Image courtesy of Pixabay
Guest post by Karen Weeks
Think you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Thanks to the internet there are exciting opportunities available to people of all ages, including seniors. Online learning is just a mouse click away. If you want to make it extra fun, grab some friends and learn as a group!
Not sure about navigating computers? The professionals at Make Use Of reviewed several options designed to help you get comfortable. Whether learning as an individual or with a group of friends, these will help you on your way:
The spice in life
Once you have a grasp of the basics, the possibilities are endless and the benefits abound. Experts at Science Daily explain that studies reveal engaging in mentally challenging activities helps keep the mind sharp. The internet offers a tremendous variety of choices, so pursue whatever interests you. Here are just a couple options:
The arts. Engaging in the arts is especially beneficial to seniors. Research reveals seniors who participate in arts-related activities boost their quality of life and maintain better health and well-being overall. Some scientific studies show:
Harvard Health further explains that musical engagement can function as exercise for the brain, helping to improve the efficiency with which information is processed. It allows you to express your feelings, communicate with others, can reduce depression and lowers stress levels.
With all that in mind, why not learn to play a musical instrument through online lessons? Enjoy learning an instrument such as a saxophone so you can play big band, jazz, classical or whatever strikes your fancy. For tips on choosing the perfect saxophone for you, explore an online saxophone buying guide.
Cars. Whether you love vehicles or are just interested in how they influence and shape our world, some experts suggest test driving Stanford University’s Youtube lectures on “Cars: Past, Present and Future.”
Science & Cooking. Harvard enlists famous chefs for this Youtube series of culinary education. They don’t stop with great cooking and recipes, but take the course to the next level and give scientific explanations for why cooking works.
Languages. Scientists believe that learning a new language is not any more difficult for seniors than it is for youth. Try taking French classes through Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative. It’s designed for beginners and is a highly interactive, video-based program that gets you learning right off the bat.
Learning at your fingertips
Learning new things is not only possible for seniors, but it’s healthy and easily accessible. Thanks to the internet, there is a virtually endless array of learning opportunities for individuals or for groups. Whatever direction you decide to pursue, dive in and have fun!
In addition, learn how technology benefits senior citizens, this comprehensive guide covers information to make the lives of seniors more convenient by highlighting existing technology.
About the author:
After retirement, Karen was bored and struggled to find a new sense of purpose. She decided to learn a new skill and took a computer course. She learned how to build her website, ElderWellness.net. Now, she tries new things all the time. She believes nothing is off limits to seniors.
When it comes down to Christmas decorations, there will always be a room to make your home both an aesthetically stunning place while having fun with it at the same time.
Christmas decorations are a welcome addition to the nice ritualistic part of the holiday season. Nothing will allow you to handle the job more easily than working on creating that perfect look. The following examples from guest blogger Ella Andrews will give you a few ideas you can use for decorations to make it all count:
Creating paper snowflakes
This is a classic solution that is really easy to make, since they require a bit of work for preparations but not too much in terms of work as well. You can easily hang them from your windows, making use of the Christmas tree and using these decorations all around the home. You can make use of this by using paper and scissors to make the snowflakes. Just take a piece of paper, fold it in half twice diagonally, then this will produce the shape you need after cutting into it. This is the step that will make the snowflake shape, so use jagged shapes for various looks once you unfold the paper. This is a simple yet elegant and very useful holiday solution that will work wonders.
Making white sock snowmen
Even though this may sound like the name of a band or something, the truth is these can be a really easy solution for your home cleaning and improvement needs. All you have to do to make it work is to get some tube socks. Get them and put some dry beans or rice as filling. When they are about ¾ full you can then tie a rubber band to create a waist for your new snowmen, then another one around the neck. Once you have this done, you will need to make some adjustments to get the shape right. In the end they will be done quite quickly, so you won’t have to worry about the details. You can fill the heads of the snowmen with cotton, then you will be able to fold it toward the outside of it to look like they have a hat on. Use a hot glue gun to put on some eyes with a set of buttons. You can also use superglue instead of making use of a hot glue gun. You can also work on sewing the buttons on, whatever works best for your needs. Use sticks for the arms and you will have an almost complete snowman each time. You can add smaller details, such as putting up clothes, a nose and a bit of something else such as an improvised scarf.
