The start of the new school year can be exciting for kids. They get a new teacher, start seeing their friends again daily, and get all new clothes and supplies. However, beginning a new school year is also a big change and may require a bit of an adjustment period.
With school back in session, it can be easy to get off track on your budget with the additional cost of school lunch and on-the-go breakfast and dinners. A great way to save money and start a good back-to-school routine is to make your meals at home.
Check out the BALANCE blog post below for six ways to save on homemade meals.
Want to plan the perfect date night without breaking the bank? Check out the BALANCE blog post below for a few great ideas.
When you and your partner are focusing on paying down debt, it’s easy to put relationship fun on hold. After all, dining out is a sure-fire way to blow the budget. Expensive vacations? Entirely out of the question!
But you can still keep the spark alive with regular date nights, even on a budget.
First, schedule the time into the calendar. Often, busy couples find that if it doesn’t get scheduled, it doesn’t happen. If you have young children, consider coordinating with another family to swap babysitting duties. This way, each set of parents gets an evening out without paying for a babysitter.
Now that you’ve got the date set and the sitter lined up, here are some frugal date night ideas so you and your partner can make great memories without spending much money.
Go on a hike
A hike (or a leisurely walk) in a beautiful location is a great way to spend some distraction-free time with your spouse. Enjoy the scenery, get some fresh air, and get your blood pumping. Websites like AllTrails and Outdoor Project are good free resources for local hikes.
If a friend or family member was coming to visit your city, where would you take them? Often, the most impressive or entertaining spots get overlooked by locals. Pretend you’re just visiting the area and hit up some of the top tourist destinations and local landmarks. The local Chamber of Commerce is an excellent resource for inspiration.
You don’t need a telescope to take your honey stargazing! It’s best to choose a night when you’ll have clear skies and a new moon. Pack up a blanket and some snacks and head out of town to a place with dark skies and little light pollution. Spread out the blanket, look up at the stars, and bask in the awe of a starry sky.
If you miss going out to restaurants while you’re tightening the budget, you can get that restaurant enjoyment without having a full sit-down meal. Coffee and dessert at your favorite restaurant still feel like a splurge. Who said you can’t have your cake and eat it, too?
Have a Picnic
A picnic doesn’t have to be a fancy (read: expensive) affair. A lunch sack will do just fine if you don’t have a dedicated picnic basket. Cheese, crackers, fruit, and your favorite drinks require almost no prep and taste even better at a local park or wilderness area.
Visit a Farmers Market
You might be amazed at how much is happening at your local farmer’s market! Of course, you’ll find farmers selling their freshly grown produce, but there’s likely also baked goods, meat and eggs, crafts (like handmade candles and soap), and ready-to-eat food. Wandering around the farmer’s market is a great way to spend a few frugal hours. You might even come home with local produce and inspiration to try a new recipe.
Hit up the Yard Sales
If you like the thrill of the hunt, it’s worth getting up early on a Saturday morning and hitting the yard sale circuit. Decide how much money you’re willing to spend ahead of time and bring it in small bills. This helps to ensure you stay within your budget. You never know what you might find at a yard sale—and sometimes you’ll come home empty-handed! Not knowing is all part of the fun.
Nearby orchards or berry farms can make for great frugal dates. The “u-pick” fruit farms are typically less expensive and tastier than the comparable fruit at the grocery store, and you get to spend some quality time outside with your partner. Make sure to research the right time to go for ripe fruit and bring some containers from home.
Wrapping it Up
Date nights are so important in relationships. Time to talk without the day-to-day stressors and sharing new experiences help keep the romance alive. These things don’t have to be expensive. Keep your budget on track with frugal date nights and watch your relationship and savings account grow.
Topics: Home, Life & School
With the start of a new school year right around the corner, it's time to start filling the cart with back-to-school items. If the rows and rows of school supplies at Walmart and Target haven't already sucked you in, then Tax-Free Weekend is the perfect time to grab some of the key items on your list.
Living in an area that experiences hurricane season for six months out of the year, we need to be prepared. A great way to do a bit of pre-planning so that you're not panicking when a hurricane is on its way is to put together a Hurricane Preparedness Kit.
Cue Born in the USA, Proud to be an American, and Independence Day by Martina McBride (I had to add a little twang for my country heart.) Believe it or not, the Fourth of July is my favorite holiday, and just like Christmas has its carols, Independence Day has its melodies. Something about those proud tunes, warm weather, cookout food, and fireworks speaks to my soul.
Topics: Home, Life & School
There is no better time of year to live at the beach than the summer. I love spending time outside by the ocean or the river and soaking up the UV rays, with sunscreen, of course.
Summertime has finally arrived at the grand strand, and unfortunately, hurricane season came right along with it. Living near the coast, we are in hurricane season from June 1st to November 30th. Thinking about a potential hurricane can be somewhat stressful. However, being educated and prepared can help relieve a bit of that anxiety. Check out the BALANCE blog post below for tips on how to financially prepare before a natural disaster.
Lt./ Col. James B. Kendrick would have celebrated his 103rd birthday this Wednesday, May 18th. In celebration of his first heavenly birthday, we wanted to share his Community Focus article from our May 2019 member newsletter, The Caroliner.
Topics: Home, Life & School
As you may know, I just graduated from the 42nd class of Leadership Grand Strand. Leadership Grand Strand is a 10-month program sponsored by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce to develop a corps of informed, committed, and qualified individuals who provide dynamic leadership for the Grand Strand area. As part of the requirements for graduation, my classmates and I had to volunteer at least 75 hours with various local charities, including Habitat for Humanity and New Directions Men’s Shelter in Myrtle Beach.
Although I already knew that I had a heart for service through previous volunteer opportunities with the credit union, Leadership Grand Strand tremendously strengthened my desire to give back to the community. However, with so many different volunteer opportunities, finding ways to help that will actually make an impact can be tricky.
If you are already an avid volunteer or are looking for ways to start giving back to your community, check out the BALANCE blog post below: