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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Trust me, I hate credit cards just as much as the next person because they have caused me a lot of grief in my life over the years since I was old enough to have one.

In fact, as I have mentioned many times on this blog, we were at one point over $75,000 in credit card debt. Looking back, I can’t even believe we were able to get out of that amount of debt. With perseverance and a lot of hard work, we did it and couldn’t be happier that being in debt is behind us.

So with that being said, I am not recommending this practice if you are already deep in debt. You should cut off all use of credit cards and focus on getting out of debt first and foremost.

On the flip side, if you can use credit cards responsibly and pay off your credit cards every month, there are a wide world of rewards awaiting you at your fingers tips that can lead you to cheap or free vacations to travel anywhere you want around the world.

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Here is a side hustle where you can not only get paid for it, it can also put a roof over your head for a period of time for free! People from around the world are looking for a trusting person like yourself to come over to their home and keep an eye on things while they are away.

Why is this a thing? Well the answer is a variety of reasons. A lot of times people are traveling for business or just pure vacation and they need someone to provide company for their dog or cat while they are away. Others need someone living in their home to make sure things stay on the up and up through the winter seasons. Perhaps gardening is huge for another traveler who doesn’t want the weeds to take over while they trek the globe.

None the less, all these reasons allow a great opportunity for you to move on into their humble or luxury abode and take in the sights of their local community, town or city for free.

Now, a lot of these opportunities exist in the United States and they are even happening in areas near you if you happen to be in the United States. However, if you are up for a worldly adventure there are house sitting gigs around the globe as well.

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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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Does becoming a minimalist appeal to you?   Maybe you just can’t get yourself to commit fully to it?  Your not the only one, I assure you!    Minimalism comes in many forms and is really not one steadfast set of rules you must follow to become a minimalist, so it’s really about what makes you happy.

I used to accumulate things years ago.   I mean I worked hard for these items and I wanted to make sure I was getting every last dollar of value out of each item that we purchased, so I held on to things that I perceived to still have value.

As the years went on and I realized the amount of stuff we had accumulated, the items turned from items that we enjoyed owning to items that just took up space and ultimately became a job and cost just to manage it all.   So the purge began and still continues to this day.

Check out these stats to help inspire you to really support the “Less is More” movement.[Read More…]

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…]

I have said it before, I LOVE Coffee!   If I would pick one food or drink item that I just could not do without, Coffee would be it.   I have also said before that if you made Starbucks your #1 choice in the morning, the amount of money you would spend over time would be astronomical.   If you have read my post on “Your Daily Starbucks habit could mean $330,633 less money at retirement“, you will see that it can be an expensive habit.

None the less, if you just can’t help the urge to get yourself a Starbucks, then I have compiled a list of tips & tricks to save you some money while drinking this irresistible drink.  Here are my 8 hacks to stretch your money at Starbucks.

Free Refills

Did you know you can get free refills at Startbucks?  You have got to be kidding me right?  No it’s true.   During the same visit, if you use the same registered Starbucks card or mobile app and return for a refill, you will get a free cup of brewed coffee (hot, iced or cold brew) or tea (hot or iced).   If you don’t believe me, check out their policy on the Starbucks web site.[Read More…]

Do you love to shop?    Well here are 8 awesome apps that you need to know about before you head out to do some shopping, whether it be online shopping or in store shopping.    All 8 of the apps are completely free and in fact these companies will pay you!   Awesome right?

Let me tell you about them:

Swagbucks

This is a fun little app where they focus mostly on providing you surveys to complete and in exchange you earn what they call “Swagbucks”.    The surveys are generally not a drag to take and they usually don’t take long.   The great thing about this site is that they tell you how long the survey will take and what you will earn ahead of time.

For example, you could be presented with a 6 minute survey where you could earn 50 Swagbucks.   When you reach a certain threshold of Swagbucks, you can then begin to turn them in for gift cards of your choice.    This is perfect to kill time when you are waiting in line somewhere, or at the doctor’s office or when you lay down to go to bed.   Fire up the app and take a survey and earn some Swagbucks![Read More…]

Now I love being frugal as I approach life.   I like to budget, I like to save and I like to invest when we can.   Sometimes I even can take it too far and get caught up in saving money to the detriment of me and other things in my life.   This is when you start to move from being frugal to just being cheap about it.

You will see that having a balance in life of saving maxed well with still having fun in life is the best approach and what I will showcase to you in the 6 signs of when you know your not being frugal, your just being plain old cheap about it.

Here are my 6 tips.

Never Spending the Fun Money

Every year about this time of the year, we start researching where we are going to take our big vacation of the year.   We research areas of the world, means of transportation and what we are going to do when we get there.  I mean we did spend all year saving for this grand event, we might as well live it up and celebrate all that hard work.

None the less, I still have some guilt hanging over my head knowing that I did spend all that time saving and to spend it all in a week or so doesn’t sound too frugal does it?  Well here is the thing that I have to correct myself on every time.   We collectively made a decision in our budget to save the money specifically for spending the money on something fun.[Read More…]