Let’s face it, trying to stay busy during this pandemic has become more and more challenging as the weeks turn into months. Never fear, here is a list of 50 things that can get you going immediately and keep your mind moving in a positive direction.

1. Complete A Puzzle

Our family has completed 3 puzzles so far while we have been sheltering at home, one of which was 1000 pieces large. When my daughter brought out the 1000 piece puzzle, I thought we would never get done. However, 2 days later the puzzle had been completed. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you set your mind at it.

2. Start A Journal

If you like to write, this may be for you and especially during this time that is for sure going to be in the history books. Cataloging your feels, what you were doing and even what your kids thought can be great to reflect on years from now. Even if it’s not just about the here and now, cataloging your life over years of time can provide for a way to relive your past for years to come.

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We are in unprecedented times. The world is in shock and awe as this terrible virus swirls around the globe with the President of the United States declaring a national emergency, unlocking billions of dollars to prevent America from falling into desperate times.

For every person in America, there is immediate concern and stress that has come over each one of us almost over night. Where did this come from and why can’t I get my normal life back?

Each one of us has a different set of concerns. How do I prevent from getting sick? Should I just sit at home and cut myself off from society? What just happened to my 401k plan and now what? Will I have a job tomorrow? What should I be doing now to protect my financial future?

These are unprecedented times and they don’t come with detailed instructions. So what am I to do? We wanted to attempt to calm everyone’s nerves here and provide some tips on what to do financially given this sudden outbreak and global pandemic that has completely uprooted our lives as we know it.

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I know it may be hard to imagine that spring is coming soon, especially for those us who are up here in the northern states like us. How can we be talking about spring already?

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for spring break! Let the warm weather in and the sun shine!

I wanted to compile a short list of options for those who want to plan a spring break somewhere warm but not to let it break the bank while you are doing it.

Believe it or not, great vacations are still within reach if you are watching your budget this sprint. It all comes down to how you approach the vacation and where you spend your money.

After we take a trip through some of these vacation destinations, I am going to walk you through a few tips on how to take a great vacation but also have some frugality to it as well.

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So college is here and whether you are a parent of a bright young student heading into their first year at college, or YOU are the bright young student heading into that first year, you will surely want to consider some of these hidden costs of college while you budget your way through your first year.

When I went to college, first of all it was cheaper to attend the university that I went to, however some of the costs that you never expected did in fact add up faster than I expected and unfortunately, this led me into my first pile of debt that I certainly wasn’t expecting to get out of going to college.

Keep in mind that college costs vary drastically depending on what college you are attending, whether you are staying on campus and ultimately what kind of lifestyle you are looking to live while you are hitting the books.

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Have you decided not to go on a vacation this year because you are either saving your money or you just can’t afford it?   Well you might still be able to travel this year without spending a fortune or maybe even get paid to do it.   How does that sound?   It’s for real!  Let me explain more…

There are a number of ways that you can go about this, from volunteering, teaching, working or by organizing a group of travelers, just a little effort can go a long way to getting yourself traveling abroad without breaking the bank.

There are organizations around the world that are looking for you to come to them and help their organization out.   In return, they will provide accommodations, food and sometimes even travel expenses.   Here are a few examples:

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With being a parent, I feel great responsibility to teach and ensure that my kids don’t make some of the same mistakes that I made when I was young.    I will admit, I was a pretty good kid growing up, but you can’t get everything right.    My mom was a banker and my dad was in insurance, so with hearing about finances and risk growing up you would think my finances would have been in order by age 20 right?  Not quite!

It took years to really learn and appreciate the world of finance with both the pain and great success that it can deal out to you.  I have a 16 year old son and a 12 and 9 year old girls.  They are my world and I want the best for them.   My son is starting to get to the age to where I feel compelled to begin the process of shaping him for the real world.  I mean he is driving and he recently got his first job. He has to understand some things about the real world.

In steps super finance obsessed parent (me) with a plan.   So it’s really simple and the earlier that you start this in life, the more you will achieve with this easy method to build wealth.   It’s not rocket science, but it amazes me how many people just don’t learn more about this until it’s too late.

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There are times in life where you are forced to get really serious about cutting your budget.  That time was a few years back for me when my company at the time unexpectedly went belly up.   A global firm in 24 countries that I invested many years in went bankrupt in a very short time span, which left every one of us with a week notice and no job.

At the time,  I was in disbelief.    I couldn’t believe this was happening.  I felt a range of emotions about it, knowing that I had 3 young children at home that needed me to have a job and I didn’t have one any longer.    I had a mortgage to pay for and a car payment, plus there needed to be food put on the table.

Now thankfully I started my first day at another company within a fairly short period of time so it could have been much worst, but at the time I thought the world was caving in on me.    I had to make a decision right there and then to either get back up and dust myself off or let life take me down the drain.

So we got real serious about cutting our budget immediately…  Here are some ideas to drastically cut your budget and get serious about becoming financial free.

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1. Get Up Early and Watch the Sunrise with a Cup of Coffee

There is a lot that happens in the morning before you get out of bed.   Make a point to get up early, make yourself a cup of coffee and sit outside and watch the sunrise in the morning.  You just might hear a few birds welcoming you to today.

2. Watch a Movie with That Special Someone

You already have a thousand channels on cable, Netflix or Hulu, why not use it?   Pop some microwave popcorn, curl up on the couch and spend some special time cuddling with that special someone.

3. Visit a Local Beach for a Walk

There is nothing better than a nice warm spring or summer day, heading down to the local beach to take in the views by the water as you sink your feet into that wonderful sandy beach.  Maybe you could pack a picnic and make a day of it.   In Ohio, even though we are near a coastal town, we have numerous lakes that have public beaches and hiking trails.

4. Go on an Adventure by taking a Hike

No matter where you live in the country, there should be multiple options for different hiking trails within a short drive of your home.      Not only are you getting fit, but you are also taking in the fresh air from being in nature and seeing it’s beauty.[Read More…]

Wouldn’t it be awesome to do a world tour one day?  Well, it might not be that far off if your destinations are on this list.

I have put together my top 10 list of the cheapest travel destinations through out the world.   These are places where you can explore for less than $50 a day, sometimes less.     Destinations that are full of culture and heritage, beautiful and amazing sights, interesting people and unique foods.

Join me as we take a tour around the world on the cheap!

India

I visited several cities in India a few years ago and wow what an amazing experience.     First of all, I have never seen so many people in one place in my life.  With well over 1 billion people in this country, people watching never gets old here.

As an example how cheap India can be, we would grab transportation from one end of the city to the other in a auto rickshaw for less than 1 US Dollar.   India has come a long way in recent past, so you will see both very rich accommodations right next to extreme poverty.[Read More…]

Back in the day, you just called your travel agent and that’s how you booked your trip.    The internet wasn’t a thing.   Now, you have 3 million different options to book travel and that leads a lot of people not knowing where to turn.   Do I book direct with the airline or do I use one of the numerous travel sites out there?   What time of day do I book or what day is best?     Should I wait to the last minute or should I book early?

All these questions lead many people to pay more for their flights that they really need to and this is how airlines make money on you.

Having worked in the corporate office of a global company, I saw the booking process on a daily basis as they were shipping people around to every corner of the planet.   In this experience I picked up a few secrets that the airlines are not going to ever tell you.

Here are my secrets that I have learned along the way.[Read More…]