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30+ Fall Quotes

fall quotes

Fall is already a special time of year. Make it even more special with these beautiful fall quotes.

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There are so many reasons to love fall—the changing leaves, the crisp air, the cool breezes, and mugs of hot cocoa.

 

As you plan your fall activities this year, keep these fun fall quotes in mind. They can inspire your fall season to be bright, cozy, and full of warmth.

 

Fall Season Quotes

 

Celebrate the fall season this year with some fall seasonal quotes. These famous quotes and sayings are all about the fall season and the things we love about autumn.

 

fall quotes

 

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”

 

― Lauren DeStefano

 

fall quotes

 

“Autumn is the hardest season. The leaves are all falling, and they’re falling like they’re falling in love with the ground.”

 

― Andrea Gibson

 

fall quotes

 

“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.”

 

― J. K. Rowling

 

fall quotes

 

“October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception.”

 

— Oliver Wendell Holmes

 

fall quotes

 

“It was a beautiful, bright autumn day, with air like cider and a sky so blue you could drown in it.”

 

— Diana Gabaldon

 

Inspirational Fall Quotes

As it starts to get colder this time of year, it can be difficult to stay motivated. Post some inspirational fall quotes around your house where you’ll see them to help keep you inspired and positive even as the weather turns colder.

 

fall quotes

 

“Notice that autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.”

 

— Friedrich Nietzsche

 

fall quotes

 

“[Fall] settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.”

 

― Stephen King

 

fall quotes

 

“At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.”

 

― Rainer Maria Rilke

 

fall quotes

 

“Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn—that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness—that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.”

 

― Jane Austen

 

fall quotes

 

“Autumn is the greatest reminder: It reminds us how dreamlike beauties our earth has and it reminds us how all these beautiful dreams can easily vanish!”

 

— Mehmet Murat Ildan

 

Fall Quotes Short

Short fall quotes are great for postcards, post-it notes, and letter boards. Fit these smaller quotes on any surface to decorate your home with some cute fall quotes.

 

fall quotes

 

“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.”

 

— William Cullen Bryant

 

fall quotes

 

“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.”

 

— Unknown

 

fall quotes

 

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

 

― L. M. Montgomery

 

fall quotes

 

“And the sun took a step back, the leaves lulled themselves to sleep and autumn was awakened.”

 

— Raquel Franco

 

fall quotes

 

“I cannot endure anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”

 

― Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

fall quotes

 

“Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.”

 

― Chad Sugg

 

Funny Fall Quotes

Need a laugh? Get a chuckle out of these funny fall quotes. There is plenty to be happy about during this crisp season of hot cocoa and candy apples.

 

fall quotes

 

“It’s like going back to school. You know, autumn! Time for ‘Harry Potter’.”

 

— Robbie Coltrane

 

fall quotes

 

“A fallen leaf is nothing more than a summer’s wave goodbye.”

 

— Unknown

 

fall quotes

 

“Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead has never watched them dancing on a windy day.”

 

— Shira Tamir

 

fall quotes

 

“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”

 

― Jim Bishop

 

fall quotes

 

“Autumn wins you best by this, its mute appeal to sympathy for its decay.”

 

— Robert Browning

 

Fall Poems

Many poets have spoken about autumn in their works of literature. It is a season that begs to be described with eloquent prose and endless descriptive adjectives. What’s your favorite fall poem?

 

fall quotes

 

“The goldenrod is yellow,
The corn is turning brown…
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.”

 

— Helen Hunt Jackson

 

fall quotes

 

“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”

 

― Yoko Ono

 

fall quotes

 

“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.”

 

― John Donne

 

Fall Leaves Quotes

One of the biggest parts of the fall season is that the leaves change color and fall to the ground. It’s a beautiful phenomenon that occurs each year, bringing a new vibrancy of color to the world around us.

 

fall quotes

 

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

 

— Albert Camus

 

fall quotes

 

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,

 

We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”

 

― Humbert Wolfe

 

fall quotes

 

“October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins. O autumn! O teakettle! O grace!”

 

― Rainbow Rowell

 

fall quotes

 

“Autumn leaves don’t fall, they fly. They take their time and wander on this their only chance to soar.”

 

— Delia Owens

 

fall quotes

 

“There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves.”

 

— Joe L. Wheeler

 

Cute Fall Quotes

Cute fall quotes are some of the best quotes to use for your home decor and signs. They are clever and cute and will give family and guests something to smile at when visiting your home.

 

fall quotes

 

“It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon.”

 

― Sarah Addison Allen

 

fall quotes

 

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all.”

 

— Stanley Horowitz

 

fall quotes

 

“It’s the first day of autumn! A time of hot chocolatey mornings, and toasty marshmallow evenings, and, best of all, leaping into leaves!”

 

— Winnie the Pooh

 

fall quotes

 

“If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour.”

 

— Victoria Erickson

 

fall quotes

 

“Autumn is the season to find contentment at home by paying attention to what we already have.”

 

— Unknown

 

Fall Quotes For Letter Board

Letter boards are boards that come with lots of letters so you can create your own worded signs. They can be great for a central area of the home like the entryway, living room, or kitchen. Use a fall quote for your letter board this year to round out the festive ambiance in your home.

 

  • Happy Fall Y’all
  • I Love Fall Most Of All
  • Fall Breeze & Autumn Leaves
  • Cutest Apple In The Orchard
  • Pumpkin Kisses & Harvest Wishes
  • This Way To The Pumpkin Patch
  • The Pick Of The Patch
  • Pumpkins, Apples, & Hayrides, Oh My!

 

Fall Pumpkin Quotes

Next to falling leaves, pumpkins are the next big part of the fall season. You can visit a pumpkin patch, pick out your own pumpkins, and carve them into whatever you want! Jack O Lanterns are also a great, inexpensive fall activity.

 

  • Welcome to our pumpkin patch.
  • Having the best day with my pumpkin.
  • Hello, gourd-geous.
  • Give ’em pumpkin to talk about.
  • Life is gourd.
  • Oh my gourd!
  • #SquashGoals
  • ‘Tis the pumpkin spice season.
  • Pumpkin spice and everything nice.
  • I love pumpkin spice a latte.
  • Cutie pie.
  • I only have pies for you.
  • What do you get when you drop a pumpkin? Squash.
  • How do you mend a broken jack-o’-lantern? With a pumpkin patch.

 

In Conclusion,

Fall is a very festive time of year. There is a lot to be done and a lot to enjoy. Don’t forget to stay positive and inspired this fall as you go about carving pumpkins and drinking hot cocoa.

 

written by Kimber Severance, Check City Copywriter

Emergency Preparedness

emergency-preparedness

It’s best to make plans for any emergency since we can never plan when emergencies suddenly arise.

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That’s why you have to think ahead of time and prepare for potential emergencies now instead. That way, if an emergency does occur, you are ready.

 

There are many ways to be prepared for any emergency situation.

 

There are emergency back packs to pack and store, emergency food to buy and store in sealed bins, emergency contact lists to write, and emergency plans to form and practice.

 

Emergency Loans

emergency-loans

 

Natural disasters aren’t the only type of emergency you’ll run into in life.

 

More commonly, you’ll run into financial emergencies where you need funds quickly to stay on top of payments, bills, and essential purchases.

 

At Check City you can get a number of different emergency personal loans to help you when finances are tight.

 

Here are a few of your emergency loan options at Check City:

 

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How to Make an Emergency Evacuation Plan

image-of-duffel-bag-on-the-floor

 

You and your family should sit down together to form and practice an emergency evacuation plan.

 

You might need to evacuate in case of a fire, flood, or other natural disasters.

 

First, create a map of your home’s floor plan with a Free Evacuation Planner.

 

Second, get “go bags” for everyone in the household. You all might already have a backpack or duffel bag that each person can use.

 

Then each household member should make a list of everything they would grab and pack into their go bag at short notice. Keep this list somewhere you can easily find and refer to in case of a sudden emergency or keep it inside the go bag.

 

Some items to include in a go bag are:

  • Sentimental personal items you don’t want to lose
  • Medicines
  • Water
  • Flashlight
  • An extra set of clothing
  • A blanket
  • Tech like your phone, laptop, tablet
  • Wallet, ID, and emergency cash

 

If you have small children, you’ll also want to pack any important comfort items they might have.

 

If you have pets, you’ll want to pack their essentials like their harness, leash, a carrier, a toy, water, their pet food, and any medicines they might need.

 

Third, create an asset and valuables inventory of your home. This way, if something should happen to your house, you can easily work with your insurance to replace lost items.

 

Fourth, gather important documents into one safe place.

 

There are fire and flood safe boxes you can purchase online where you can keep all your important documents like birth certificates, social security cards, marriage licenses, emergency money, etc.

 

That way, you can just grab this box and take it with you in case of evacuation and all your important documents will be safe and preserved.

 

Fifth, create a step by step plan of what you all will do in case of an emergency.

 

Then post your step by step emergency plan somewhere everyone can see it, like the family bulletin board.

 

It’s also a good idea to practice the evacuation plan every now and then.

 

An example evacuation plan might look something like this:

  1. Pack go bags
  2. Pack go bags into the car
  3. Pack important documents into the car
  4. Pack extra food and water into the car
  5. Pack the household into the car and drive

 

How to Make an Emergency Fire Escape Plan

image-of-exit-sign

 

Escaping from a house fire is going to look different from evacuating your home.

 

Evacuating means you need to hurry, but you have a little time to pack bags and get into the car.

 

A house fire requires a much quicker, emergency fire escape plan.

 

As soon as the fire alarm goes off or a house fire is noticed, everyone in the household needs to get up and leave the building as quickly as possible and meet up somewhere outside at a safe distance.

 

First, make a map of your building. You can use the same free software mentioned above or Wondershare EdrawMax software.

 

Second, draw out your fire escape plans on the map.

 

Highlight all the possible, safe exits in the house. Then use color coded arrows to outline the routes people in each room should take to escape the house as quickly and safely as possible.

 

You should also make a marker on the map for where you will all meet up outside. This can be a landmark like a mailbox on the other side of the street.

 

If you have small children, pets, older adults, or anyone with mobility limitations make assignments for who will assist them with their exit route.

 

Make several assignments for instances when the first assigned assistant isn’t home during the fire.

 

For example, say you have an infant. The first person in charge of grabbing the infant might be mom, then dad, then the older daughter, depending on who is home at the time.

 

Third, run fire escape drills together.

 

Practice memorizing and exiting using the nearest exits in each room of the house.

 

You should also all practice proper fire safety protocol like:

  • Check if the doorknobs are hot before using that door to exit during a fire.
  • Check all fire alarms in the house to make sure they are visible on the wall and fully functioning with charged batteries.
  • Make sure there aren’t any problems or exit blocks with any of the exit points in the house.
  • Make sure your street number and house number are clear so that the fire department can easily find your house.
  • Have two exit routes planned for each room, including ground level windows.
  • Keep important documents in a fire safe box and keep digital back ups of important documents on the cloud.

 

Emergency Vet

image-of-man-petting-his-cat

 

No one ever wants something bad to happen to their pets, but you’ll find better peace of mind if you have an emergency plan ready.

 

Then, if tragedy does strike, you’ll be ready and know exactly what to do, who to call, and where to go instead of having to figure all of that out in the heat of the moment.

 

Think of emergency preparedness as studying for the tests of life.

 

Just like you don’t want to put off studying for an important test until the last minute, you want to study well in advance for the emergencies life can sometimes throw our way.

 

It’s also important to be able to recognize what constitutes a pet emergency.

