Free Activities that are Free to Do

Are you on a tight budget and have cut out so many pay-to-do activities? Check out these nine free activities that are, well, free!

Participate in a Library Event

No matter if it’s for education or entertainment, the library has hosts of activities free to the public. Some city libraries have free passes for family’s to enjoy a day at a museum, zoo, or other city educational attractions.

Go to the Concert in the Park Night

Many cities offer a free concert or movies in the park night. Here, all you’ll need is to bring your blanket and a few snacks to enjoy a free night out. These are typically held in the summertime, and many are open for kids to enjoy as well. Either way, it’s plenty of room for them to run about should they get bored.

Host a Movie Marathon

If you don’t want to travel far, consider hosting a movie marathon at home with a group of close friends. You can supply a movie from your collection or stream free movies online. Your friends can all bring a dish or favorite snack as well.

Host a Clothing Swap Party

Another free activity is to clean up around your home. You can get rid of old clothes you no longer need. To make it a fun activity, invite a few friends over. Make it a clothing swap party. This is perfect for friends who have kids in various age ranges.

Host a Beauty Day

You and your friends may have many talents. Each of you can think of the perfect makeover you specialize in. Each person can partake in giving facials, manicures/pedicures, massages, or applying makeup.

Start a Blog

Are you interested in expressing your feelings? Start a blog for free today. It takes only a few moments to get a free blog set up on Blogger or WordPress. It’s fun to do and you can even monetize it in the future should you choose.

Work on a DIY Activity

If you love crafts or just want to get a few things accomplished around your home, go ahead and work on a DIY activity. A few craft ideas include:

  • Painting furniture
  • Wall art
  • Storage space ideas

Learn a New Skill Online

Since you have free time, why not learn a new skill? Check out online sites such as YouTube, Khan Academy, and Udemy for free videos that teach you how to do practically anything. Learn how to draw, brush up on a particular software skill, or learn how to start a business.

Prep Meals for the Week

Are you looking for a way to be more productive with meal time? How about prepping your meals for the week. If you have most of your items, freezer meals make an excellent choice. These meals include preparing soups, casseroles, and meat dishes. If you plan them right, the meals are healthy and affordable.

The above nine activities are perfect to do when you need to save some serious money. You can find more advice in this article here. They are fun, don’t require much work, and something you may do.

Why Paper Checks Aren’t Dead and a Great Place to Get Them

Hardly anyone I know uses paper checks unless it’s absolutely necessary anymore. In fact, it takes me several months to use a pad of 30 checks even though I have many regularly occurring monthly bills to pay. Despite my only occasional use of paper checks, I don’t think they’ll be going away entirely anytime soon. Here are a couple of reasons why the paper check isn’t dead yet.

Floating Your Account

Lots of people, myself included, use paper checks to “float” their account for a day or two. The time between when you write and mail, or hand over, a check to when the transaction is recorded to your checking account can be as much as 5 business days, or more if it’s somewhere that doesn’t deposit to the bank very often.

This can be helpful if you have a troublesome monthly cash flow. For instance, most people’s home mortgage is one of the biggest bills they pay and it’s due on the first of each month. But some employers pay bi-weekly rather than on the first and fifteenth of each month. This means that sometimes people haven’t gotten their paycheck yet when their mortgage is due. If payday falls only a day or two behind the first of the month, they can usually successfully float their account while still having paid their mortgage bill on time.

A Paper Trail

Some people prefer to have an exact paper trail to follow for all of their transactions. Writing paper checks is a good way to create a paper trail that you can follow later, especially if you have duplicate checks. Duplicate checks allow you to have an automatic copy of every check your write. They also allow you to wait before recording your transaction on your check register without having to save your receipt or remember the exact total you spent.

Now that you know why paper checks can still be helpful from time to time, let’s talk about how ordering checks online rather than through your banking institution is something to consider.

Self-Expression

I no longer order checks directly through my banking institution because they are very limited in what designs you can choose for your checks. I like to have fun printed checks that allow me to express myself every time I write one. There are also checks you can purchase to help support various charities or causes you believe in. Sometimes banking institutions don’t offer all of these choices.

Price and Speed of Delivery

Another reason I choose not to order checks through my bank is because they are way more expensive than when I order checks online through a check printing company. Oftentimes these companies offer special discounts for ordering multiple boxes of checks, or they throw in some free return address labels that match your new checks. Plus ordering checks online seems to get them to my home faster than when I order them through my bank, which is great if you procrastinate and wait to order until you are nearly out of checks.

Do you still use paper checks? Where do you order yours from?

How to Create Financial Stability for You and Your Partner

At home here in the UK and away in places all around the world, marriage is a huge institution that spans countless religions, bringing people together to celebrate their love for one another. It’s also a truism to say that in the vast majority of cases, the marriage of two people facilitates greater financial stability of those individuals – two pillars are stronger than one.

Some commentators would even go as far to say (perhaps jokingly, perhaps not,) that married people are better for the economy than single people. Whether or not this sort of claim has any truth is yet to be proved or disproved. However, if you’re married, or you and your partner are just about to tie the knot, one of the things you should be thinking about is how you’re going to create a financially stable future for yourselves.

Now, there’s no one method that you can implement that will give you perfect results, but you might find that by following some (or all) of the below advice, that you are able to carve out a strong financial position for you and your partner. Here are just a few of the things you could be working towards.

Not Married Yet? Reduce Your Wedding Day Spending

First-things-first. If you’re not yet married and you’re still in the planning stages, really look over the figure you’ve allocated as your total budget for the big day. Can you really afford it? Even if you can, could some of that money be better spent on a more practical purchase (such as one of the investments we mention later on in this article)?

Although your wedding day might seem like the most important thing in the world to you whilst you’re planning it (and it will certainly be a day you remember for the years to come!), with the average cost of a wedding over £18,000, and some publications even suggesting higher averages, you can’t deny that some of that money could be better spent elsewhere.

Analyze Your Credit Scores and See Whether They Can Be Improved

One of the benefits of getting married is that when it comes to large financial purchases, you can always choose to pay for them together over a period of months using credit.

Of course, to do this, there’s one large prerequisite: that you and your partner both have good enough credit scores to allow you to pass whatever credit check the credit providers put you up against.

To enable you to be confident enough that your credit score will be up to the challenge, you should check your credit report using a site like Experian. Looking closely at your report will allow you to see what aspects of your credit history are working for and against you, and this can enable you to change some of the negative factors in your favor. This is essential, as Different Money suggests, because a poor credit score could prevent you from attaining credit cards, a mortgage or other essential loans.

Start Saving for Your First Investment

Finally, personal finance is a long game, and this means that if you really want to secure your and your partner’s financial future, you should be thinking about your first investment. Whether that’s brick and mortar, or some basic dabbling in the stocks and shares market, investing your money is a smart way of securing your financial future as a couple.

If you are planning on investing, remember that all markets are difficult to predict and chaotic. This means that you should always consult with your partner and ensure you’re confident in the outcome before you invest.

Ultimately, creating a secure financial future for you and your partner will be challenging. However, it’s not an impossible task, and if you’re willing to follow some of the above advice and stick to it, you’ll see you and your partner’s finance start to shine.