It will not take much to deal with completing such home decorations, but the end result is that you will also need to deal with house cleaning when the job is done. Begin by checking for the need for carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaning. It will not require a lot to make things work in terms of house cleaning, so look into it when you have the chance.
It is essential to start your financial journey off on the right track after graduating from college. The money decisions you make on campus are much different than the choices you’ll make once you enter the real world. How and when you spend your money can alter certain career plans and goals if you’re not careful. Setting aside time to plan your financial progress can help you stay on track with certain short and long term ambitions. Consider these tips to get a stronger handle on your money for a prosperous life after college.
Build your budgeting strategy
Graduating from college comes along with a variety of mandatory monthly payments. These could include a car payment, student loans, rent or travel costs. With so many payments coming out of your checking at once, it can be difficult to budget if you don’t have an organized system in place. To successfully manage a budget, add up your monthly paychecks, track your spending and always look for items you can eliminate from your expenses.
Take care of your student debt
It is crucial to take care of your student loans on time to avoid unnecessary fees. The longer you wait to set up your student loan payments, the more late fees you’ll receive. Depending on your current income, research all of your payment options to determine which one is right for you and your budget. Along with this, look into refinancing your student loans to reduce the total amount you end up paying. By refinancing, you can also secure a lower interest rate and be given a financial progress report depending on your current salary.
Open up an emergency fund
Throughout your adult life, you’re bound to have some bumps in the road, such as a car repair or a medical cost. Opening and contributing to a savings account every month will make it easier for you to pay off those unexpected expenses. Even if it’s as little as $20 a month, you’re contributing to an account that will act as a cushion, rather than accumulating more debt when a financial disaster happens.
Open a credit card
As soon as you graduate from college, the credit card letters will begin to appear in your mailbox. You may think of this as an annoying occurrence, but opening a credit card account after graduation is not a bad idea at all. Establishing credit after graduation benefits your financial health in a variety of ways. Building up your credit can give you a better rate for your car loan or mortgage. You’ll quickly learn how to spend within your means, and by hiring a credit advisor, you can receive additional guidance and information about your credit options.
Cut out additional costs
In college, you may have been paying for a Netflix account, a Birchbox subscription or Amazon Prime. They all require a monthly payment, but it might not be a payment that’s necessary for your post-grad lifestyle. If not, make sure to eliminate anything that is unnecessarily taking money out of your bank account. You’ll be surprised at how much money it will save you.
Who says kids get to have all the fun on Halloween? The Penny Hoarder compiled this year's list of scary-good deals and freebies that will make the holiday a delight for kids of all ages. So if you’re looking to fill your trick-or-treat bag with pizza, burritos, ice cream and more, get your Halloween costume ready and check out these sweet Halloween deals.
Trick or drink! If you celebrate Halloween with cocktails, then stop by Applebee’s for some zombies — that’s a concoction of rum, pineapple, passion fruit, cherry and lime garnished with a gummy brain — for just $1 each.
You don’t have to scream for free ice cream this Halloween. As part of its Celebrate 31 promotion, all Baskin-Robbins customers can get a free scoop of any flavor ice cream for $1.50 on Oct. 31.
3. McAlister’s Deli
Participating McAlister’s Deli locations are giving away free kid meals to kids in costume on Halloween. The deal is available for dine-in orders only between 10:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. with the purchase of an adult entree. Limit two kid meals per adult entree.
Calling all corn dog lovers! Snag a 50-cent corn dog all day on Halloween at Sonic locations, no costume necessary.
