Savings are Sweet with #5back17

There is not much time left to shop for Christmas! With less than 2 weeks until the big day, it is time to start shopping, wrapping and of course, saving! This year I have a secret saving tip to share with you that just might make you glad you waited til the last minute to shop!

This is a sponsored post. All opinions and ideas are my own!

This year, I am going to come in under budget with the best gifts. I am also going to save a lot of time in the process. How you might ask? Easy! I am using a Five Back Via Gift Card at select retailers and saving from the word shop!

The Five Back Visa Gift Card is the easiest way to save some cash this holiday season. Available at retailers like Office Max, Albertson’s and online from, the Five Back Visa Gift Card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, much like your average card. However, that is where the similarities end! When used at participating retailers, 5% of the total spent will be added back to the card! How is that for sweet savings?

The savings don’t stop there for a money saving mama like me. I will take the Five Back Visa Gift Card to my favorite shops and stack my savings with coupons, sales and special discounts for a shopping experience that helps me stay under budget and still score awesome gifts!

There is a fee to purchase the card, $5.95, but the savings will make that more than worth the fee! If you buy a $500 Five Back Visa Gift Card, you can save over $19 plus the cards purchase fee without doing anything other than shopping. If you stack coupons and sales on top of those savings, you will come back from your shopping spree under budget, or with a few extra gifts at least!

As if all of this talk of savings wasn’t enough, I have partnered with some awesome friends to bring you a gift card giveaway! Good luck! Someone will win and I hope it is you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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7 Incredible Ways To Save Money For A Family Vacation

7 Incredible Ways To Save Money For A Family Vacation
If you’re planning a family vacation, I’m sure that one of the first things you’ll want to check out is the budget. Family vacations can get quite costly, considering that you’re with little ones who want to grab their hands on anything and you’ll want to ensure a memorable time with them in the best accommodation and places. But how can you make sure that you don’t go over your expenses when out with your loved ones? Read on as I show you 7 incredible ways to save money for a family vacation!
Here are my seven effective ways to make sure that you don’t go broke during your family trip:
1. Time Your Trips
Just like real estate, the best way to save money is through timing. Try flying during less desirable times such as the midweek, early in the morning, or late at night. Check out websites that have you compare your fares nearing your target date. You can shave hundreds of dollars just by adjusting your departure or return date. Try timing your vacations during off-peak seasons as well, or nearing it. This tactic works for both airfare and accommodation.
2. Renting a House
We all know how expensive getting a hotel can be, especially when you want something spacious and with everything your family needs. Instead of getting a hotel, I would recommend that you rent a house. Websites like Airbnb, VRBO, or home away will have you get more space for your dollar compared to getting multiple hotel rooms.
You’ll also have the ability to cook your own meals, save on parking, and feel more at home. It’s also better if you can cook at home, saving you more money purchasing your own food rather than in expensive restaurants.
3. Technology Works Wonders
Yes, your mobile phone does more than communication. There are many apps available where you can find deals or save money. You can find local restaurants, get nearby gas, or even book last-minute rooms in just minutes. One can even tap into social media to ask for suggestions and search for promos. There are coupons and promos you can find online, with websites such as Groupon helping you spend a few dollars less on restaurants and attractions.
4. Save on Your Phone Bills


Whether you’re booking a home or hotel, then you’ll have a problem with the extreme phone bills, particularly if you are calling from another country. Instead of using the room’s phone or spending your credit on international calls, opt to use web-based services like Viber and Skype. These are free apps that allow you to make calls or send texts as long as you have the Internet connection. You can do this anytime and anywhere!
5. Get Your Tickets In Advance
Getting your tickets in advance rather than waiting for a few days before the trip will save you a ton of money. That’s because it is less in demand. Like what I mentioned before, time your trip at a less-popular time, compare the dates, and choose something affordable and practical. If you plan on flying with your whole family often, I recommend that you get frequent flyer miles for your children, as this can add up and save you money on future trips.
I recommend that you also get tickets for attractions in advance, as it may be cheaper and save you a lot of time. Your company or group may have reduced rates or discount programs. Some countries also have local discount cards for tourists to visit attractions without the hefty fees.
6. Free Entertainment
Instead of spending on the usual entertainment for your squeamish children, opt to rent audiobooks or purchase movies on their tablets and phones.
Check out the country you’re visiting for some free local entertainment and attractions as well.
7. Pack Well
Airports may end up having you add more because of the excess weight. Make sure that you only bring the absolute necessities, such as clothes, personal medication, and the like. Don’t bother with heavy books or excess toys, which will hold you down.
In Conclusion
And there you have it! Going on a family vacation doesn’t mean you’ll need to spend oodles of money trying to keep the whole group happy. As long as you do your research and prepare for the trip beforehand, then there will be no problem with your budget or go to a debt company just to fund memorable experiences!


