amount. These classes have certainly been worth it and I’m so grateful for this resource. So, if you aren’t sure what your state or city’s Parks and Rec department has to offer, I suggest looking it up because you may be surprised.

Frugal fall summary

Overall, there are so many great ways to take advantage of the fall season for free. It seems crazy to me that most people don’t even know about the options available to them in their area. But, with everything going on recently, I think more people have opened their eyes to the possibilities they were never aware of previously. And this can only be a boon to all cities and states across the United States.

Ultimately, get outside and check out what your city has to offer. Check out the festivals that may be going on around you, take some nature walks, go on a leaf tour or two, and check out what your Parks and Rec department has available. You won’t be disappointed in your options and you may even be pleasantly surprised.

What are some of the best ways you have been able to enjoy some frugal fall activities in your area?

3 Steps to Improving Your Credit Score and Why It Matters

Whether you want to buy a house, a car, or rent an apartment, you need a good credit score. If you don’t have a high score on your credit report, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t buy big-ticket items or find a place to live. But it does mean that you’ll pay more to buy the same items as someone who has a better track record with the credit bureau.

The good news is that a less-than-stellar credit score doesn’t have to be permanent. There are some easy ways to raise your score, and all it takes is a little time for your number to rise. Read more

The Benefits Of Minimalism From Health To Finances and More

For over a decade now, the concept of living a more minimalist lifestyle has been at the forefront of many people’s minds. The world is much more fast-paced now than it ever has been throughout human history, and sometimes this can leave people feeling stressed out and leave their bank accounts drained? How’s that, you may ask? Well, the overstimulation of such a fast-paced environment can give us too much to think and stress over; and the constant advertisements and pressures we feel through things like social media lead us down a dangerous path of overspending and living outside our means. 

So the same way, it’s essential to have health hacks to keep costs low in our lives and live more frugally; it’s just as important to have lifestyle hacks to keep costs to not just our bank accounts but our health low as well. One path towards that goal is minimalism.  Read more

Some people who live a wonderful quality of life making a meager income while others struggle no matter the income. Learn more here.

Money Matters: How to Go From Debt to Wealth

There are people who live a wonderful quality of life making five figures and those who struggle with a six-figure income. The difference is the way they handle their money. If you are careless with money, you will live a stressful life caused by outstanding debt. Thankfully, you can change the way you handle money and end the in-debt way of life. Below are a few tips to help you achieve success. Read more

Are you considering whether you should rent or buy? If you have bad credit, here are some things to consider before buying.

Buying a House When You Have Bad Credit

If you find yourself having to move you might be asking yourself, “Should I rent or buy a house?” Of course, both renting and buying usually mean a credit check so you’ll want to know your credit score before submitting an application to a landlord or to a lender for a mortgage loan.

When purchasing a home, a good credit score of at least 760 will get you the best interest rate, as CNBC reports. Anything under 670 is typically considered “subprime” while 579 or less is generally “bad.” If you’re in that category, it’s going to make both renting and buying difficult, but if you’ve got your heart set on purchasing a home, there might still be some options. Read more

Essential Tips for Full-Time Farmworkers

Agriculture is vital to the survival of humanity. Providing the basis for food security, farming has been, and always will be, a viable occupation. Farming provides large quantities of food and materials at relatively low costs and ensures the meat dispersed throughout the country is harvested by healthy animals. Modern farming began around the 18th century and continues to be a highly profitable business for many people. Like any occupation, farming comes with its own set of challenges.

 

Despite its contributions to the stability of the food chain, farming can be extremely dangerous. In fact, farming ranks as one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. Due to this, farms and ranches must follow strict safety guidelines when it comes to handling animals and equipment. This will protect owners and their employees from unexpected mishaps. Here are a few helpful tips for farm and ranch workers. Read more

Eliminate These Things From Your Wallet for Healthier Finances

Samuel L. Jackson and company never seem to tire of interrogating you about what’s in your wallet. They do this while pressing you to add a product that almost certainly shouldn’t be there. It is not just to cure your hopeless case of Costanza wallet. It is to help you gain better financial hygiene. Not only that, but it is remarkable how much better your situation can get by eliminating the things you carry with you. That is not to imply that removing a few things from your wallet will magically fix everything. But it is the beginning of a solution.

There are two major problems that have to be addressed in every financial crisis:

  1. You don’t have enough money to cover your expenses regardless of what you do.
  2. You are spending the money you have in a way that is contributing to the crisis.

Just about every financial problem has its origin in one of those two buckets. They are both buckets of hurt. The first problem cannot be easily addressed. You will need to increase the amount of money you make or decrease your lifestyle to fit the budget you have. The second problem can be addressed. Let’s take a look at a few of the things we can remove from your wallet that will help to address the problem: Read more