5. BJ’s Restaurant
This is my personal favorite! If you want to add warm cookie smothered in ice cream to your buffet of Halloween treats, then head over to BJ’s Restaurant for $3 Pizookies. The offer is available for dine-in, takeout and delivery orders through Oct. 31.
6. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
Run, Forrest, run… down to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. to get a free kid’s meal on Halloween with the purchase of an adult entree. The offer is limited to one per table and is not valid with any other discount. Tax and gratuity are not included. And for all of you “Forrest Gump” fans, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. has declared October “Forrest Gump Character Look-Alike Month.” This means you could win a $200 gift card if you share a photo of yourself dressed as one of the movie’s main characters before Nov. 1.
Whether you’re in the mood for something salty or sweet, you can get it for free at BurgerFi on Halloween. All you have to do is stop by in your costume to get a free small custard or free small fry.
Chipotle’s annual Boorito promotion is back! Grab a $4 burrito when you show up in costume on Halloween from 3 p.m. to close! Not a burrito fan? Don’t worry. You can get a bowl, salad or order of tacos instead!
And don’t forget to take a selfie in your Halloween costume while you’re there. You could win free burritos for a year if your share your photo on Instagram and tag @chipotle.
9. Chuck E. Cheese’s
Halloween is all fun and games with Chuck E. Cheese’s Chucktober celebration. Kids who come dressed to play — in their Halloween costumes, that is — any time during the month of October will each receive 50 free game tickets.
10. Cici’s Pizza
Before the kids start collecting treats for their Halloween candy buffets, treat them to a free kids buffet at Cici’s! The offer is available with the purchase of an adult buffet and a regular or large drink — just print or show this coupon. Limit one child per adult purchase, and the kiddo must be in costume.
If you’re looking for something fun to do with the kids to pass the time before trick-or-treating, head over to your local IHOP any time between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Oct. 31. Kids 12 and under can create their own free scary-face pancake with strawberries, whipped topping, mini Oreo cookies and candy corn.
12. Joe’s Crab Shack
Get the kiddos decked out in their costumes and head down to your local Joe’s Crab Shack on Oct. 31 for up to three free kids meals when you show this flyer to your server. Make sure you go hungry, too — one adult entree purchase is required for each free kids meal.
13. Krispy Kreme
Wear a costume and stop by a participating Krispy Kreme location to get a free donut of your choice on October 31st.
For more deals, read the original article here.
One of the best seasons is Autumn... the weather is perfect and it's the beginning of the holiday season celebration! It doesn't have to cost a lot of money to enjoy and celebrate all the simple yet fun activities. For more tips and ideas on Fall happenings, click here.
Here are just a few on my favorite frugal ways to celebrate the Autumn season:
1. Decorate your home with Fall leaves found in your own yard.
2. Visit a pumpkin patch with kids - it's more fun!
3. Sit at an outdoor cafe and sip an apple cider.
4. Create a fall-themed centerpiece from twigs.
5. Bake anything with pumpkin... yummy!
6. Make hearty soups in a slow cooker that will last.
7. Spend the day wine tasting with friends.
8. Light pumpkin-scented candles around the house.
9. Break out the boots, scarves, gloves, etc..
10. Attend a free Autumn music festival.
11. Do some Fall Cleaning in your closet, home and office.
12. Host a Fall-themed potluck party.
13. Make a list of what you are thankful for. Not just for Fall but all year round:)
If you love All Things Coffee like me ... you'll want to keep reading :) Did you know that this Saturday, Sept. 29 is National Coffee Day? I didn't - thanks to this article I read on The Penny Hoarder, there's a bunch of places where you can score a free (or pretty cheap) cup of joe and more!
Where to Find Free Coffee on National Coffee Day 2018
1. Barnes & Noble - Books and coffee go together like peanut butter and jelly — and this Saturday, you can enjoy both at Barnes & Noble with a free cup of hot or iced coffee.