I hope that these 7 incredible ways to save money for a family vacation helped you out! So don’t wait any longer and begin planning your next outing this holiday season.
If you have any questions or would like to share your tips and experiences when saving for your family vacation, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.


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12 Stir Fry Recipes You Will Want To Try

Stir Fry is one of our favorite meals! It is easy, economical and there are so many delicious ways to make it! I have found 12 yummy varieties that I can’t wait to serve my family and I know you are going to like a few of these recipes too!


Honey Sriracha Sweet & Spicy Stir Fry
Korean BBQ Stir Fry
Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir Fry
Honey Garlic Shrimp
Pork & Broccoli Stir Fry
Zucchini Tofu Stir Fry
Pineapple & Cashew 
Tilapia Stir Fry
Cashew Chicken Stir Fry
10 Minute Spicy Shrimp 
Jalapeno Chicken Stir Fry
Chicken Ramean Stir Fry

Which of these Stir Fry Recipes will you try first? I think the Jalapeno Chicken or the Pineapple Cashew both sound fantastic!

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Who Should You Trust For Financial Advice?



Financial advice can be a difficult minefield to navigate. Everyone seems to have an opinion on the best way to manage money, but there doesn’t seem to be a correct ‘way’ that works for everyone. Some people prefer to build up their savings; others think that paying down their mortgage early is essential. Despite those methods working for them, there is always contrary advice — even just in those two examples. Mark Cuban told it’s not a good idea to save money; advise against paying your mortgage off early. You can’t win!


So given the plethora of differing advice out there, who should you trust?


Below, let’s run through some of the most common sources for advice about financial management, and decide once and for all whether they should be trusted with such sensitive matters.


Financial Advisors


Provided your financial adviser is independent, then yes, they should be trustworthy. The ‘independent’ requirement is very important, though. If a financial advisor is little more than a salesperson trying to sell you products, then they’re not going to always do what’s 100% right for your finances.


Expert Websites


The internet has made financial information all the more accessible, which has meant that thousands more people are able to take charge of their finances than ever before. However, there’s no doubt that there’s some poor quality information out there too.


For the most part, a website should be judged on how specific it is. If it’s a site that’s trying to cover all manner of topics, then it’s possibly best avoided. Sites like, for example, make clear what their focus is — repairing your credit score if you have existing bad credit. That’s a good thing; it leaves more room for their expertise. However, bigger sites that try to cover hundreds of different financial topics might be best avoided — there could be ‘jack of all trades’ situations developing in their content.


Your Bank


While your bank might be the most developed financial relationship that you have, the chances are they’re not the best source of financial advice. The problem is simple: your bank is going to try and sell you products and/or services that they produce. That means they’re unlikely to give you the best advice for you personally; no bank is going to say “well we can offer you this, but other banks can do a much better deal!”. So it’s best to do your own research on what’s available, rather than trusting the word of your bank.


Your Friends & Family


While friends and family are a good source of advice on various subjects, it’s unlikely their financial advice is as spot-on as you might hope. If you know someone who manages their finances with rigorous precision, then of course you should try and soak up some of their experiences. General advice and opinions are often best ignored though; you have to figure out the right next steps for you and your family.


By being able to take the right advice from the right sources, your family finances should be in fine shape in no time at all.
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4 Ways to Save on Your Family’s Next RV Trip

4 Ways to Save on Your Family’s Next RV Trip

An RV trip can cost a lot less than a traditional vacation because you won’t pay exorbitant fees to stay in a hotel every night. However, that doesn’t mean that costs can’t sneak their way into your trip, causing you to spend a lot more money than you planned.