 

Here are some instances when your pet might need an emergency vet:

  • Vomiting that won’t stop
  • Diarrhea that won’t stop
  • Blood in their vomit or stool
  • Seizures
  • Complete loss of appetite
  • Difficult breathing
  • Bloating
  • High fevers
  • They ate something they shouldn’t have
  • Attacked by another animal
  • Other injuries due to any accident

 

The first thing to do when looking to make all your emergency pet plans, is to talk to your usual vet. Ask them about the services they have for after-hour care or if you have an emergency situation.

 

If they don’t offer emergency vet services themselves, they probably know where you can go nearby instead.

 

There are also veterinary hospitals and emergency vet clinics that specialize in emergency, after-hour care.

 

Tips for making emergency vet plans:

 

Call the place first.

 

This gives them time to prepare for when you’re coming in and your specific situation.

 

Have an emergency budget for your pet.

 

Emergency medical treatment for your pet costs money. Have a pet emergency fund stowed away just for your pet so your funds are also prepared and your regular finances won’t have to take a hit.

 

You can also try getting pet insurance. Pet insurance can help cover the costs of regular vet bills and emergency care.

 

Have your pets medical records ready.

 

Makes both hard and digital copies of your pet’s medical records. Keep them in a folder on your phone, at the house, and in the car at all times.

 

That way, you won’t have to think about searching to find papers or remembering off hand at the emergency vet when your pet’s last vaccines were. All of that will be easy to just pull up on your phone or on-hand in your car’s glove compartment.

 

Keep a pet first aid kit in your car and in your house.

 

Even if its an emergency, you might still need to stabilize or bandage your pet before making the journey to the vet.

 

This can also help prepare you for minor scrapes your pet might get into that you can treat yourself in a pinch.

 

When traveling with your pet, make sure you look up where the vets are in the area you’re visiting and have a short contact list on hand in case something happens on your trip.

 

You should also become aware of how emergencies are handled during flights and in airports if you are flying with a pet.

 

Emergency Dentist

emergency-dentist

 

When an accident occurs with someone’s teeth it can be really hard not to panic.

 

All the more reason to have an emergency dentist plan prepared ahead of time.

 

A common myth is that no one needs an emergency dentist because tooth problems can always wait for your general dentist to schedule you an appointment.

 

This isn’t always true. Sometimes you’ll lose out on a chance to fix a tooth problem if you don’t visit an emergency dentist as soon as possible.

 

Tooth, mouth, and jaw problems can actually become more invasive, complicated, and expensive to fix the longer you wait to get to the dentist.

 

Even a dislodged tooth can sometimes be fixed completely if you get to your emergency dentist right away.

 

Don’t suffer with tooth, mouth, or jaw pain when solutions are available nearby.

 

Emergency Plumber

image-of-a-leaking-faucet

 

When a plumbing emergency occurs, you need the help of an expert right away.

 

The moment a pipe bursts and water starts geysering into your house is not the moment to sit down and schedule a visit from a plumber.

 

You need an emergency plumber number you know you can call to get fast results when serious plumbing problems arise.

 

Some instances when you need an emergency plumber might be:

  • Burst water pipe
  • Clogged toilet
  • Overflowing toilet or sink
  • Gas leaks
  • The water won’t turn on
  • The water won’t turn off
  • Flooding in your house

 

Another reason you need an emergency plumber’s phone number is because not all plumbers will be available for emergencies or after regular business hours.

 

This is why it’s a good idea to contact different plumbers now so you know which plumbers you can call and depend on in case of an emergency.

 

Emergency Care

image-of-a-hospital-building

 

Many people think that urgent care and emergency rooms are the same thing, but they’re actually different.

 

Emergency care or urgent care is medical care for when you need to see a doctor now, but your situation isn’t dire.

 

You might feel sick or have an injury that needs addressed as soon as possible, but doesn’t necessarily need to be treated immediately.

 

Urgent care is for when you need to see someone today, but you aren’t in mortal danger.

 

Likely, your local hospital will have an urgent care center.

 

Look up your insurance coverage or call your insurance provider to ask about where you can go for urgent care and still get insurance coverage.

 

Then, write down the phone number and address of your nearest urgent care location on your emergency contacts list.

 

You can even save this location in google maps as your designated urgent care location.

 

Emergency Room Near Me

image-of-an-ambulance

 

On the other hand, the emergency room is for when you need to see a doctor immediately.

 

You need to go to an emergency room, rather than urgent care, when your situation is more serious.

 

Visit the ER when:

  • Difficult breathing
  • Chest pains
  • Slurred speech
  • Sudden change in mental state
  • Weakness in part of the body
  • Eye injuries
  • Burns
  • Head injuries
  • Dislocated joint
  • Broken bone
  • Fever paired with a rash
  • Seizures
  • If you’re pregnant
  • Severe illness
  • You need stitches

 

An emergency room is for when you have life threatening emergencies arise.

 

Have contact information and addresses ready for both urgent and emergency scenarios.

 

Also, have your medical records ready and a list of medicines you’ve taken or regularly take listed and stored somewhere on your phone.

 

You should also include how much of each medication you’re taking, how often you take each medication, whether you’ve gone through surgeries or procedures they might need to know about, and medical history things in your family.

 

It’s a good idea to have all of these items written down for each household member just in case you come across a scenario where someone can’t speak to the doctors themselves.

 

Nonemergency Police

image-of-a-telephone

 

Many of us know about 911 and that you can call this emergency line when you need to.

 

But did you know that there is also a nonemergency police line you can call too?

 

You want to call 911 when there is a pressing emergency.

 

You want to call the nonemergency police number when:

  • You want to make a general call
  • Nonviolent disputes
  • Property damage
  • Vehicle accidents where no one is hurt and traffic isn’t being obstructed
  • Noise complaints
  • Leash law violations
  • Littering or illegal dumping
  • Follow up on a previous report

 

Basically, you want to call the nonemergency police line when there is nothing violent going on that jeopardizes anyone’s safety.

 

Many cities use the phone number 311 as a nonemergency line. Find out what your cities nonemergency line is and save it in your phone as the “nonemergency police number.”

 

Emergency Food Supply

image-of-food-storage

 

Having an emergency food supply is a really good idea for many reasons.

 

By having a fully stocked pantry and food storage, you can be ready for anything.

 

If there is a stay-at-home order you can easily oblige. If you get snowed in or if there’s a long storm you can comfortably wait it out in your house.

 

By learning to keep a stocked pantry you can also save money in the long term by buying groceries in bulk and cooking healthier, cheaper, homemade meals.

 

Here’s a master list of food storage you need stocked up in case of emergency:

  • Distilled water
  • Seltzer water
  • Canned foods (meats, fruits, vegetables, evaporated milk, condensed milk, coconut milk)
  • Powdered milk
  • Powdered whey
  • Powdered eggs
  • Dehydrated foods (meats, fruits, raisins, etc.)
  • Waxed, hard cheeses
  • Protein bars, drinks, and powders
  • Seasonings, herbs, salt, pepper
  • Yeast
  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Cream of wheat
  • Cereals
  • Cornmeal
  • Cornstarch
  • Flour
  • Sugars (white, brown)
  • Molasses
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Vinegar
  • Maple syrup
  • Coffee
  • Oils (butter, lard, shortening, olive oil, vegetable oil, etc.)
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Other useful baking mixes (pancake mix, cornbread mix, gravy, instant mashed potatoes, etc.)
  • Seeds (vegetables, potatoes, etc.)
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Pastas
  • Jams and jellies
  • Pickled foods
  • Honey
  • Vitamin supplements

 

Make sure you keep all your food storage in airtight containers and store them in a safe, dry place.

 

You should also be constantly cycling through your food storage so that your food storage items stay up to date.

 

Emergency Medicine

image-of-a-spilled-bottle-of-pills

 

Medicine has a general shelf life of about 12 to 60 months.

 

Because of this, you can only really keep a medicine supply in the house for a year or 2. More than that and your medicine supply will start losing its effectiveness and potentially be harmful to consume.

 

Use and update your medicine cabinet accordingly. Don’t let any items get too out of date.

Here’s a list for all the basics you want in your medicine cabinet at all times:

  • Pain reliever
  • Antihistamines
  • Anti-itch ointment
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Antacids
  • Aspirin
  • Moleskins for burns and blisters
  • Decongestants
  • Thermometer
  • Cough drops
  • Eyedrops
  • Allergy medicine
  • Laxatives
  • Antiseptic
  • Aloe Vera gel
  • Sunscreen
  • Antifungal cream

 

Emergency Light

image-of-a-flashlight

 

In the case of a power outage, you’ll need to do something for light.

 

Have some plain candles and matches for when you need light in an emergency.

 

Get flashlights too and keep them throughout the house in case of a power outage. Don’t forget to keep extra batteries for the flashlights around.

 

It’s also a good idea to get some lanterns that you can then set up in the house should you be without light for a while.

 

Emergency Alert

image-of-an-alarm-clock

 

There are many ways to stay alerted to any and all emergencies.

 

Smoke detectors throughout the house will let you know if a house fire breaks out.

 

Using a dependable weather reporting apps can keep you posted about wildfires, earthquakes, and storms in your area.

 

You can set up your house with a home security system to alert you of break ins and trespassers.

 

There are also emergency alert devices you can carry around with you in case you run into trouble and need to call for help.

 

Some emergency alert devices are specifically designed as medical alerts for the elderly or for people with specific medical conditions.

 

You can find some of the best emergency medical alerts at ConsumerAdvocate.org.

 

Emergency Kit

image-of-a-girl-with-a-big-yellow-backpack

 

You should keep an emergency kit in your house, in your car, and in any purse, bag, or backpack you carry around with you during the day.

 

You should also always travel, hike, and bike with an emergency kit on hand, just in case.

 

A basic emergency kit contains the following items:

  • Water
  • Food
  • Radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Duct tape
  • Maps
  • Backup cell phone
  • Sanitizer
  • Matches

 

Car Emergency Kit

emergency-car-kit

 

You need to have a roadside emergency kit in your car at all times.

 

A car emergency kit can help you if your car breaks down, if you get stranded somewhere, if you get into an accident, or if you get caught in dangerous weather conditions.

 

Pack your car emergency kit with items that will help you and help your car.

 

A good car emergency kit includes:

  • Spare tire
  • Tire changing kit
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Cat litter
  • Tow chain
  • Shovel
  • Reflective tape, triangles, or glow sticks
  • Car emergency escape tool and plan
  • Car tool kit
  • Antifreeze
  • Jumper cables
  • Brake fluid
  • Power steering/transmission fluid
  • Electric fuses
  • Extra fuel
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Swiss army knife
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Rope
  • Rain poncho/umbrella
  • Whistle
  • Flares
  • First aid kit
  • Food
  • Water
  • Blankets
  • Gloves
  • Spare coats or jackets
  • Tissues
  • Wipes
  • Hand sanitizer

 

Get your emergency kits packed into two containers.

 

One bin can hold all the emergency items you might need for the car while a backpack can hold all the emergency supplies you might need.

 

A winter emergency kit needs to include some additional items.

 

Have a separate emergency kit prepared for when winter comes around.

 

You’ll want to keep the following additional items in your winter emergency car kit:

  • Shovel
  • Windshield ice scraper
  • Tow rope
  • Window breaker
  • Seatbelt cutter
  • Blankets
  • Hand warmers
  • Wireless phone chargers

 

Emergency Survival Kit

image-of-a-man-in-the-wildernesss-with-a-backpack

 

A survival kit is necessary in cases where you might have to survive in the wild for a few days.