2. Caribou Coffee & Einstein Bros. Bagels - If you live near a Caribou Coffee or Einstein Bros. Bagels shop and need a little food with your coffee on National Coffee Day, you can enjoy any size coffee for free with the purchase of any food item.
3. CIrcle K - If you’re passing by a Circle K on National Coffee Day, stop in for a free medium coffee and Belvita breakfast biscuits. Just download the CIrcle K app and present the deal at the register.
4. Cumberland Farms - On Saturday, just text FREECOFFEE to 64827 to receive a mobile coupon on your smartphone. The coupon is good for a free Farmhouse Blend or bold coffee in any size (hot or iced), or your choice of tea, cappuccino or hot chocolate.
5. Dunkin Donuts - Dunkin Donuts isn’t about to let its coffee-loving patrons suffer through the holiday. Stop by your favorite DD and get a free hot coffee with the purchase of any hot coffee of equal or lesser value.
Bring a friend and share the love! (By love, I mean caffeine.)
6. Krispy Kreme - Krispy Kreme went above and beyond by creating a coffee-glazed donut to celebrate National Coffee Day. And you can enjoy this limited-time donut this Saturday with a free cup of hot coffee — any size and no purchase is necessary. And if you’re a Krispy Kreme rewards member, you get to enjoy a free donut with that coffee.
7. Love’s Travel Centers - Love’s Travel Centers is celebrating for two days, Sept. 28-29, with 24-ounce coffees and other hot beverages for just $1. All proceeds benefit Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, so you’ll be doing some good while enjoying your java.
8. Maui Wowi Hawaiian - You may know Maui Wowi Hawaiian for its smoothies, but it serves a mean cup of coffee, as well. You don’t have to go to one of its stores to buy it, either. For National Coffee Day, Maui Wowi Hawaiian will offer customers 50% off their online orders at shop.mauiwowi.com. Just use promo code ALOHACOFFEE at checkout. That can mean big savings if you dig coffee from the Kona district of Hawaii.
9. McDonald’s - If you have the McDonald’s app, you’ll find two deals on coffee, though they aren’t specific to National Coffee Day. You can get any size hot or iced coffee for $1 through Dec. 30, or if you plan on having coffee with a friend, you can get any medium or large McCafe beverage for one penny with the purchase of any medium or large regular price McCafe beverage until Sept. 30.
10. Pilot Flying J - On the road this week? Participating Pilot Flying J travel centers will offer a free hot coffee — any size and any flavor, including the limited-edition pumpkin caramel macchiato flavor — this Saturday for National Coffee Day. Just download the myPilot app and look for a coupon under “myOffers” to get your free cup o’ joe.
11. PJ’s CoffeeVisit - PJ’s Coffee on National Coffee Day for a free 12-ounce Ruby Roast, the chain’s first direct trade light roast coffee in collaboration with coffee farms in Honduras and Nicaragua.
12. Stewart’s Shops - If you live in New York and like to get your coffee buzz at Stewart’s Shops, you’re in luck. On Saturday, you can get a free hot, iced or cold-brewed coffee from noon until close. What’s more, you can get it in any size and any flavor.
13. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf- This coffee chain has been celebrating National Coffee Day all week by offering a free specialty beverage with the purchase of Bright Future Blend coffee and tea for all rewards members.
Read original article here.
Has it been awhile since you last ventured abroad? You’re not alone. According to a recent study from Hostelworld Global Traveler Report, Americans are half as likely to travel abroad and visit multiple countries than Europeans. Not only that, 29% of US adults have never even been abroad! Travel expenses are certainly a contributing factor. Which is one reason why most Americans that do travel abroad tend to visit our neighboring countries, Canada and Mexico. But experiencing other cultures, foods, histories, and languages doesn’t have to break the bank.
In fact, there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to the total cost of traveling in the first place. That is because the first thing people usually look into is the cost of airfare. This, in many cases, is by far the most expensive cost of the trip, depending on the length of your stay and the country you’re visiting. And seeing the huge initial cost of a roundtrip ticket can put a real damper on your travel plans.