There are many ways you can save money on your family’s next RV trip. Here are just a few that will allow you to save big, if done right.

Choose a Budget-Friendly RV That Doesn’t Compromise on Luxury

It all starts with your RV. You may be tempted to choose the cheapest RV you can find, but that’s not a good idea. You don’t want to spend weeks at a time in an uncomfortable RV, even if it does mean you saved a few thousand bucks.

Instead, your method for finding the right RV should be about finding a balance between cost and luxury. Luxurious RVs exist that don’t cost an arm and a leg. You just have to put in a little time to research your options before you settle on one that fits your budget.

And of course, you can always rent! Renting an RV allows you to get all the luxury without the full cost of buying an RV and finding a place to store it.

Skip the Drive-Thru

Vacations are notorious for bad eating. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a greasy fast food burger, but eating out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner can add up quickly.

In an RV, you have the benefit of a mobile kitchen! Plan to make quick, easy meals and bring along plenty of snacks. It’s a lot cheaper to visit the grocery store than it is to eat out whenever you get hungry.

Lower Fuel Costs

Large campers and trailers can really guzzle gas, which means more stops to fuel up, and more money out of your pocket. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can save on gas:

Pack light: The heavier your RV, the more money you’ll spend on gas.

Maintain your RV: Regular oil changes and adequate tire pressure can increase your gas mileage and help you save on fuel costs.

Find the best gas prices: Download an app that allows you to find the best prices on gas in any area.

Get a gas rewards card: Many establishments, like gas stations and grocery stores, offer gas discounts when you shop with them.

Plan Low-Cost Activities

The activities you plan while you’re on vacation can add up just as quickly as eating out every night. That doesn’t mean you have to avoid costly activities altogether, but you can save a lot by searching for free or low-cost activities in your area.

It’s even better if you can search by a certain date. That way you can find craft fairs and farmer’s markets in the area that are free.

Going on an RV adventure with your family doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With these tips, you can save enough money to start planning your next family vacation!


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How To Enjoy An Eco-friendly Vacation

How To Enjoy An Eco-friendly Vacation

So, you’ve packed up the RV to head out on your summer road trip. You’ve got everything that you need, your clothes, toiletries, and all the goodies you need to entertain the family. And, you’ve packed a big worry – how to live green while traveling.

If you live an eco-friendly life at home, then you might think you can’t do it while your on the road. But, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Eco-friendly RVs Actually Exist

Campgrounds, RV parks, and even RV manufacturers have made it easier than ever to live green while you are far away from your compost pile and recycling bins. You might not be able to compost, but you can certainly fill up a recycling bin and keep it safely tucked away inside of the high quality, sustainable cabinetry that many RV manufacturers are installing today.

It might not seem eco-friendly to travel in an RV, but there are many ways that RV’s actually reduce consumption and benefit the environment. For example:

Families use less water when they shower in an RV than at home.

Many people bring bicycles along with they vacation in an RV. Then, they park the RV and tool around town on their bicycles.

RV’s with LED lights use very little electricity, so most RV owners use next-to-nothing when they park their RVs and turn on the lights. People rarely leave anything on in an RV, which is very different from what happens at home.

Leaving No Trace In A Campground

It is also very easy to live green in campgrounds. The key is to follow the rule of leaving no trace. This means that everything that you bring into the campground needs to come back out when you leave.

Fortunately, there are several websites with advice for travellers who want to maintain their eco-friendly lifestyles when they are away from home. These are few tips that can help keep your footprint smaller when you are away from home:

Buy local produce and food when available.

Bring your own water bottle instead of buying cases of water.

Drive, don’t fly.

Enjoy natural tourist attractions. Take hikes. Rent kayaks.

Bringing New Eco-friendly Ideas Home

Even if you think that you are living green at home, you might learn a few things after an eco-friendly vacation. Sustainable travel often translates into new ideas that you can use at home.

You might find that your bicycle works just as well at home as it does while you are traveling. If you are lucky, you might even be able to start riding your bike to work. If work is too far away, grab a backpack and hop on your bike for quick rides to the grocery store or for other small errands.