 

You might have to use a survival kit if your car breaks down and you get stranded in the middle of nowhere, or if you’re hiking and fall, get injured, or get lost.

 

Here are some of the things you should keep in a basic emergency survival kit:

  • Water
  • Food
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Radio
  • First aid kit
  • Medications
  • Swiss army knife
  • Sanitizer
  • Matches
  • Emergency documents like medical records and contact list
  • Blanket
  • Tarp
  • Map
  • Compass
  • Flares
  • Whistle
  • Rain poncho

 

Emergency Medical Kit

image-of-the-contents-of-a-first-aid-kit

 

To prepare for a medical emergency you want to be as ready as you can for anything.

 

This includes burns, cuts, scrapes, bug bites and stings, splinters, sprains, pulled muscles, dislocated joints, and broken bones.

 

You also want to be prepared for illnesses like fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, nasal congestion, coughing, sore throats, pain, rashes, and allergies.

 

Keep your medicine cabinet and a medical kit you can quickly take on the go stocked with the basics.

 

Don’t forget to keep an emergency contact list and important medical information on a sheet of paper in your emergency medical kit.

  • Bandages
  • Bandage tape
  • Plastic gloves
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Arm sling
  • Mini print outs for basic medical instructions like CPR
  • Tweezers
  • Small flashlight
  • Thermometer
  • Antibiotic cream or gel (like Neosporin)
  • Anti-itch ointment
  • Antihistamines (like Benadryl)
  • Pain killers (like Tylenol)
  • Antacids (like Pepto-Bismol)
  • Aspirin
  • Moleskin for burns and blisters

 

Earthquake Emergency Kit

image-of-a-crack-in-the-ground

 

Earthquakes aren’t common everywhere, but if you live where earthquakes are common, you should be prepared.

 

There are ways you can prepare for during the earthquake and afterward as well.

 

Install earthquake furniture anchors and straps in your home to keep furniture from toppling over and breaking things during an earthquake.

 

Be prepared for the duration of an earthquake by having an earthquake safety plan set up for what you’ll do in case of an earthquake.

 

Pick a designated safety spot in each room of your house. This spot should be under a table, under an archway where nothing can fall on you, or against an interior house wall that doesn’t face windows or anything that could fall on you.

 

The main thing you want in your safe spot in each room is to be able to take cover so nothing falls on you during the earthquake.

 

If you have pets, small children, or anyone that might need assistance during an earthquake, practice your safety plan with them and assign someone in the house to be in charge of looking out for them.

 

Practice what to do during an earthquake in all kinds of scenarios. Have a plan for what to do if you’re outside, in the kitchen, or in the car when it happens.

 

At home you can have a spot you know you can go to for cover, in the car, know you should slow down, stay in your car, and make sure you’re in a clear area where trees, buildings, or powerlines can’t fall on you.

 

Keep earthquake hazards to a minimum in your house by bolting tall furniture to the floor and walls and making sure the latches on all cupboards are strong and won’t open easily.

 

After an earthquake, check yourself and everyone else for injuries and treat anyone that needs it.

 

Check the house to put out any fires that might have broken out because of the earthquake. For example, a candle might have fallen off the end table.

 

Make sure the gas in the house is turned off and fix any potential fire or exit hazards the earthquake might have created.

 

Turn on the radio or local news to stay updated on what’s happening. They will be able to keep you posted on whether more tremors are coming and have instructions on what you can do.

 

You should also try and keep the emergency lines open for life threatening emergencies only.

 

If your house is no longer safe to stay in after the earthquake then you should get everyone out of the house immediately, and have an emergency housing plan set.

 

Talk with family members in and out of state about your emergency plan so you know where you can go in case you have to leave your house due to an earthquake.

 

In this case, you’ll want to enact your evacuation plan.

 

Hurricane Emergency Kit

satellite-image-of-a-hurricane

 

Hurricanes are another natural phenomenon that can sometimes cause emergency situations.

 

Create a survival kit for your family that can last you at least 72 hours in case of a natural disaster.

 

The food you pack in a hurricane survival kit need to be able to last you at least 3 days. You also want this food to be non-perishable and not require preparation, heating, or refrigerating.

  • Non-perishable foods
  • Water
  • First aid kit
  • Toiletries
  • Feminine supplies
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bedding
  • Clothes
  • Rain gear
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Emergency cash
  • Tool set
  • Tent
  • Matches or a lighter
  • Hand warmers

 

Tornado Emergency Kit

landscape-image-of-a-tornado

 

For people who live in tornado zones, you should be familiar with the National Weather Service (NWS) and when they issue tornado warnings or a tornado watch.

 

If your community is already familiar with tornados, then they probably have a text alert or siren system set up to let you know when tornado storms are developing.

 

Have a designated tornado shelter set in place for you and your family to use in case of a tornado.

 

A good tornado shelter is usually in a basement, storm cellar, or an interior room in the house that doesn’t have windows like a closet or bathroom.

 

Teach everyone in the household what to do in case of a tornado and where they should go for shelter. Practice running tornado drills so everyone is sure they know what to do.

 

You can also prepare in advance for tornados by reinforcing your home. Reinforce your house with storm windows, storm doors, and a secured foundation.

 

If your house doesn’t have a basement, you can install a storm cellar near your house.

 

Tornados can be devastating.

 

Fit your storm cellar or basement so that it’s prepared to keep you safe and sheltered for a matter of days. Be prepared for the light and utilities to potentially go out during the storm.

  • Nonperishable food that doesn’t need preparation
  • Water
  • Masks to protect you from dust
  • First aid kits
  • Medicines
  • Emergency toilet
  • Toilet paper
  • Wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bedding
  • Clothes
  • Radio
  • Battery-operated Lights

 

72 Hour Emergency Kit

image-of-the-contents-of-a-survival-bag

 

72 hour emergency kits are kits that you pack now and have ready in case of an emergency.

 

A 72 hour kit is meant to help you survive for at least 3 days. So everything you put into it should keep this in mind.

 

Think of it like packing for a 3 day sleepover in the wilderness. With this mentality, you’ll be able to pack your 72 hour kit with everything you could ever need in case of disaster.

  • Nonperishable foods
  • Water
  • Fresh clothes
  • Sturdy shoes
  • First aid kit
  • Medications
  • Sleeping bag
  • Tent
  • Fire starters
  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • Radio
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Shovel
  • Tool kit
  • Swiss army knife
  • Rain gear
  • Duct tape
  • Tarp
  • Rope
  • Solar power pack
  • Whistle

 

Read more about emergency funds and why you need one in “Why You Need an Emergency Fund” and “The Importance of an Emergency Fund.”

 

Planning for emergencies doesn’t mean you are living in fear.

 

Being prepared for emergencies helps give you peace of mind now and makes hard situations a lot easier on you later.

 

A house fire, for instance, can be devastating, but if you already had a fire safety plan in place than you and your household can be safe and mitigate now to decrease losses later.

 

You should financially prepare for emergencies too!

 

Prepare for any financial emergency by creating and maintaining a healthy emergency fund.

 

Sources


Dental Brothers. “7 Reasons Why You May Need an Emergency Dentist Appointment.”

Viral Rang. “Urgent Care Vs. Emergency Room: Your Guide for Which to Use,” by Mohamed Ibrahim.

Ready.gov. “Build A Kit.”

Advance Survival. “Car Emergency Kit: A Detailed Checklist for Basic, Advance and Pro Car Survival Kits,” by Edward Mark Johnson.

RedCross.org. “Survival Kit Supplies: Is Your Emergency Preparedness Kit Ready?”

CDC.gov. “Emergency Supplies for Earthquake Preparedness.”

VCFD.org. “Earthquake Preparedness.”

E Medicine Health. “First Aid Kits – 33 Essentials to Prepare for Emergencies,” by Ron Fuerst and Charles Patrick Davis.

National Weather Service.

 

written by Kimber Severance, Check City Copywriter

41 Brilliant Staycation Ideas

person on a hammock at home

As summer comes around each year, you might start feeling the familiar urge to take a vacation.

Vacations are good for the mind and spirit, but they aren’t always good for your wallet. The costs of airplane tickets, car rentals, gas, hotel rooms, food, eating out, and souvenirs all add up really fast. If you aren’t careful, a vacation can end up being a huge investment just for some quality rest and relaxation.

For a vacation to be most effective, you need it to be as stress-free as possible. Taking a vacation that you can’t actually afford or that will push you further into debt will disrupt your financial stability and leave you feeling more stressed than before.

To reap the many benefits of a vacation without the huge price tag, consider taking a staycation.

What is a Staycation?

A staycation is a vacation where you don’t go anywhere. Instead of going away for vacation, you stay where you are! Hence the name, “stay”cation.

Vacations can be hard to fit into our busy lives. It’s difficult to take enough time out to go through the entire process of packing and traveling somewhere in order to relax and have fun. Not to mention that traveling for vacation can often make your vacation feel a little more chaotic than you want and be more expensive.

That’s why opting for a staycation can be the solution to all your problems. On a staycation, you don’t have to pack, travel, or spend any money! Or at least not nearly as much money you spend traveling and on souvenirs and food when you go away for vacation.

Your backyard is someone else’s dream vacation! Stay where you are, but instead of going on with your normal routine, act as if you are on vacation.

Staycation Ideas

A staycation requires looking at your local community with a new set of eyes. This is great when looking for staycation ideas. What are the activities and events that you’ve never really considered trying out? When people visit from out of town, where do they go?

Many of us live in a paradise without realizing it. For example, if you live near the Rocky Mountains, then you’re just a few miles away from a breathtaking wilderness unlike any other in the world.

But you don’t have to live near any vacation hotspots to have a good staycation. Here are some ideas to consider, no matter where you live:

1. Book a Nearby Hotel or Airbnb

Sometimes you just really need to get out of the house for a while. It might be worth it to book a few nights at a local hotel just so you can have the complete vacation experience.

By booking a nearby hotel you can cut on travel costs but still enjoy the luxury amenities that hotels provide, like room service, breakfast, and great nearby hangouts within walking distance.

Pull up Airbnb and start browsing the local rentals available. You might be surprised by the great Airbnb locations you have close by!

2. Swap Houses with a Friend

Another cheap way to get the relocation experience without going very far or spending too much money is to just swap houses with a friend! Find someone else who could use a change and switch houses with them for a few days.

You might even find a friend with a house that’s better than yours or with new features your own house doesn’t have. For instance, maybe you have a pool but your friend has a decked out theater room that’s great for watching movies. You’ll be surprised by how much a simple change will make you feel like you went away on vacation and give you that same, refreshing, “ready-to-be-home-again” feeling you get from going away for a while.

3. Swap Bedrooms

Even in your own house, you can make refreshing changes to help rejuvenate your mood. Bedroom swaps can even be permanent if you want since the change is in your own house.

The key to a great staycation is to change up your routine. Swapping bedrooms is a great way to change routines, while also refreshing an old space to feel like new.

4. Rearrange the Furniture

If you aren’t too set on your current arrangements, you could rearrange the things in your house to refresh the space. There’s a possibility your house could use a fresh makeover anyway.

The difference here is that you’re actually taking time off from work and other obligations to focus on re-envisioning your space. Take a few days off and allow yourself to simply focus on this one thing. Once your done, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy a whole new house just from decorating and rearranging.

5. Visit Local Museums

No doubt, there’s a local museum you’ve never been to. Change that during your staycation! Look up what local museums are in your own city and go visit them. You might learn something new or gain a new favorite pastime.