Sites like Skyscanner, Momondo, and Kiwi offer the best prices for flights. Kiwi also goes a step further by combining all airlines to create cheaper routes than booking with just 1 airline (they also feature their own guarantee that covers schedule changes, delays, and cancellations, so long as you inform them of the delay as soon as you’re aware of it). You’ll also save money by selecting a weekday to fly—Tuesdays and Wednesdays are typically thought to be the cheapest days to travel, while Sundays are the most expensive. You should also aim to book a flight 1.5 - 2 months prior to your day of departure to get the best deal on airfare.
After getting off the plane, prices can drop considerably. Especially in cheaper areas of the world—like Southeast Asia, Central America, or Northern Europe. Luxury items you’re used to spending a pretty penny on, like a pint that normally costs $6 - $8, can be purchased for just a buck or less. A bottle of fine wine can even be found for $4! You can save even further by having a mobile bank account that doesn’t charge for foreign transactions, and allows you to take your finances on the go! This can amount to huge savings if making big purchases or using your credit card frequently whilst abroad.
Cost savings like these you’ll only become aware of by venturing abroad yourself, or by reading into it online before planning your travels. If your plan was the latter, here are some of the cheapest countries in the world to travel when you’re on a budget:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Visit one of Europe’s most exciting locations. Sarajevo, the nation’s capital, is a historic blend of cultures where East meets West. There are parts of the city that’ll bring to mind Vienna, while others, Istanbul. You can find rooms in hostels for as little as $10 a night, restaurant meals between $5 - $10 (although street food is considerably cheaper--and delicious!), and beer for around a dollar! Bosnians, by nature, are famously hospitable, too. So it’s entirely possible you’ll make some quick friends and score some free meals along the way!
Spain may have lost its status as one of the cheapest destinations in Europe after adopting the euro as its official currency, however there are certainly ways to explore this beautiful country on a budget. Large cities, like Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville, may tend to charge higher prices than their rural counterparts; however, that also means there are ample choices for accommodation. HotelsCombined is a great site to find the best deals on hotels and hostels. Many of which come with perks, like free city tours and bar crawls. A menú del día, offered around lunch time, can be found in many restaurants across the country and features a full course meal (including a beverage) for about 10 euros. Many of Spain’s museums also offer free hours, like the Museo del Prado in Madrid, for example.
Coming in as one of the cheapest countries on the list is Laos. Laos can be extremely affordable if you avoid western steakhouses and fancy French cuisine. Laotian street food features some of the most creative (and delicious) foods, including “ka nom kok” or coconut pancakes, “sai oua” or laotian sausage, and avocado shakes. Yum! If your budget says no, but your stomach says yes, you can make an entire meal out of food from the markets for less than $5.00 a day--or haggle to fetch food for even less. You can also find accommodations for as little as $3 a night, with breakfast included! For another affordable destination, check out Laos’ similarly-priced (and beautiful) neighbor, Thailand!
Venture down to Central America, and explore Caribbean shorelines and exotic jungles (filled with Mayan ruins) in the tropical country of Belize. Save big on airfare by flying into Cancun, then catching the ADO bus to make your way over. Doing so will save you around 50% on airfare and allow you to see two countries during your trip. Traveling in the offseason (June to November) will also open the door up to some huge discounts on accommodations (as much as 50%)! Websites like Groupon also feature a number of all-inclusive travel deals. When it comes to eating, you can find food and produce in the markets for about $2.50--and hotels for as little as $11 a night.