Your family might also surprise you with new habits. Five-minute showers can actually become realities and children can turn off the lights when they leave a room. You also might start to get requests for family hikes on the trails in your community.


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How parents can assist their children for a first home purchase

Looking to help your kids into their first home? If you think the time is right for the kids to leave the nest and follow through the great Australian dream of homeownership, then by all means, read through.

The proportion of young adult Australians choosing to stay home is currently on the rise based on date recorded by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in 2012/13. If you’re one of many Australians who owns a property and has a hefty equity, you can help your kids move into a home of their own.

Acting as a guarantor. Acting as a guarantor is a surefire way for parents to utilize their own home as security when assisting their children in home purchase and mortgage requirement. if the kids don’t have much money of their own, it’s a viable option to get a decent deposit to avoid paying extra for Lender’s Mortgage Insurance.

What are the risks? When you (the parent) act as a guarantor for your child, the lender will arrange for a section of the mortgage to be secured on your property. If your child doesn’t keep up with their repayments, the lender will have the option to recuperate the debt from both properties.

This is the risk you need to be very clear about because if the loan isn’t payments and the lender can’t recover their costs from selling your child’s house, you may be obligated to sell your home as well.

Helping your kids enter the market

Here’s what you can do when preparing your kids for home ownership.

Teach them to save. Teenagers splurge a lot on things that they don’t need. Talk to them about opening a savings account and give them a system of money management. Evaluate where your child is at, and advise how they can work to reach their financial goals.

Explain the details. Terms such as mortgage insurance’ or ‘stamp duty’ may be familiar to homeowners, but a first-time buyer may not have an idea what they mean. Take the time explaining basics and find simple explanations to hasten the process. Ensure that your child understands the initial payments that are necessary for a house purchase.

Highlight homeownership costs. Paying a house deposit is one of the biggest financial commitment your child will make in their lifetime. However, the initial outlay is only a part of the story. There’s also the council rates, corporate fees, renovation costs and moving costs. That said, having the deposit alone is not usually enough, so it’s a great idea to bring this up with your child early on.

The bottom line

Entering into a parent-child home purchase arrangement can put tension even with the strongest relationship. Take note that being a guarantor means that it’s you that will carry the bulk of all the risk. Plan thoroughly whether there might be a better way, or write up ground rules for both parties to stick to.

When both you and your kid are ready, check out online websites with a home loan with premium variable. Whether it’s a first home or an investment property, variable rate mortgages can be a great way to go.

With the right advice and assistance from your loan provider, your child can move into their first home or even the property ladder quickly.

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Grow Your Savings by Investing in P2P Lending

One of the investment choices that is very quickly becoming popular is peer to peer lending, commonly referred to as P2P lending. The concept evolved from the concept used in lending to friends and family and was expanded to a more commercial scale. Today we have P2P websites that are designed in such a way as to bring borrowers and lenders together for the benefit of both.

If you are a lender, you can use this as a form of both saving and investing and get back a good return on your money. If you are a borrower looking for funds for personal use or a business person seeking an injection of cash, this can work very well for you too. Most investors find this a great way to grow their money because they are guaranteed better interest than what they would get by leaving their money in the bank.

One of the things that most investors like about using these websites is that the people behind the company have put in place checks and balances to protect their money. Borrowers must pass a variety of rigorous checks before they can qualify to take a loan. The main idea is to of course make sure that they can repay the loan. Where there are defaulters, debt collection agencies are used to recover the money and the investor does not go at a loss.

The Process

As a lender, you put your money into an account so that it is ready to be loaned out. The interest rate you will be getting is already pre-set and there are some opportunities to select the interest rate you want.

With, you get an opportunity to select the borrower that you would like to lend your money to as well based on their credit rating and other factors.

The money will then be allocated and the investment will usually be split between different borrowers as a way to mitigate risk and so that you get the money back.

Your money is ‘ringfenced’, which means that the company will not be using it for their operations and many such companies also make sure they have bailout funds which are used to reimburse you as they follow up with a defaulter.

Benefits of P2P Lending

It is possible to get up to even double the interest you would get at the bank with a savings account.

Rigorous credit checks are carried out on borrowers and only a few make the cut.