By learning all about everything in the museum you can become your own museum guide. Then you can take all your friends to the museum and be an expert at showing them around. Before this though, it’d be a fun idea to actually go through the museum with an actual tour group. That way you’ll get the full tourist experience and not miss any of the fascinating details.

6. Local Visitor’s Centers

Call your town’s local visitor’s center and ask for ideas! Many places have one and the people working there will know all about where to go and what to do right near you. Some visitor centers you can also visit to pick up brochures and maps of your local area.

7. Try a New Restaurant

Eat at a restaurant you’ve never been to before. In our own hometown’s we can easily get into ruts. It can be hard to break your routine when you know what you like. But the vacation experience is all about new and unfamiliar experiences. Take a leap and change things up by choosing a restaurant you’ve never been to before for dinner.

8. See a Play

Go see a play near you. You don’t have to go to Broadway or a major city to catch a live production. There could be theater performances happening nearby! Traveling Broadway productions also pass through many towns. There might be a major high school or university production going on soon that you could go to while supporting your local schools.

9. Spend a Day Downtown

If you’re bored with your own downtown, then visit the downtown of a nearby town instead. Spend the day walking around, enjoying the city, shopping, and eating at new places.

10. Visit a Nearby Campus

If you have a university nearby then you’ll have a wealth of things to do. You can take a tour of your local university to learn more about it. You can also go to events and shows on campus. They might have some free courses for the community as well. Find the event calendar on the university’s website and take advantage of events, lectures, concerts, shows, and more.

11. Backyard Staycation

Instead of going through the hassle of going somewhere far away for vacation, just go to your own backyard.

A backyard staycation is when you transform your own backyard into a relaxing oasis or a fun party-zone. There are tons of things you can do to make your backyard staycation-worthy. You could install some new amenities like a hot tub or a pool. You can even get a temporary pool that’s less expensive just for this occasion.

Invest in some nice lawn furniture to lounge in and put up some great outdoor lighting. Make a fire pit and roast marshmallows. Cook some barbecue on the grill. Set up a tent and go camping right outside your back door. Create a dance floor and have your own dance party. Set up a movie projector and have an outdoor movie night. Go stargazing.

The possibilities for what you can set up in your own backyard are endless.

12. The Kitchen Summer Staycation

Summer Staycation is a TV show from Food Network. They go over different dishes and recipes from all around the world that you can make from home. With all their great recipe videos, you can make foods that make you feel like you’re traveling the world.

13. Beauty Staycation

For some heavy-duty relaxation time plan lots of spa things to do. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on treatments at an actual spa. Instead, get your own spa stuff and start relaxing and pampering yourself from home. You can find all kinds of fun home, DIY spa ideas online or on Pinterest! Here are just a few example spa ideas to get you started:

  • Face masks
  • Massage rollers
  • Manicure and pedicures
  • Do a full body face mask in the shower
  • Use bath salts and oils for an extra relaxing bath
  • Do a hair mask
14. Search Events Near Me

Google the phrase “events near me” and see what Google can find for you. Many local events will be listed in Google’s search engine and easy to find. You can also browse the website for your city or town and see what’s listed under “events.” You can also search for events near you on Facebook. Just log into Facebook and in the side menu where it has your name, the “Saved” tab, the “Groups” tab, and many more, you’ll find an “Events” tab listed.

15. Visit Local Parks

Almost every city has at least one park. Go visit the parks near you and see which one you like the best. You might find a new great place to play sports, take your dog on walks, go on runs, or have picnics.

16. Go Do Local Hikes and Nature Trails

By downloading the All Trails app or visiting their website, you can find hikes and trails near you. The All Trails app will even help guide you with a GPS map so you don’t get lost on the trail.

Make a goal and hit every trail near you to find which ones you love and see sights you’ve never seen before.

17. Weekend Getaways

Just do a short weekend getaway instead of going very far away for very long. Sometimes the solution isn’t to not go anywhere at all, but to just not go too far and not for too long. Shorter trips can be just as fun and rejuvenating as long ones. You can even plan a weekend getaway nearby!

18. Go to a Sports Event

Even if you aren’t really into sports, going to a sport’s event can be a fun and exciting way to get out of your comfort zone and do something new. There might even be local teams you didn’t know about that you could start rooting for.

The great thing about sporting events is that you can go with friends, walk around, and grab delicious foods from all the different vendors. Many sporting events also get broadcasted somehow. So you don’t necessarily have to leave your house to create your own at-home sporting event. Just set up a TV or projector for viewing and make all your favorite sporting event snacks and dishes yourself.

19. Build a Fort

Home forts can go anywhere. You can set a fort up in the playroom or the kids’ bedroom. You can also make a fort in the living room, or even outside. Once your master fort is complete, you can enjoy a sleepover movie night inside.

20. TV or Movie Marathon

Movie marathons are an event all by themselves. Make some yummy homemade snacks like caramel popcorn, Chex mix, cookies, and brownies. What’s great about having a viewing party at home is that you can pick whatever you want to watch!

21. Game Night

Have a game night, complete with prizes for winning rounds and unique games and challenges. You can even invite friends to participate in game night via Skype and Facetime. There are even games you can play together online. You just have to find one you can all enjoy and set up your game party.

22. Local Tours

Go on a tour in your own hometown. Just search for local tours near you and see what you can find. You might have to pay for admission, but it’s worth it. Tours often come with a wealth of new knowledge about your own town.

23. Day Trip

Take a day trip somewhere nearby. You can still consider it a staycation if you’re only gone for one day. figure out how far you’re willing to drive in one day, and search for fun places to go near you. This is a great idea for taking a day trip to a nearby city. Maybe you live close to a major metropolitan area! Don’t overcomplicate your vacation, just go enjoy the city in one day of fun.

24. Camping

Camping is a great staycation idea. You can even go camping in your own backyard or even your living room! But odds are there are camping grounds nearby that you can go to. pretend you’re from out of town and go camping at a campsite nearby. Make dinner over the fire, tell stories, and gaze up at the stars all within a 100-mile radius of your own home.

25. Take a Class

Taking a class might not seem like a vacation-worthy activity, but extracurricular classes are very different from the classes you took in school. Take a course at your local college, community center, or library. You might even find some cheap, discounted, or free classes for members of the community. Choose something new, interesting, and fun like an art class or a cooking class.

26. Volunteer

I know what you’re thinking. Volunteering doesn’t seem very relaxing. Vacation is supposed to be for fun and for some much needed you-time. But volunteering can be fun and doing service for others can give you the same mood boost that a vacation can. Forget yourself for a while and feel good about yourself through doing some local volunteering. This is also a great way to make new friends and meet some new great people.

27. Local Marketplace

Instead of going to the big chain grocery stores you usually go to, explore the local markets. Find out where the farmer’s market near you is located and go see what they have to offer. The groceries and produce you get there will be fresher, healthier, and grown nearby rather than being shipped from far away and then overcharged because of it. Not only can you save money on groceries and organic foods, but you’ll be supporting your local businesses and farmers.

Many local marketplaces also have other local vendors selling all kinds of neat things. Explore what the vendors in your local area have to offer by visiting and supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs in your town.

28. Backyard Waterpark

Set up a makeshift pool or water play yard in the backyard. You can buy yourselves a blow up pool or water slide. Or you can put down tarps and play with the hose. Fill up a giant bin with water balloons and have an all out water war!

29. Bonfire

If you don’t have your own fire pit then you could take this opportunity to make one. Or you could spend a day or an evening at your local camping grounds to have a bonfire night. Prepare some yummy tin foil dinners that you can roast over the fire. There are also lots of desserts you can make with a fire that will be extra fun to create outside together. Bonfires also create a great mood for hanging out with loved ones, singing songs, telling stories, and playing campfire games.

30. Cookouts and Barbecues

Nothing is more relaxing and rejuvenating than wonderful food. Take your staycation meals to the next level by having a cookout or a barbecue. You can make kabobs, grill foods, or roast food over the fire. There are so many delicious cookout recipes out there to choose from.

31. Bird Watching

Buy yourself some bird watching binoculars and a guide to bird watching and local bird species. Now go outside and start finding all the different types of birds found in your own local area.

32. Plant Scavenger Hunt

Pick up a guide to all the different kinds of plants that grow near you. Then go outside in your outdoor gear and start finding all the plants you can. When you find each different kind of plant snap a picture as proof that you found it. Make it a game with others and see who can find more plants.

33. Hire a Personal Chef

Who says you have to go to fancy restaurants to have fancy food? By hiring a personal chef for dinner, you can get gourmet food created just for you. The best part about hiring your own chef is that you can enjoy a 5-star meal without ever leaving your house.

34. Go on a Picnic

Pack a picnic basket and go outside to eat today. You can eat in your own backyard or you can travel a little to your favorite outdoor spot. Creating your own custom picnic basket can also be a fun way to pass the time during your staycation.

35. Eat Breakfast in Bed

One of the most luxurious feelings in the world is eating breakfast in bed. If you live alone then you might have to still prepare your own breakfast, but you can still get right back into bed to enjoy it. If you live with others than you can take turns making breakfast for each other each morning of your staycation.

36. Rent a Cool Car for the Day

A fun part of traveling for some people is getting to rent a car. Renting a car can be expensive, but if you’re only renting the vehicle for one day, then you save a lot of money. Because you’re only renting it out for one day, it’ll also be easier and more affordable to rent out a really cool car!

37. Hire a Masseuse or a Masseur

A masseuse is a woman who practices massage and a masseur is a man who practices massage. Many people who do not know this difference will often simply use the term masseuse for any person who practices massage. It comes from the French word “masser,” which means, “to massage.”

A masseuse or a masseur has studied the body and the art of massage. They have learned many technics on how to use massage to ease tension and bodily pains. Hiring a masseuse or a masseur can be a great way to get all the built up tension out of your body without having to go to an expensive resort.

38. Bike Rides

Bike rides can be strenuous or leisurely depending on what biking trail you choose and your bike ride preferences. You also want to consider safety, your level of biking skills, and the type of bike you have when deciding on a type of bike ride excursion.

Pick your bike carefully so you have the right setup for the trail you want to bike on. You could bike on a nature trail or on the road, it’s up to you! You can go for a real workout by biking several miles or biking some rougher terrain. Or you can relax a little and go for a slow and calm bike ride and maybe stop at some point for a picnic.

39. Find a Great Staycation Read

Reading can take you anywhere. Getaway during this staycation by picking up a good book. Books are also a lot cheaper than an entire vacation, but you can go just as far away. There is a genre out there for everyone. If you don’t already know what kind of books you like that’s ok! Visit your local library and test out a popular book from each genre. Don’t worry about finishing each one. Just focus on finding the types of stories that draw you in.

40. Go Berry Picking

Find local farms near you and see what kind of picking is available. In the summer, berry picking is the most common. Berry picking is fun because it gets you outside and allows you to pick your own fresh berries off the vine without having to maintain your own garden.

41. Plan a Fun Summer Challenge

Make your summer staycation last the whole summer long with a fun challenge! You can challenge yourself however you want. You could decide to make something completely new for dinner every Sunday. You could challenge yourself to hike every trail in your area. You could make a challenge to bike to an awesome nearby site or attraction. Or you could challenge yourself to do one new, fun family activity each Friday night. It’s up to you!

Staycation AZ

If you’re in Arizona then you’re going to need some staycation ideas specific to your area. Lucky for you, Arizona has some fantastic staycation options. You could spend your Arizona staycation in a rental Yurt! You could also spend a staycation nearby in any one of the many Arizona resorts.

Arizona has resort options that are perfect for kids, families, and couples. They also have some of the best golf resorts for the avid golfer.