East of Belize is another affordable destination: the Dominican Republic. The DR is certainly a budget-friendly option if you don’t mind staying away from resortlife in Punta Cana--and since this is the most targeted vacation destination among tourists, you can find much more affordable accommodations in the nation’s capital, Santo Domingo. As an added bonus, spending your holiday amidst the local population will allow you to be more immersed in the nation’s culture and history- and isn’t that what traveling abroad is all about? You can avoid expensive cab fares by parking in areas central of must-see (and free) areas, like the Colonial Zone, Fortaleza Ozama, Parque Colón, and Catedral Primada de América; taking a cab only when walking isn’t a viable option. If your Spanish isn’t too rusty, you can utilize public transportation to get to Boca Chica beach or Juan Dolio beach. For accommodations, you can find a number of hostels located within the city (or even near Punta Cana) for around $10 a night, and enjoy meals at sit-down restaurants for under $10, or street vendors for just a few bucks!
Choosing to live the frugal life also means adhering to certain lifestyle changes. These changes were discussed in a previous post here on The Frugal Lifestyle, and they all involve cutting costs on aspects like transport, food, and home maintenance. Aside from those mentioned, being resourceful is also a vital part of frugal living. If you are creative enough to think of ways to repurpose old or unusable household items into things that you can use, you have the potential to save even more money. Even those who aren’t particular crafty can learn with a little patience and inspiration. So with that in mind, here are some great recycling ideas to get you started.
Turn Wine Bottles into Garden Lights
It’s natural for households to spend on decorations, drinks, food, and other celebratory items during the holidays. Fortunately, you can find other purposes for these things after they’ve been used up, long after the holiday season has passed. Lifehacker shared a mood lighting project that involves old wine bottles and Christmas lights. Basic tools are needed, as you will need to drill a hole in the side of the bottle in order to insert a strand of Christmas lights. This lamp can be used for indoor mood lighting or as a porch light throughout the year.
Transform a Table Using Old CDs
There is no need to throw away old CDs when you can use them to transform an old piece of furniture. Using a strong pair of scissors, simply break the CDs into small pieces so that can be arranged into a mosaic. You can then glue these pieces onto an old table to give it a new look. After decorating his garden table with pieces of old CDs, a user called Emzul shared the finished product on Imgur. The CD-studded table looked like a brand new piece of furniture. You can take inspiration from projects like this to reduce the desire to buy new furniture and find new ways to liven up old ones that are still usable.
Repurpose an Old Suitcase as a Cabinet
Unused suitcases can take up a lot of space to store. The natural thing to do would be to throw them out or sell them. But there is also the option to repurpose them as cabinets. Now, such a project may need advanced crafting skills, so do ask for help from experienced DIY-ers if possible. In Mel Lockcuff’s suitcase medicine cabinet tutorial, she used boards, screws, L brackets, and drywall anchors. These are used to make the shelves and to keep the cabinet in place. The finished product will add a vintage flair to whichever room you hang it in.
Make Desk Organizers with Toilet Roll Tubes
Your home office can become a chaotic mess if you don’t have proper organizers for your supplies. Luckily, you can fashion a desk organizer out of one of the most discarded household items: the toilet roll tube. Foxy Bingo’s guide to random uses for household items details how you can use toilet roll tubes to store cables. To make the tubes more attractive, you can decorate them with washi tape or paint them in the color of your choice. Aside from cables, you can also store pens, paper clips, and other crafts supplies.
Fashion a Reusable Bag Out of Old Shirts
Supermarkets may provide reusable shopping bags, but they don’t usually come for free. Instead of buying one, you can do the environment an even better favor by recycling old clothes. There are many ways to create a t-shirt bag, as clearly stated on Things We’ll Make’s post on ‘8 Ways to Make a Bag From a Shirt’. You can either do a bit of sewing or go the no-sew, fringed shirt bag route. It's also worth noting that reusable shopping bags sold by stores often use materials that are not easily washable. People almost never wash these bags as a result, thereby increasing the risk of product contamination. T-shirt bags, however, can be easily thrown into the laundry to clean.
Can you believe Summer is almost over? You don't have to spend any money to enjoy what's left of summer. If your budget is tight and you still want to feel like you're on a mini vacation or staycation, keep reading! Here's 10 of my favorite ways to have a fun, fabulous and free ways to enjoy the remainder of this summer season!
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