If they default, the P2P company has debt collection agencies that work to recover the money

You can actually withdraw your funds before the term is up, although there are charges for doing so.

A P2P lender is regulated by government, which means that you are just as protected as you would be if you were investing with a mainstream financial services provider.

P2P lenders have usually designed the business to be quite low risk, but it is riskier than putting your money in a savings account at the bank. Like all other investments, it is important to do your homework and be comfortable with the amount of risk involved before taking the plunge.

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What Are the Best Loan Options for Those with Bad Credit?

What Are the Best Loan Options for Those with Bad Credit?

It is a popular belief that only people who can show that they have no need of money are offered the best loans, while people who really need funds usually face the most difficulty in getting them. So, what do you do if you need money for unexpected medical bills, a sudden car breakdown or even to carry out home repairs when your credit may not quite be the best?

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

This is a viable option if you own a home and possess significant equity in it. However, borrowing by keeping your home as a security could leave you without a roof over your head if you default. Typically, you need to own at least 20% of your home, have a strong history of employment as well as good repayment capacity. The interest rate you are able to get depends on a combination of these factors, but be sure to shop for the best offer.

Bad Credit Loans

If your credit score has taken such a hammering that institutional lenders refuse loans, then you can approach lenders that specialize in loans to bad credit applicants. However, interest rates can be fairly high and you will need to make sure that the loan period is not too long as you could then be paying out a lot of money as interest. Bad credit payday loans usually carry the highest rates of interest, however, your credit score has no role to play in the approval process; you only need to show proof of employment and agree to pay the loan amount back on the next payday. These loans that can be used for short-term requirements of relatively small amounts are extremely convenient as the processing and disbursement are extremely quick.

Credit Union Loans

Credit unions are one of the most popular options for loans by people with bad credit as they have more relaxed rules and regulations than commercial banks. Becoming a member is simple and usually possible to those living in a particular area or working in a specific profession. The rate of interest, fees, and penalties are generally lower as they are non-profit institutions, and you get the personalized service that is often missing in large banks.

Peer-to-Peer Loans

Available through online platforms, peer-to-peer loans enable borrowers to get funds from individual lenders instead of financial institutions. Even though they are unsecured, many lenders are willing to lend to even borrowers with bad credit at extremely attractive interest rates after factoring in aspects like employment history, social profile, and the quality of their online interaction. Fees and penalties are typically far lower than that charged by banks.


When in financial distress, any of the above methods can be effective for accessing funds with bad credit. However, to avoid uncertainty in the future, it is best that you start rebuilding your credit profile so as to qualify for better interest rates and not get trapped by the never-ending cycle of fresh debts to pay off the earlier ones.

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Peak Lending Has the Solution in Consolidating High-Interest Rate Loans

Peak Lending Has the Solution in Consolidating HighInterest Rate Loans

Peak Lending is a preferred lending firm with operations in San Diego, CA that has repositioned itself to help those who need loans at lower interest rates or those who want to refinance their existing loans by consolidating them. Taking a refinancing loan facility from Peak Lending allows you to keep your head up in repaying your debts and repairing your bad debt situation. This lending firm takes a different approaching in helping those overburdened by debts to begin seeing some light in a very dark situation. You pay your loan at a reduced interest rate and the payment term is flexible and longer to help you manage the new loan repayment plan.

Like most Americans, San Diegans rely hugely on credit cards which are something that causes them to rack up a substantial amount of debt. Managing debts can be a difficult thing, especially when you have missed payments. A loan that had substantially manageable interest rates can quickly explode if you miss the loan repayments. Sometimes, people may pay less attention in paying their debts, but in other times, it’s caused by worsening financial situations. Peak Lending understands that even when you have in bad debt, you still have a choice to clear your debt and get out of the financial stress.

In 2015, San Diego residents had an average household credit card debt of $7,033. As of 2017, the figure has been slightly higher standing at $8,665, according to a credit card debt study by ValuePenguin Inc. And, this is just one area of borrowing so, if a household takes other loans such as a mortgage, a car loan, or a home improvement loan, you may find that they are overburdened and soon they could fall back in their debt repayment plan.