Arizona is also a state full of natural wonders and sites to see. There is the Fossil Creek Wilderness, the Water Wheel Falls, and the Tonto Natural Bridge just to name of few of Arizona’s natural wonders.

Staycation Phoenix

Phoenix is the capital city of Arizona. If you live in Phoenix Arizona, don’t bother going far away on vacation. Phoenix already has everything you need for a perfect vacation.

The city of Phoenix has a number of beautiful resorts and hotels for you to choose from. There are also countless tours and excursions to sign up for like the Desert Wolf Tour and the Rainbow Ryders hot air balloon rides.

You can also be your own guide at any of the many hikes near Phoenix, like the Echo Canyon Trail, the Piestewa Peak Summit Trail, Cholla Trail, or Camelback Mountain.

Staycation NYC

Like we’ve said before, your own city could be another person’s dream vacation. If you live and work in New York City than it might not seem so wondrous to you anymore. Gain that wonder back by seeing the sites of New York you’ve never taken the time to see before.

You could visit New York’s Botanical Garden, sail on the Hudson River, visit any of the iconic NYC restaurants, take a helicopter tour of the city, plan a day trip on Long Island, visit any of the museums or art galleries, catch a show, hike Forest Park, or walk Central Park.

Florida Staycation

Beach vacationers who live in Florida have it made in the shade. Instead of going out of state for some beach fun, just visit any number of the many Florida beaches already near you. You could go to Key West, Amelia Island, Key Largo, Marco Island, explore the city of Tampa or St Petersburg, or visit the manatees in Homosassa.

Staycation Dallas

Dallas is a city exploding with tourist attractions. Dallas has the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, the Dallas World Aquarium, White Rock Lake, Six Flags, Reunion Tower, the Dallas Zoo, and many beautiful parks and trails. Spending your staycation in Dallas is sure to not be boring.

Staycation Los Angeles

The biggest attraction in Los Angeles would probably be Disneyland. But there is a lot more to do in Los Angeles as well. There are museums like the Los Angeles Zoo, Griffith Park, Echo Park, Runyon Canyon Park, Universal Studios Hollywood, the California Science Center, and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

Staycation Near Me

Finding a staycation near you might not be so easy though if you don’t live in or near a major city with lots of tourist attractions to choose from. But finding what is available near you isn’t hard at all. To find fun staycation ideas near you just follow these steps:

Step 1: open up Facebook. In the menu select “Events” and browse the Facebook events near you.

Step 2: google “events near me” and browse the list of events Google has.

Step 3: google the phrase “attractions near me,” “sites near me,” or “things to do near me” and you’ll find trails, museums, parks, and all kinds of nearby activities near you.

Step 4: Plan a day or weekend trip to your nearest major city.

Plan a Successful Staycation

In order to truly get the most out of your staycation, you’ll want to keep a few important tips in mind.

First think about what your goals are for this staycation. What are the most important things you want to get out of your staycation? It might be saving money, relaxing, having fun, bonding with loved ones, getting a break from work, or a mix of these goals.

It’s important to have some solid staycation goals because if your primary goal is to relax, then planning one activity after another won’t work for you. Instead, you’ll want to plan more downtime for reading, napping, lounging, and sunbathing.

The next important step in planning a staycation is to make sure you put work away completely. This is especially important for staycations because you don’t have the added distance from work and home to keep you from doing business. Set up automatic messages to respond to anyone who might try and contact you while you’re away and then set everything on the do not disturb setting. Explain on your message that you are away on vacation, when you’ll be available again, and where or how to contact you in case of an emergency that cannot wait.

While the whole point of a staycation is to “stay put,” feel free to expand your horizons to include anywhere that you can drive to in just a few short hours. The cost of gas and time it takes you to drive an hour away to see a beautiful site or do something really fun will still be a lot less than if you were to go out of state for the same thing.

When you’re planning your staycation itinerary, don’t forget to leave plenty of room for spontaneous activities and down time. Don’t pack so much into your day that you don’t have time to enjoy the unexpected or time to shut off your brain and do nothing for a while.

Planning a staycation is simple and easy. With a Check City Prepaid Debit Card you can make staycation planning even easier by giving yourself a vacation allowance on your prepaid debit card. That way you’ll be sure to not overspend as you enjoy the local sites and attractions your own city has to offer.

 

written by Kimber Severance, Check City Copywriter

How to Buy a House in Utah

how to buy a house in utah

When buying a house, it’s important to know that the housing market is going to be different depending on your state.

It can even depend on what county or neighborhood you want to live in. Buying a house can also be a complicated process if you don’t know what to do first.

Some households might also still be contemplating between renting an apartment, buying a home, or using Utah home builders to build their own home. Currently, the median home price in Utah is $370,000 with the median rent price at $1,550 per month.

Explore this Guide:

What is Needed to Buy a House in Utah

A lot of the requirements to buy a house in Utah are going to be the same things you’d need to buy a house anywhere. But there are things specific to your state that you’ll want to research. This is primarily to help you be familiar with the housing market in your specific area.

Below are all the things you’ll want to go over and have in order when buying a home in Utah:

Get a Real Estate Agent

First, you need to find a buyer’s agent, otherwise known as your real estate agent. A realtor is a person that will help guide you smoothly through the home buying process and handle much of the paperwork.

Some other services that a realtor provides a home buyer include negotiating on your behalf with the seller, showing available properties, and helping you find what you’re looking for in a home.

Do Your Research

When buying a house you have to do some of your own research. There are things you must be aware of before you can responsibly buy a house and make this important decision.

For example, you might want to do your own research on areas that you want to live in, average prices, property taxes in that area, the housing market right now, and whether it’s a good time to buy.

But you also need a basic home buyer’s knowledge of many things pertaining to buying a home like what an HOA is and what kinds of mortgages are available to you.

For example, property taxes in Utah are calculated based on the value of your home. So how much you will pay in property taxes depends on the overall value of your home and your specific county. In Utah County the average property tax rate is about 0.565% meaning that many homes end up paying about $1,413 a year in property taxes.

You also have to consider closing costs and fees. In Utah, the average closing costs on a home are around $1,891, but they can be anywhere between 2% and 5% of your home. That means that more likely, Utah residents might end up paying between $6,812 and $17,030 in closing costs for their home.

Make a Pros and Cons List

Don’t forget to make a pros and cons list before you go into the home buying process. You want to make a list of things you do and don’t want in a house to help your realtor show you homes you would like.

Having a pros and cons list will also help you make a final decision. But you also have to be familiar with what are deal breakers in a home and what you can easily do without. You might really need an office space in your home for working from home, but maybe a kitchen island is something you would like to have but don’t have to have.

All of these things are the details you’ll have to work out for yourself or with other members of your household before you can easily make a decision on a home in the end.

Figure Out How Much House You Can Afford

There are actually a couple of calculations you can use to figure out how much house you can afford. You can determine how much you can spend on a house based on how much you have saved, your income, or the monthly payments you can afford.

Take the amount you have saved up for a house and divide it by 20% or take your gross annual income and multiply it by 2.5 to get how much you can afford in total on a house.

Take your gross annual income and divide it by 28% to figure out how much you can afford to spend in total each month on a mortgage payment.

Read more about how to figure out how much house you can afford by checking out the article, “How Much House Can I Afford?

Get Together a Down Payment

You need a down payment in order to buy a house. A down payment on a home usually needs to be at least 20% of the total cost you expect to spend on a house. This is often the minimum you need saved up in order to get most mortgages approved.

Ideally, you would pay a higher down payment than just 20%. Many financial advisors even suggest home buyers save up all the money they want to spend on a house so that they can buy their house in cash and forgo getting a mortgage altogether.

But most people can’t afford to pay for a house in cash and that’s ok. Just know that the higher the down payment you can afford, the more likely you’ll get a great mortgage.

Get Approved for a Mortgage

You need to get preapproved with a lender for your mortgage before you can make an offer on a house in Utah. This will show sellers that you are ready and approved to finance the purchase of the home. Getting approved for a mortgage can also give you a budget when looking at houses of different prices.

Credit Score to Buy a House in Utah

Different housing markets are going to have different demands when it comes to credit score requirements and expectations. Credit Karma says that the average first-time homebuyer has a credit score of 684, so this is probably the credit score you want to aim for.

But the average credit score for homebuyers will also change depending on your region. For example, they also found that if you live on the West Coast, you’ll be better off if you have a higher credit score of 700 or more. Many Utah home buyers have a credit score of 690, buy their first home at age 31, and have an average mortgage of about $315,951.

How to Buy a House in Utah with Bad Credit

If you have bad credit you might have a harder time getting a mortgage and getting a good interest rate on that mortgage. It might be in your best interest to postpone buying a house so that you can work on your credit score first.

But if that isn’t possible you do have options. There are specific mortgage lenders, lending programs, or housing communities that you can go to in order to get a mortgage approved.

There are federal organizations you can use to get a mortgage approved with bad credit like, FHA loans, VA loans, and USDA loans. There are also state-specific programs in Utah that you can turn to as a mortgage resource when buying a home in Utah.

  • FirstHome Loan
  • HomeAgain Loan
  • Score Loan
  • NoMI Loan
  • Grants for Veterans
Average Credit Score to Buy a House in Utah

Your credit score, also known as your FICO score, is one of the things mortgage lenders look at during your application for a loan. This will tell them how likely you are to be a good loan customer. Depending on where you apply will depend on how good you need your credit score to be. In Utah, home buyers want to have a credit score of 620 or higher, but ideally home buyers in Utah will have an average score of 690 or higher.

Best Place to Buy a House in Utah

Finding the best place to live will depend on a lot of factors. Different places have different market advantages and advantages for residents who live there. Like if you want to sell your house again later in the future, you might want to be in a good neighborhood with a great school and parks nearby.

You might also have a job that you want to live near or family that you want to live closer to. All of these personal factors will go into your choice.

Buy a House in Provo Utah

Provo is a very popular place in Utah. It’s a hotspot for tourists, businesses, and has Brigham Young University. The median home prices for Provo is around $219,900, which is actually on in the lower range for homes in Utah.

Explore Homes for Sale in Provo, Utah HERE.

Cheapest Place to Buy a House in Utah

If you’re looking for an even cheaper place to buy a house in Utah, then you’ll want to check out the home prices in different counties and towns. But the best city for first-time homebuyers in Utah according to the National Association of Realtors is Ogden, Utah. The National Association of Realtors based their analysis on domestic migration, housing affordability, job growth, population age, whether retirees want to live there, and home price appreciation.

Zillow also has lots of information about different major cities in Utah and how much the average house costs there.

City in Utah Median Home Price
Sandy $295,800
Salt Lake City $281,300
West Jordan $252,200
Orem $236,200
Layton $232,800
Saint George $231,400
Provo $219,900
West Valley City $202,100
Ogden $145,200

Best Time to Buy a House in Utah

The housing market is actually seasonal in Utah, as with many states. Spring and summer tend to be the best times to buy a house in Utah because this is when sellers list their houses for sale.

But if you don’t want as much competition from other buyers than buying offseason, during the fall and winter, could be smarter. You could also get a better price because there are fewer buyers for you to compete against.

When thinking about when to buy a home, it’s paramount that you consider the overall housing market. On Zillow right now, the median price of a home in Utah is $352,595 and this price is projected to go steadily higher in the next year. The values of homes in Utah have gone up 5.2% in the past year and Zillow predicts they’ll continue to rise 4.4% in the year to come.

How to Buy a House Without a Realtor in Utah

If you choose to not use a realtor, you can save money, and take your own time searching for and finding a home.