Residents in San Diego and the whole of California may be making a comeback after the 2008 recession, however, for many, it has not been a smooth experience. People are carrying hefty debts and with all the options available to minimize their debt burden, still, a considerable number are unable to make ends meet. Peak Lending has come up with an easier solution to help those struggling with their debt to consolidate the loans and get an impressive offer that allows them to begin strategizing their loan repayment approach.

Peak Lending says, “We at Peak Lending know how hard it can be to juggle all those separate debt payments, let alone make the actual high payments. By consolidating all of your highinterest loans with Peak Lending you could save on the amount of interest you’re charged on your debts each month.” The lender further adds, “Not only does debt consolidation loans through Peak Lending provide you with a low, fixed interest rate for your loan, but the principal goes down every month as you make your loan payment.”

It may be seen as a lifechanging opportunity when you borrow from Peak Lending. The lending firm is a game changer when it comes to helping people repay their loans or get lowinterest loan facilities. And, a lowinterest loan means you can keep up with the repayment plan if you stick to the loan agreement and requirements.

For more information visit today for a free quote.

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Earn Trust from Online Customers with SSL Certificate

Earn Trust from Online Customers with SSL Certificate

Online shoppers are smart and vigilant these days. Lesson learned from all the scams that took away hard-earned money from unsuspecting people. Such a shame.

Nowadays, when a customer visits your online store for the first time, they search for indications that would verify that your website is legitimate. It will guarantee that they are safe to buy from your web store.

What makes a website safe and secure for online shopping?

A trusted website has padlock icon that appears when your online shop is entirely encrypted. It is by far the most significant indicator that says your website can be trusted. Shoppers always look for this upon visiting and checking out of the web store. Online shopping is now safer than ever because of the SSL certificate.

SSL or Secure Sockets Layer is a standard security protocol responsible for creating an encrypted bond between a web browser and the server. This link guarantees that all information traded between the browser and the server remains protected. These SSL certificates are providing a safe connection and safe hosting. These are being applied to protect eCommerce for online stores today.

SSL Equals Good SEO

Aside from earning customers’ trust, your online business can benefit from having SSL certificate because shoppers aren’t the only ones searching for that security protocol on your website – Google joins in the search as well. Google clearly stressed out that encrypting a website with SSL certificate is excellent for SEO. And an optimized website means a strong online presence that could lead to an improvement in your search rankings.

How to Get an SSL Certificate?

If you’re running an online store and your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate, it’s time to get one immediately. At present, a lot of companies are presenting to offer business owners with SSL certificates. On the other hand, website owners should be cautious at all times when choosing an SSL provider. It’s because there are a few SSL certificate companies that aren’t that reliable – or worse, deceitful.

Cheap Isn’t Always Practical

Some website owners are putting their reputation down the line by hiring a cheap and suspicious SSL certificate company. Also, the information of their online visitors will be put to great risk. Therefore, it is essential for online shop owners to do an extensive research first to learn what companies are providing the real and best SSL certificates.

There are several legitimate and popular SSL providers out there. All you need is to choose one that fits your requirements. Companies such as CrazyDomain, VeriSign, GoDaddy, and GeoTrust; are a few of those trusted companies that provide both high-end and affordable SSL certificates.

Finally, SSL certificates are worth your investment. It is highly recommended to get SSL certificates for every page of your website. When your business’s reputation is on the line, it’s better to be safe than putting it at great risk. Whether you opt for premium certificates or go for the affordable ones, the choice is yours. Just make sure you’re getting a trusted provider.

Always remember that a safe and secure online store is more desirable for all shoppers. The more the customers, the more profits you rake in.

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Seven Ways to Make Your Family Summer Spectacular

Seven Ways to Make Your Family Summer Spectacular

The summer is here, and your kids are home from school. Everyone is excited for the time off, but there will come a day when your kids will start to get bored. They are youthful after all; they enjoy consistent stimulation–and, they have the energy for it. Putting them in front of a television screen or video games all day isn’t the answer for family-friendly fun. Plus, there are only so many trips you can make to the library before you start to hear sighs. What to do? Well, set out for an adventure. Here are some ideas to rev up your family-friendly summer fun.