But you’ll have to go through all the steps of buying a home, do research on the neighborhood, get seller disclosures, get preapproved for a loan, get an inspection, make negotiations all on your own.

You won’t have as much knowledge about the market, you’ll have to do negotiations all by yourself, there is a lot of paperwork involved in buying a home that you’ll have to take care of, and at the end of your home buying experience, you really won’t save a lot of money buying a home without a realtor.

But if you decide to go it alone anyway, here are the steps you’ll have to go through in place of your real estate agent:

Step 1: Apply for a mortgage

You’ll want to shop for a home loan, pick your lender, and get preapproved so that you have the means to purchase your home when that time comes.

Step 2: Do your research

Normally a realtor would be able to tell you about the neighborhood, the housing market, or what prices are fair or unfair. Thoroughly research everything question you can think of.

Step 3: Choose a house

Now it’s time to shop for and pick a house! Make sure you know what you want, what you can afford, and what different features are worth.

Step 4: Get a seller disclosure

A seller’s disclosure is a document that overviews everything the seller knows about the property. You’ll still want to get your own inspection done on the house.

Step 5: Make your offer

Normally when buying a house you’ll make an offer and make getting your own inspection on the house done a part of your offer.

Step 6: Get an inspection

It’s important that you get your own home inspection done on the house before you finalize the purchase of the house. That way you can catch anything that might affect the value of the home.

Step 7: Negotiate

After your own home inspection, it might be time to do some negotiating on the house price. For instance, if you find a major problem in the piping or something you can sometimes negotiate a lower price.

Step 8: Finalize the sale

Now that you’ve done all that work it’s time to finish the paperwork and make the house your own!

Retirement Communities in Utah

There are many retirement communities that are specifically created for the 55+ community. But maybe you don’t want a home that is going to control or alter too much of your life with specific 55+ community requirements. Maybe you just want a home you can grow old in and make your life a little easier.

If this is what you’re looking for in a house then the homes at Strawberry Fields might be the dream place for you.

What is a Retirement Community?

A retirement community, like Strawberry Fields Utah, is a community of houses or a facility specifically designed for residents who are 55 years old or older. They can also be called assisted living communities and can come in different levels of assisted living.

Their purpose is to provide certain benefits to members of the 55+ community age group. A lot of them are meant to help older age groups live as independently as possible, or take care of members of the 55+ community. Some retirement communities will do everything for their residents, including providing meals and having a staff of registered nurses while others will provide fewer services and staff and allow for much more independence.

Independent Living Facilities

Independent living facilities are for residents who don’t need special medical treatment or daily help. They can simply be a community of houses that are restricted to the 55+ age group, or houses that are designed for ground floor living with wider doors and hallways for easier wheelchair access should that ever be necessary.

Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living facilities are just that, homes or a housing facility that has the added benefits of assistance from a professional staff. People who live in assisted living facilities often don’t need extensive care, but they do need some assistance with certain daily tasks.

Nursing Home

Nursing homes are for people who need more extensive, daily care. They have professionals continually on staff and provide everything for their residents.

 

written by Kimber Severance, Check City Copywriter

Ways to Save Money with Low Waste Living

low waste living

Not only are there major health and environmental benefits to living a more low-waste lifestyle, but there are monetary benefits to take advantage of as well.

Taking care of our planet is important for many reasons. For example, air pollution has been linked to increases in cases of asthma. Even prenatal exposure to air pollution can increase the child’s risk of developing childhood wheezing and asthma.

Likewise, the benefits of recycling and lowering our wastes are great. It can help our environment, our health, conserve our natural resources, and provide more economic security.

Explore this Article

But one major benefit to recycling and living a more low waste lifestyle is that it’s also a way to save money in the long run. Instead of buying single-use items once or twice a month, replace these costs with higher quality products that can last you a number of years. And if you need help paying for these higher qualify single-purchase items, you can always take out a Check City Personal Loan to get you started on your low waste journey.

There are everyday expenses that you can reduce or eliminate entirely just by using a few low-waste living tips.

What is Recycling?

In 2017, the US generated over 260 million tons of waste. We recycled about 67 million tons and composted about 27 million tons.

In waste management, there are 2 types of waste disposal—the conventional method, recycling, and composting.

Recycling is a method of waste disposal that takes waste and makes it into other things. Instead of throwing things away, they are used to create new products. Recycling allows materials to continue to have use rather than piling up in landfills.

What is Composting?

Composting is the process used to turn organic waste, like food scraps, into usable compost, which can then be used as fertilizer. Composting gathers organic waste together and lets it decompose until it creates a soil conditioner (fertilizer) that is very rich in nutrients. You can then use this for soil as fertilizer to help plants grow better.

Composting is a great thing to do at home for your garden, flower bed, or herb garden. It is just another way you can help your household become more self-sufficient and help your plants and flowers grow more abundantly.

What is Greenwashing?

If you want to do your part to help the environment and your local community thrive then you’ll want to be aware of greenwashing.

Greenwashing is an advertising method meant to make products look organic or ecofriendly when in reality they aren’t. If a product or company’s ecofriendly claims are really true then they’ll usually tell you all about it—providing evidence, certificates, and details.

If their claims are vague or unspecific, then most likely they are greenwashing their product in the hopes it will help it sell better. When making purchases do your research and don’t be duped by false or shady advertising.

What is Low Waste Living?

Being environmentally minded comes in all kinds of ranges. You can strive to live the zero waste lifestyle or you can simply try and live a more low waste lifestyle. Either way can save you hundreds of dollars every year.

Low Waste Living is when you attempt to make less waste, be more self-sufficient, and buy products that are quality and long lasting rather than single use products you’ll have to buy over and over again.

All the Ways to Save Money Living Low Waste

You might think of low waste living as something crazy and intense people do or something you need to be really committed to in order to pull off. But there are actually plenty of really simple ways to make less waste and save yourself a ton of money along the way.

There are lots of frequent, recurring costs you could replace for a single purchase to you’re your monthly spending and use that money elsewhere. You just have to know what can be replaced.

1. Plastic Water Bottles

Save $100.00

Filtered water is just better, and many of us don’t live in areas with great tap water. But we need to drink lots of water every day and the cost of water bottles can really get out of hand. Instead you can buy a water filter pitcher, a really nice water filtration dispenser, or a really nice stainless steel faucet water filter so you don’t have to spend so much money on water bottles ever again.

2. Shop in Bulk

Save up to 83%

You can save a lot of money when you buy in bulk. Find the local stores near you that sell in bulk like Sam’s Club, Costco, and whole food stores where you can get basic foods from barrels.

The key with buying in bulk is that you save big on the price per unit and you buy amounts that can stock up your home and last a lot longer, which saves you gas money and time spent at the store. Some experts estimate that you can save up to 83% on your grocery bill by buying in bulk.

3. Make Homemade Cleaning Products

Save $600

We want to keep our homes clean and sanitized but the products we need to do so can get really expensive. Instead, you can just make your own homemade cleaning products with these simple homemade cleaning product recipes. You can also buy your favorite squirt bottles to reuse over and over again as well.

4. Reusable Grocery Bags

Save 10 cents per bag

Plastic bags are still free at most grocery stores but this might not always be the case. Many states have already begun banning single-use plastic bags at grocery and retail stores or created minimum 10 cent charges if you want to use plastic bags.

Save yourself the hassle by getting your own awesome reusable grocery shopping bags now that you can keep in your car and use at the grocery store instead of plastic bags.

You can also buy some tote bags to use when you make retail purchases at other stores, so that you can avoid the hassle of plastic bags there as well.

Getting your own shopping bags is also helpful because they won’t rip at the bottom and spill your items everywhere, they won’t squish your items together in small plastic bags, and they can even keep your food cold on the trip home. You can even get specific produce bags with some online shopping.

5. Reusable Straws

Using reusable straws instead of single-use plastic straws can be one of the easiest, and funnest ways to go green. Reusable straws come in all kinds of shapes and colors, and can even come in compact containers that fit on your keychain.

6. Bring Your Own Water Bottle

Water bottles also come in all kinds of creative shapes, sizes, and colors. They can also come with unique functionalities. Instead of using the flimsy paper and plastic cups at restaurants you can use your own bottle instead! This will also keep your drink cold or hot longer and be more comfortable to hold in your hand or travel with you when you leave.

7. Install a Bidet

Save up to $120

The average American spends up to $120 each year on toilet paper alone. While you can’t really get rid of this cost, you can reduce the need by installing a bidet in your bathroom. You’ll save on toilet paper and actually be a cleaner and more hygienic person as well.

8. Start a Compost Bin

A compost bin can be a great way to put all your organic waste to better use. Your compost bin just needs 3 ingredients to function:

  1. Browns: like dead leaves, branches, twigs
  2. Greens: like grass, vegetable scraps, fruit scraps, coffee grounds
  3. Water

When you make your own compost you won’t need to spend money on chemical fertilizers and your garden will grow fuller and healthier. So a compost bin can save you money on gardening supplies and on groceries depending on what you decide to grow!

9. Plant a Garden

Save up to $600

Planting your own garden can both save and make you money. By planting your own herbs, vegetables, legumes, and even fruits you can save up to $600 on food costs each year. You could also make extra money each year by selling the produce from your garden at your local farmers market, or to your friends and neighbors.

10. Raise Chickens

Save up to $400

You can take your little farm one step further by getting a few farm animals of your own. Chickens are a good example for beginners and they can save you on the cost of eggs each year. You could even make money selling chicks to other households that would like to start raising their own chickens as well.

11. Make Your Own Clothes

Save up to $1,800

New clothes can be so expensive and with the rise of fast fashion many clothing brands don’t even provide quality clothes anymore. But you can take your wardrobe into your own hands by learning how to sew your own clothes!

12. Replace Paper Towels with Dish Rags

Save over $200

Paper towels can be nice and convenient but they might also be taking up more of your budget than you realize. Instead of spending extra money each month on the convenience of paper towels, buy a couple of kitchen towels for cleaning and wiping your hands.

13. Replace Paper Napkins with Cloth Napkins

Save over $200

You can also replace the paper napkins in your house with cloth napkins instead! Now your set table will look nicer and your family and guests will feel pampered and fancy when they come over for dinner.

14. Use handkerchiefs instead of tissues

Save up to $100

For instance, a pack of 4 flat box Kleenex costs about $6 while a pack of 6 basic handkerchiefs can cost $5.00 and last you for years to come. Meanwhile, tissue boxes only last a little while before you need to purchase them all over again.

So instead of buying box after box of tissues every year, just get yourself some nice handkerchiefs instead!

Replacing frequent costs with a single purchase is always the better choice. And handkerchiefs are going to be nicer on your nose, not chaff and dry out your nose the way paper tissues do. They’re also more useful because you can use them as a cloth too! If you need to wipe away some perspiration or wipe your hands throughout the day or anything.

15. Make Foods from Scratch

Save up to $4,109

Learn to make homemade things from scratch instead of instant and boxed foods. For example, two homemade pizza can cost as little as $3.25, while 2 pizzas from a pizza place can easily cost you over $20.

You can also learn to do your own canning and make preservatives. There are many things you can make yourself for less than half the cost it takes to buy it from the store. Here’s a short list of some other things you could learn to make from scratch instead of buying it in stores:

  • chicken or vegetable stock
  • peanut butter
  • macaroni and cheese
  • granola
  • baby food
  • spaghetti sauce
  • lunch meat
  • pizza
  • bread
16. Eat More Like a Vegetarian/Vegan

Save up to $700

You don’t have to commit to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle to take advantage of vegetarian and vegan meals. These meals can be tasty, full of nutrients, and cheaper than recipes that use lots of meats and dairy products.

17. Recycle

Make some spare change!

Get recycling bins for your home and start recycling! You can actually make money recycling certain items at your local recycling facility.

18. Don’t Waste Freezer Foods

You can create a lot of waste and waste a lot of food by not utilizing your freezer enough. Make foods last longer by storing them correctly in the freezer. You can even create a food expiration calendar for your fridge to help you keep track when you need to eat certain foods.

food storage expiration date calendars

There are also a surprising number of things you can make with overripe foods, like banana bread. So always check before you toss things whether you can give it a second life somehow.

19. Buy Used Instead of New

Not only does buying used items help recycle things and maintain the environment, but buying used can also save you a lot of money as well! If you need new furniture, you can find great deals on beautiful pieces at antique shops and on the Facebook Marketplace.

20. Support Local Farmers

By shopping at the local farmer’s market for food items instead of big chain grocery stores, you can support your local farmers, reduce consumption, and save money on cheaper and fresher produce.

21. Don’t Waste on Basic Bills

Save up to $2,060

Overdoing it on utilities can put a strain on the environment and your wallet. So take measures to reduce the use of your utilities like heating, cooling, electricity, and water.

For example, you could save your AC by opening windows to keep things cool instead. You could also make some homemade dry shampoo so you don’t have to wash your hair so frequently and conserve water that way. This will also help your shampoo last longer for when you do wash your hair. You could also put less use on your drier by hanging things up to dry instead.

22. Find a Local Tailor

Sometimes we get rid of clothes when they could be fixed! Find a local tailor and have them fix up your old clothes, pants, shoes, or even hats so you don’t have to replace them as often. You’ll also be supporting local businesses which is always a good thing.

23. Replace Plastic Loofahs

Save up to $120

Instead of rebuying plastic loofas over and over again throughout the course of your life find a more permanent solution. You can find bath brushes in all kinds of shapes and brush types and they’ll actually help exfoliate and clean you better than a loofah anyway.

24. Rechargeable Batteries

Save up to $20

Not many things still use batteries but our need for batteries is far from over. But instead of rebuying batteries every time they die, just buy a pack of rechargeable batteries that you can use for life! That way you won’t be throwing away harmful batteries all the time, and you won’t have to buy them all the time either.

25. Make Reusable Gift Bags

Save up to $240

We spend so much on wrapping paper each year for birthdays and holidays. It’s fun to give gifts and being able to open the gift is one of the best parts! But you can keep the surprise while getting rid of wrapping paper costs by crafting together some reusable gift bags or clothes of your own.

26. Ditch Sponges for Brushes

Save up to $40

Sponges are important for helping you wash dishes, but they can get gross and need replacing really fast. Ditch the cost of sponges all together by buying dish brushes instead.

27. Use Public Transit, Walk, or Bike

Save up to $2,000

The average American spends over $2,000 a year on gas. That’s a lot of money that could be going to other parts of your budget. By taking the bus, using a bike, or walking you can greatly reduce this cost and reduce your emissions.

How To Live a Low Waste Lifestyle

The above list doesn’t list all the things you can do to cut down on waste and costs, but just with the tips above you can potentially save up to $13,000 a year by becoming more self-sufficient and replacing single-use purchases with single-purchase items you only have to buy once.

What will you do with all this extra money? You could put it all into a savings account, a checking account, use it to help reach your savings goals, or pay off credit cards, or start an emergency fund. Start saving money today and make your future brighter and more waste free.

These are a lot of really helpful ideas, but most of them boil down to a few key tactics to living a more low waste lifestyle.

  1. Make things from scratch
  2. Be self-sufficient
  3. Support local businesses
  4. Choose quality over anything else

Now all you have to do is create your own master plan of attack for living the low-waste way and watch how much your budget grows with all those savings!

 

written by Kimber Severance, Check City Copywriter

How to Vote

how to vote

Voting doesn’t have to be a confusing hassle. If you have questions about how to vote in the upcoming election just take a look at the links below and find the quick answers you’re looking for:

Voting can seem complicated, especially if you just turned 18 and have never done it before. But it’s actually pretty simple! The upcoming election is also coming up faster than you might think. This coming February 3rd will be the first caucuses in Iowa, beginning the many caucuses, primaries, and conventions you’ll want to be a part of in order to participate in choosing the presidential candidates in the final election.

You need to prepare for the coming election now so that you’re prepared to vote in the primaries, and so you’re registered to vote in general. This way you aren’t taken by surprise when the final election rolls around and suddenly you have all these logistics to figure out. When it comes to voting, you also want to participate as early as possible so you can be informed and make your own educated choice.

Things to Know

There are a few general basics you’ll want to know about in order to understand elections and how they work.

Who can vote?

vote

In order to vote you must be at least 18 years old, be a citizen of the United States, and be registered to vote. But if you’d like to double check the specific voting requirements of your state you can visit Vote.org.

What are the different kinds of elections?

You probably already know about the presidential election, but did you know there are many more elections you can be a part of?

Federal Elections: these elections include anyone in the federal government. This would include the president, members of congress, senators, and members of the house of representatives.

State Elections: this includes voting for state legislatures, governors, the attorney general, secretary of state, state supreme court, and any other members of the state judiciary. State elections are also the time where you might vote on state policies.

Local Elections: this is where you vote on county and city government officials, like sheriffs, the mayor, and school board members.

The convention

One of the first things that happens during election season are conventions for each party. These conventions are generally held nationally. It is where political parties all gather together to browse the nominees for the coming presidential election.

The caucus

If you are registered to vote with a certain political party then you can go to that parties caucus. It is a meeting where people of a specific political party gather together. This can be where members of the party will register their preferences for who should be that party’s candidate. They also gather to discuss political policies pertinent to that group.

The primaries

The primary elections are often simply referred to as the primaries. They are the preliminary voting that takes place to decide who the final candidates for the final election will be. Many people try out to be presidential candidates, so this process helps voters choose the specific candidate they would like to represent their party in the final election. This narrows down the field so that when it comes time to vote for the actual president, there aren’t 30 or more people you have to know about and choose from on the voting ballot.

What is the electoral college?

We actually use the electoral college to determine the presidential winner in the end. Each state has a number of electors who cast these electoral votes. These electors consider the votes of the people from their states and use that information to cast their electoral vote. It’s these votes that determine who wins the presidency.

What’s the election schedule?

There are many events to be aware of during election season that take place the year before and after election year. Here is a general outline of all the most important election events you are going to want to be aware of.

The year BEFORE election year
Spring Candidates start announcing their intentions to run for president
Summer Primaries, caucus, and debates begin to take place
The year OF the election
July to September Political parties choose their candidates
September to October Presidential debates
November Election Day
December Electoral College votes
The year AFTER election year
January Congress counts the electoral votes
January 20th Inauguration Day

If you’d like to learn more about the basics of the presidential election, you can explore USA.gov to learn all about the voting and election process. This website even has educational videos and infographics to help you visually understand the process as well.

How Do I Vote?

register to vote

One of the biggest questions people have when it comes to elections is how to vote. Thankfully this process really isn’t too complicated either. Basically you’ll want to register to vote, participate in primary elections, stay informed, and vote at your polling place on election day.

First: how to register to vote

The very first thing you’ll want to do is get registered to vote. You register to vote in your state of residency so that when you do vote, you’ll be a part of your state’s voting pool. Registering to vote is incredibly easy to do. You can do it in person or online.

Where can I register to vote in person?

  • The DMV
  • Armed forces recruitment center
  • State and county public assistance offices

You can also quickly register online at Vote.gov. You can also check your registration status on this website to check if you’re already registered to vote.

You can also register by mail, if you are out of the country or out of your home state. All you have to do is fill out the National Mail Voter Registration Form found on USA.gov and then mail it to the address listed for you state.

Second: how to participate in the primaries

The candidates that will represent each party in the final vote needs to be chosen. Before election day arrives there will be primaries, caucuses, and political conventions to help narrow down the candidates. Different parties and states will do these preliminary voting events in varying ways.

If you want to vote in the primaries to help pick the final presidential candidates, then read, “When are the 2020 presidential election primaries?” to see when your state will hold their primaries. Then all you have to do is go to the primaries and participate in the preliminary voting so you can be a part of picking the final candidates.

During this time candidates will be narrowed down to the final few. They will also announce who their vice president would be, and then they go across the country campaigning, talking about their views and plans, and debating with other candidates until election day arrives. You can also help out your candidate of choice by volunteering or fundraising for their campaign!

Third: how to vote on election day

By participating in election events now, you can do your own research and watch debates to learn about the different presidential options, what they are all about, and what their presidential plans are. Then all that is left to do is go to your local, designated polling station on election day and cast your vote.

Election Day is always on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. This upcoming election day will be on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

The only way you can cast your ballot is in person, or by mail. There is no way to vote online, so when election day comes you’ll need to be prepared to physically go to the polls, or be prepared ahead of time to mail in your ballot.

To find your polling place type in your address at VotingInfoProject.org to see where you’re designated polling station is.

If you are going to be absent from your registered state, or need to vote by mail for any other reason, then you’ll need to use the website for you state to find out how they want you to cast your absentee ballot.

What do I need to bring to vote?

polling station

The only thing you may need to bring with you to the polls is a form of identification. Whether ID is required for you to vote or note will depend on your state. You can check your state’s requirements for what to bring with you to the polling station by visiting NCSL.org.

How to Vote Early

There are many things that can make voting on election day difficult. But don’t let finances be one of them. If you need some financial help to get to the polls just take out an easy to use personal loan from Check City.

Whatever your reason, if you need to vote earlier than election day, it will depend on your state and whether they allow early voting. States usually have specified early voting dates.

Generally you don’t have to give them an excuse as to why you need to vote early, but this also might depend on your state.

The best way to see what you’ll need to do to vote early in your state is to find your state’s official website. You can do this by choosing your state at USA.gov and they’ll bring up your state’s official website. This site will then have your state’s specific information about early voting.

How to Vote in Midterm Elections

Midterm elections, or congressional elections, occur every 2 years. They happen in between presidential elections. They include voting for members of congress, the house of representatives, and the senate. These elections don’t use the electoral college but instead use the popular vote. The last midterm elections occurred November 6, 2018. If you want to participate in the next congressional elections just visit USA.gov for more information on when they are and how to vote in them.

How to Vote in Local Elections

The presidential election isn’t the only election you should be involved in, there are local elections going on all around too. These elections are equally important as the people put into office and the policies that get decided are all things that will affect your immediate community. Don’t just deal with whatever happens, be a part of shaping your community.

You can either use USA.gov or USVoteFoundation.org to see what local and state elections are coming up in your area.

 
Voting is an important part of being an active member of society. Your voice matters and voting is one way to make your voice heard. Don’t let misconceptions about voting keep you from getting to the polls and doing your part to help our society and grow.

 

written by Kimber Severance, Check City Copywriter

4 Super Simple Warm Up Exercises

If you’re born to run, then it may feel like nothing is holding you back once you break past that starting line. But unless you’ve gone through some warm up exercises, you could be setting yourself up for poor performance or even an injury.

Warming up before a race or your morning jog is essential to preventing injury and getting the most out of the exercise. Going from a resting state to a full-out run is a jolt to your body’s muscular and respiratory system. Unless you’re properly warmed up, it’s easy to pull or tweak a muscle, and it will be more difficult to set a sustainable pace.

To help you craft the perfect set of warm-up exercises—one that you can use before your next marathon or 5k—I’ve drawn from the experts at Runners World and the Little Wing professional running team. Here are the basics:

Start With a Walk

Looking for the perfect transition from rest to running? Why not try the exercise that is half way between standing still and running—walking.