Visit the fire station

Many fire stations offer monthly open houses and tours for anyone interested. If you contact your local fire station, they might even give your family a private tour. What child would not want a picture on a fire truck or to meet local heroes who save lives?

Plus, they will get to learn the ins and outs of fire safety–critical information for kids. When they’re done, you can discuss all of the things they learned. Who knows, it may even spark a career interest.

Go to the zoo

A day at the zoo is fun for all–including parents and guardians. You get to visit exotic and domestic animals, perhaps feed some and just spend some time with nature and our wonderful wildlife. Zoos are quite family-friendly and some even offer educational movies and shows. Many zoos have themed restaurants on-site for even more family time and memories. Make sure to bring everyone kids eyeglasses to protect them from the sun’s glare.

Tour a college

It’s never too early to get your children interested in furthering their education. In fact, the earlier, the better. If colleges are more than a few hours away, you might go for a short trip and stay in a local B&B. College towns can be quite entertaining, and it will give your kids something to think about.

Take a cooking class

Many kids love to help out in the kitchen–if only they knew how to cook. Well, taking a class can be a fantastic treat for the whole family. To keep things simple, you might focus on learning how to make homemade pizza or a baking class. There are many classes that welcome kids, just contact one in advance to be sure.

Have a family game night

Pull out some old board games, and get everyone involved. Some ideas include:






Test their wits against yours, and you might be surprised at their level of intelligence. In addition, board games are so much fun because they are truly interactive.

Head to a national park

There are hundreds of national parks throughout the country from the Badlands of South Dakota to the Carlsbad Caverns of New Mexico and of course, the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. Some parks offer Junior Ranger and recreation programs free of charge.

See the country by train

Depending on your location, you can plan an alluring summer trip via train. Riding a train allows you to see the country close-up, giving you a different perspective than you would have by a plane. Plus, trains offer suites for added comfort–if needed.

Your summer needn’t be drab and dreary. Try one of the activities above to create memories that last a lifetime.


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Reducing your carbon footprint – how to do it at home

Reducing your carbon footprint – how to do it at home

If you think you are paying too much for your electricity, it may be a good idea to have an electricity comparison carried out by the experts. It’s possible that you could get a better deal elsewhere. You can also make changes that can help to reduce your electricity bills, no matter who your supplier is.

The suggestions we are going to look at in this article are not only useful in helping to reduce electricity bills. You should also take a close look at these tips if you want to reduce your carbon footprint at home.

Take care of your electrical appliances

Many of us just take the electrical appliances in our homes for granted. As long as they appear to be working okay, we just leave them to it. The fact is that it can sometimes be difficult to recognise that there is a problem with an appliance. If you do not realise that there is an issue the appliance may not be working as efficiently as it should; it could be using more power than necessary. This could end up increasing your bills and any use of excess power is certainly not good for the environment.

Insulate your property

You may get sick of people talking about how important good home insulation is. The fact is that there is little point in making sure your air conditioning and heating systems are operating effectively, if you then lose a lot of the benefit by enabling warmed or cooled air to escape from your home. If you do not insulate your home effectively then your heating and cooling systems need to use more energy to do their job. This is not good for the environment, or for your household budget.

Think about the benefits of solar power

This is a more radical way of reducing your carbon footprint at home. There are different types and sizes of solar panel available, so solar power systems can be used in a wide variety of properties. It’s worth noting that solar power systems can be expensive to install initially, and you may have difficulty producing enough power for your needs.

You may want to think about remaining on the grid, as well as using solar power. Doing so can help reduce operating costs and means that you have access to additional energy should you need it. You may also be able to sell any excess energy you produce, back to the grid. If you decide to stay connected to the grid you will still reduce your carbon footprint, and electricity bills, by using less electricity overall.

We all have a responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint, if we want to look after the planet; for ourselves and for future generations. The good thing about all of the suggestions we have made in this article is that they can help you make monetary savings, as well as helping the environment.

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Upsizing Is the New Downsizing: How Future Family Plans Are Changing

Conventional wisdom says that when you retire, you should move into a smaller home to save money that you can spend on fun things like trips, golf outings, and cooking lessons. More and more of today’s retirees, however, are bucking that trend and actually upsizing their home, either in size or price, instead of downsizing.