Walking will get the kinks out of your joints and muscles without putting enough stress on them for injury. Before a race, walk for 3 to 5 minutes, letting your muscles warm up and helping your blood flow.

The Basics of Dynamic Stretching

When it comes to stretching warm up exercise the way many of us were taught to stretch in middle school gym class is all wrong for warming up. Stretching and holding—where you hold the stretch for as long as 60 seconds—is called “static stretching,” and it can actually contribute to injury when done right before exercising. (Static stretching isn’t all bad; it’s beneficial post-workout and even as a break from your daily routine.)

The kind of stretching you should do before running is called “dynamic stretching.” It takes some of the same stretching motions, but you do them while remaining in motion. Some common and easy dynamic stretches include:

  • Lunges
  • Knee to chest
  • Bear crawl
  • Butt kicks
  • Skipping

For a demonstration of these stretches and plenty more like them, check out this awesome video from Little Wing.

Get Your Heart Pounding

If you want to be in full running mode right as you cross the starting line, then you need to increase your heart rate and blood flow.
After you’ve done your dynamic stretching, it’s time to ramp up your warm up. Start with a light jog for a few minutes (at least two minutes). Transition into a brisker pace toward the end of your jog, and then decelerate.
Repeat the accelerate/decelerate pattern a few times right before the race starts. By the time the gun goes off, your body will be primed for the perfect race.

Get Out and Race!

Setting a goal, such as a race, is a perfect way to motivate yourself to run regularly; research 5k’s, half marathons, and marathons in your area. If you’re looking for some excitement, try an obstacle course style race such as Tough Mudder.

Just don’t forget to warm up before the big race!

What are some of your favorite warm up exercises? Let us know in the comments sections below!

3 Tips to Wean Adult Children into Independence

With the new school year starting young adults are moving out on their own all across America. If done incorrectly the process of teaching your young adult how to be self-sufficient can be difficult. In this post we’ll cover three of the best ways to wean your young adult or adult children into independence.
Many adult children are still extremely reliant upon their parents for financial needs. Even into their mid-twenties, mom and dad are still paying for absolutely everything. And although this can be helpful to get through college, it isn’t always the healthiest approach.

Many students don’t take their education seriously when they’re not paying for it themselves, and others find it difficult to adjust to independent life after they graduate.

If you’re one of these parents but want to help your kids become independent, the following are three great ways to help wean them off of your bank account.

First, the joke, “he probably lives in his mother’s basement” is truer than a joke these days. Considering how cheap it is to live at home, many adult children default to a parent’s basement rather than pay for an apartment. It’s easy to do because mom loves to have her kids around, and it saves them a lot of money. The crazy thing is that it’s not just single children who are doing this either.

Many children move in with their spouses. It’s true that they first years of marriage can be difficult, especially where finances are concerned. These children will sometimes nest in for years to come. They have children and stay at home. Their children head off to elementary school, from their grandparent’s home. These families should be sheltering their kids under their own roofs, especially when they have a job that could be paying for their lives.

If you’re housing a single guy, a girl’s not going to want to find out that he’s still living with his mom. He has a much better chance at a social life outside of the home than he does where he’s at. He may even get married.

If this has happened to you, and you’re ready to have your kids get a move on with their lives, be up front with them. Reaffirm your love, but make it clear that they should be working on finding a place for themselves. It is your house. These are your rules, and you can still lovingly talk to them about how much better it is for them to seek their own life style.

After they move out, a great way to show love for them is to invite them over for dinners once a week. Show them that your home can still be a safe haven from the worries of the world with a free meal and familiar company, and that can give them encouragement during their time of adjustment.

Second, if they still rely on you to pay for their lifestyle, adjust that. You don’t have to drop every financial responsibility in the book on them all at once. That kind of adjustment would be extremely hard. It can be extremely good for them, but they might resent you for it and you might even hate the idea.

Wean them off instead. Set up a plan. Tell them that in three months from today, you no longer intend to pay for an expense: tuition, books, car, food, or cell phone bills for example. In six months you will no longer pay something else. In a year, you won’t pay for something else, etc., etc. until they are finally financially independent.

You can help them find ways to support themselves though. If they’re not working, they will need to learn to find a job. If they have a job that isn’t making enough, encourage them to find a better one. If they are going to school and aren’t sure how they’re going to pay for tuition, encourage them to get a scholarship or grant. Student loans are always another option. You can guide them on a path to financial independence, helping them to grow up and helping you to gain financial independence as well.

Three, sit down to discuss their long-term goals. Have a good chat with your son(s) or daughter(s) about what their future goals are for independence. Ask them questions. When do they see themselves becoming independent? How long do they intend to live with you? What do they want out of life? See what goals for independence they’re trying to achieve and offer your help to get them there. Sometimes just talking about the issue can help them meet future goals much sooner than you expected. They might just need a bit of support from an interested parent.

Take these three ideas to heart and give them a shot. Your kids will have the best chance of success in this world when they’re introduced to financial independence, not sheltered indefinitely. Although you don’t need to kick them out and cut them off, you can go a long way to help your adult children seek complete financial independence starting today.

5 Secrets to Stop Living Pay Check to Pay Check

Wouldn’t it be nice to stop living with an uncertain financial future? Wouldn’t it be great to not only have enough for what you need, but to be able to put aside a bit extra every month for a rainy day? With your current situation though, you may not be able to see a way to get out of this financial deficit so you can save for a rainy day.

Amazingly, people with less money and more financial responsibility have found ways to reach their goal of not living from pay check to pay check. Here are some secrets that could help you do likewise. Make each a habit and encourage savings at every corner.

First, create a weekly meal plan that uses the same ingredients for a variety of meals. The thing that tends to increase your shopping expenses is purchasing different ingredients for every meal you plan.

For example, Monday night is pasta night; Tuesday is Mexican; Wednesday is soup; Thursday is Hot Dogs; and Friday is Steak night. Your shopping list tends to build up because each meal requires a different set of ingredients, which costs a lot more than buying just fewer ingredients in bulk would.

There are websites, like supercook.com, that will help you determine what variety of meals only take a set amount of ingredients, e.g. chicken, noodles, bread, cheese, lettuce, tomato, etc. Choose a meal you want to cook that week, type in the names of these ingredients into that website, and see what other meal options you can try out. Then go to the store with that same list and purchase in bulk for the week. This can often save you quite a bit of money in the long run, while increasing your home menu.

Second, determine to save $1 every two weeks. Surely one dollar isn’t that hard to put aside. You can often willingly forgo a more expensive brand name item for generic if it means you get to put $1 to your future.

Habits are created with simple, persistent effort. One measly buck every paycheck is a great start. After a year, you’ll have created such a deep habit that it will seem unnatural to not save. You may even lift your sights to $2 per paycheck (and in fact, you should strive to shoot for more if you want this savings to grow). For now though, concentrate on what you can manage, and save $1 every pay check until you’re ready to increase that expense.

Third, change your spending attitude. If you live from pay check to pay check because you throw money around at your leisure, then you have the financial opportunities to quit that lifestyle. Go back through your bank statements over the past three months and identify what was (1) needed, and (2) frivolous.

Keep the needed expenses in place, but make a goal to cut the amount of money you use frivolously. Frivolous expenses are a necessary part of life, but it should be limited to an affordable amount. Make a goal for how much you want available for discretion and then track your spending every day throughout the month. When you have a goal and then track your progress, you are far less likely to spend as frivolously as you did before. Save the surplus money for another day.

Fourth, work together with your spouse. If you’re married, then work through your finances together as a couple. No one person should think they have full control of the money. This creates inequality, and that inequality often ends up in relationship trouble, or over/unexpected spending on either side of the equation.

Approach your finances as equals. It’s not about what’s “yours” it’s about what’s “ours.” Plan and address your current spending habits like the frivolous spender would. Identify your needs. Find places you can improve on your discretionary money and start saving today.

Fifth, save everything you can and find ways to make more money to save. Any extra money you find in your budget should be saved. Reduce spending on unnecessary luxuries like cable TV, or air conditioners set expensively low at 68 degrees.

Any old items that you want to get rid of can be sold. Take the money from that sale and put it away. Find ways to sell your skills or hobbies outside of work to get a few extra bucks to put away.

Living from pay check to pay check can make you feel imprisoned. Shed those shackles and be free from the pain of financial worry every month by applying these five secrets to your life.

Buying the Right Car for Your Teenage Driver

If you currently have a teenager who is approaching the age that they will be able to drive, you might be afraid. Teenage drivers are notorious for getting into more accidents and generally being more reckless than any other age group of drivers.

Some parents make the decision to not even let their teenager drive until they have proven that they can drive safely and responsively. However, there are also parents who want to give their teenager freedom, so they buy them a car as soon as they have their license.

The Important Thing is Safety

It doesn’t matter what kind of parent you are; you want to know what type of car is going to be the safest for your precious son or daughter. Here is a list of the most reliable and safe cars for teenage drivers.

Each of these cars has undergone extensive safety tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The crash tests performed by the institute are more extensive than those that are performed by the government’s standard tests.

Each of these cars also has at least six airbags and stability control. These features ensure that your teenager will have the safest driving experience they can possibly have.

2010 Honda Civic

The first car we’ll talk about is the 2010 Honda Civic. Honda is known to be a trusted brand of cars, and the Civic especially has a reputation for being safe and reliable.

If you decide to go with a version that’s a little bit older, you will be paying about one third less than you would for a newer model. When you are buying a car for your teenager, you have to realize that you may not want to buy the absolute newest car you can for them.

While you may not want to acknowledge the fact that they might wreck the car, that is definitely a possibility. If they wreck a brand new car, that is going to be much worse for your wallet than if they wreck an older car.

It is also important to think about what your child is going to think if you just buy them a brand new car. They may start thinking that they are just entitled to nice things and that they deserve to be handed nice things all throughout their lives.

Teenagers need to learn that they need to learn to work for what they have, rather than just being given things. This may be a lesson they may not want to learn, but it is a lesson they need to learn.

Another great feature of the Honda Civic is that it gets 36 miles to the gallon on the freeway. This is also going to be a great feature for your teenager because they will learn how to budget their money so that they can start paying for their own gas for their car.

2010 Kia Soul

Another great car for teenagers is the 2010 Kia Soul. Again, going with a model that is a few years old is going to be the best option for your teenager.

It still gives them a nice car, but it doesn’t give them a car that is too nice. Plus, used and older cars are in general much cheaper than brand new cars.

The Kia Soul has a unique and individual look, which could be good for your teenager to help them feel like they stand out. There is a lot of legroom in the backseat and also a roomy trunk, so this would be a perfect car for your teenager to take to college.

2010 Lincoln MKZ

Another possible car option for your teenager is the 2010 Lincoln MKZ. This is a more upscale option for your teenager, and it will probably last through high school and beyond into college.

2010 Scion xB

Another great choice is the 2010 Scion xB. Just like all of the other models discussed in this article, it is a little bit older than the most current model.

It is equipped with many safety features, and has a unique look that a young person could easily love. This model also has a lot of space in the back for legroom and trunk space.

2010 Subaru Legacy

Another great car for your teen is the 2010 Subaru Legacy. The Legacy prides itself as being one of the safest cars out there on the market.

It has all-wheel drive which is the safest during inclement weather. The interior of the Legacy is quite fancy as well, providing your teenager with a feel for the fancy.

Deciding what car to buy for your teenager can be a difficult decision to make. Let these options guide you in your decision.

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