According to a Demand Institute survey, 46% of baby boomers actually plan on upsizing when they retire. There are a number of possible reasons for this shift.


The More, The Merrier


Lots of retirees enjoy having their family and friends visit. Some of them might choose to get a larger home so that their children, grandchildren and other loved ones can stop in more often. This might be especially true if family lives far away and the retirees aren’t able to travel. In order to encourage family to visit on holidays and other times throughout the year, seniors may opt for a larger living space.


Moving Back Home


Some retirees may actually find that they need room for more than just themselves in their home. They may need space for their parents who can no longer live alone. Their children may need to move home after graduating college or if they’re having trouble finding a job.


They might even find they have both children and grandchildren. That can be fun and eliminates the need for travel to spend time with family but also, of course, requires a more spacious home.


Location, Location, Location


After working for most of the lives, people want to enjoy themselves when they finally get the chance to retire. They might want to spend more time on hobbies or pick up a new pastime.


To do this, they sometimes need to live in a certain location. If they like fishing, for example, they’ll want to live near a lake or some other body of water. If they prefer cultural events like plays, festivals, and concerts, they may want to live near a big city that has a lot to do.


Living in their desired locations may end up being more expensive than where they previously lived, and the only available homes may turn out to be on the larger side.


Treat Yourself


Another simpler reason seniors choose to retire in a larger home is just because they prefer to.  For some people, living in a larger home may help them to enjoy their retirement more. They might feel they deserve after all of those years of working hard.


Some baby boomers never got to buy their own home due to the housing market crash. Retirement can be a chance to make that happen. Some might even be willing to take out a mortgage and take the time to learn more about obtaining finance even if they’ve never done that before.


As a new group of people begins to retire, they’re redefining what life after work is like. Instead of downsizing their home, more seniors are upgrading either to make more room for friends and family, to be closer to what they love to do or just to treat themselves a little bit.


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5 Quick tips to wish father’s day with personalised gifts


5 Quick tips to wish father’s day with personalised gifts
Adding a personal touch of the emotions make your gift a priceless entity for the recipient. When you are gifting something special to your loved ones, the feelings and emotions leave an indelible print that make the gift truly valuable. Your father is the support system during tough times and it is important to recognise his efforts through amazing gift ideas for father’s day.
Personalised gifts can play an important role in making the father’s day celebration truly memorable. Below are some of the wonderful father’s day gift ideas for your beloved daddy to make the day really special.


Buy a personalised photo frame for him- It will be a cool idea to help your father relive the good old memories with an old picture. You can frame the old family picture or an old photograph of your dad with his bunch of friends as a wonderful token of love. This amazing picture in a stylish photo frame will be one of the popular father’s day gifts from kids that will be remembered for a long time.
Gift a personalised medical box- Your father has grown up in age and consumes a lot of medication to handle a variety of old age ailments. To make your father feel special, you can gift him a homemade father’s day gifts in the form of a lovely medical box. It can be easily created by utilizing waste card box, tape, colourful ribbons, glue, sparkling paper and colourful pens. This non costly gift item will be loved by your father due to the amount of efforts involved in its designing and creation.
Offer a personalised grooming kit- Unlike women, men do use accessories and cosmetics to groom themselves. To celebrate the fatherhood in an elegant manner, you can gift a personalised grooming kit that consists of a shaving cream, a razor or trimmer, after shave lotion, face wash, a deodorant and other such items that are involved in the men’s grooming.  
A personalised key chain- Your father utilises a bike or car for her daily transportation purposes. A key chain for any of these modes of transportation would be a good choice that can effortlessly grab the attention of your loving father within no time. You can give a personalised touch to these key chains by gifting him an initial alphabet keychain, a favourite character keychain or a special lucky charm attached to your keychain to make this simple gift truly memorable.    
A personalised bottle opener- A bottle opener may be a too small gift item for the occasion of father’s day but its utility is much higher. A personalised bottle opener can emerge as one of the wonderful father’s day gift ideas that can offer a unique and special feeling to your doting dad.
So, there is no point in wasting your money on any luxurious gift item for your loving dad when a personalised gift item can do this task more effectively. Take a close look at these gift items and try out any of this gift item on this father’s day.         


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