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Cheap Weekend Getaways on a Budget

Weekend Getaways on a Budget

Sometimes a long vacation far away can actually be more exhausting than relaxing.

That’s why a weekend trip somewhere near you can actually be more rejuvenating.

Not only that but weekend trips are less expensive, you don’t have to take time off, and it can be just what you need to prevent burnout and keep your energies and spirits up.

The Best Weekend Getaways

The best weekend getaways cater to your personal preferences and desires so you can get the most out of your short trip.

Some people are looking for weekend getaways near me, where they can be close to home but still take a break from their lives. Others are looking for cheap weekend getaways, so they can enjoy a vacation without spending too much. Then there are people looking for group weekend getaways or the best weekend getaways for couples.

Different people look for different things in a vacation. Some people are history buffs and want to see some historical sites and go on tours. Others will want to go where there is lively music, or botanical gardens where they can walk and be with nature.

Other people have specific requirements for their vacation. If you have kids you might need a family-friendly option, or if you’re a couple you might want something more romantic.
Start asking yourself what kind of vacationer you are before you get started on any solid plans.

Take a moment to sit down and write a list of things you must have in a weekend getaway. This can help you decide the key elements of your weekend trip budget.

Make a Budget

weekend trip costs

The more days you stay away the more your trip will cost.

Which is why weekend trips are so great! You can vacation without breaking the bank simply by leaving for fewer days.

According to Budget Your Trip the average daily cost of a vacation for just one person comes to about $224. This means that a 2 day vacation would cost $448, a 3 day vacation would cost $672, and a longer 4 day vacation would cost $896.

But you can save even more on a weekend getaway by cutting areas of your budget and making smart, money-saving choices.

Download a Free Printable PDF for a Weekend Getaway Budget.

weekend trip budget

A vacation budget usually includes at least 4 categories.

Transportation, lodging, food, and entertainment.

According to ValuePenguin the average cost of transportation for 4 nights is $224, lodgings are $150, food is $155, and entertainment is $52. A 4 night trip, from Friday to Monday, can cost a total of $581.

These 4 budget sections are what you’ll need to figure out before going on vacation. Though there may be other things to consider depending on your personal preferences. For example, you might want to add a souvenir budget or create separate budgets for each person going on the trip.

Transportation

transportation

As with any trip, you’ll need to figure out what transportation you’ll use, how much it will cost, and how you can save in this category.

The farther from home you go the more expensive transportation costs are going to be. This doesn’t mean you can’t go far away for your weekend trip, it just means transportation will take up a larger portion of your budget if you do. You might have to make sacrifices in other areas of your budget, like which hotel you stay at if you want to go somewhere farther away.

Since it’s just a weekend trip, longer trips will also take up more of the little time you have to get away that weekend. But if you go somewhere close by, then you’ll have even more time to enjoy your destination. Try going on a road trip instead of flying since driving is generally cheaper than plane tickets.

You should also try and book accommodations that aren’t too far away from everything. That way you can easily walk, ride bikes, or use trails like the boardwalk or river walk to get wherever you want to go while on vacation.

Lodging

lodgings

If you book your accommodations well in advance then you are more likely to snag some deals.

If you want to get in the habit of taking weekend trips, then try getting into the habit of researching prices every so often. That way you’ll see when prices go up and down.

You can also save on lodgings by choosing Airbnbs, hostels, or campgrounds to stay at instead of expensive hotels. If you go on trips very often, then investing in a trailer or some quality camping gear could actually save you money in the long term.

Food

food

Eating out can easily become the most expensive part of a vacation. But you can save tons of money on food by packing your own meals and snacks.

No matter where you end up staying you can always bring your own food. If you’re going camping you can pack food bags and coolers full of nonperishable foods. If you’re going to a hotel or Airbnb you can find one with a kitchenette so you can make your own meals instead of spending tons of money eating out.

But remember to keep item number 1 in mind! Maybe eating out while traveling is a big part of a vacation for you. If this is the case, then just calculate restaurant expenses into your weekend getaway budget.

Entertainment

entertainment

There’s nothing more disappointing than coming back from a trip where you didn’t have time for everything you wanted to do.

You don’t want your weekend trip to feel like a waste of time. There might be specific things you want to do to entertain yourself while on vacation, like see a movie, go to a specific restaurant, see a show, go on a guided tour, or visit the zoo.

Create a vacation schedule for yourself so you don’t miss out on anything or unexpectedly spend money on tickets for something once you get there. By creating a schedule for entertainment ahead of time, you’ll know how you’re spending your weekend and how much each activity will cost. That way you can include your fun in your budget and not feel bad later for spending more than you thought you would.

Entertainment can also be the most flexible part of your budget and an easy place to cut costs. Maybe instead of paying for an expensive tour you pick up a cheaper tour guide booklet and see the sites yourself. Or maybe you can find free things to do like go to a public beach or nature park.

Download a Free Printable for a Weekend Getaway Schedule.

More Weekend Vacation Budget Tips

weekend getaway tips and tricks

Now that you know how to save on your 4 key weekend budget categories, let’s go over some other ways to trim your weekend budget.

1. Split the Costs

One great way to get the most out of a weekend vacation while still saving money is to bring a group of people and split the cost. By renting a cabin with a bunch of friends or family members, you can stay at a really nice place for a much more reasonable price.

Transportation costs can also be alleviated by inviting friends to tag along and help pay for gas.

2. Pack Light

Packing light will not only make your life easier, but it can save you in the long run. By not packing too much you won’t lose as many items in the hustle and bustle of traveling.

You also won’t have to pay extra traveling fees for having tons of luggage.

3. Don’t Spend Money Once You’re There

If you plan carefully and bring your own things, you can get away with not spending money once you reach your destination. Eat your own food and bring your own entertainment.

There are plenty of things you can do for free on vacation, like outdoor activities or going to state parks. You might actually enjoy just reading a good book by the poolside instead of filling your weekend with expensive and busy activities.

4. Look for All-Inclusive Options

Some resorts and cruises can be all-inclusive, meaning that you pay for your stay and they provide everything else. All-inclusive trips can also give you the best deal since one payment will pay for all categories of your budget. All you have to worry about is showing up.

5. Put Vacations in Your Budget Now

Planning ahead will always save you more, and that includes planning for your vacations now. Put away a little money each month into a fund just for trips. Then once you have enough to cover your vacation budget you can go, relax, have fun, and not worry about the money your spending because you saved it all up specifically for this.

6. Use a Prepaid Debit Card

Have trouble budgeting your spending once you’re there? Just get a Prepaid Debit Card and use that for spending on vacation. With a prepaid debit card, you won’t be able to go over budget and can protect yourself from your own money spending habits.

7. Long Weekends

Plan to go on vacation during a long weekend. That way you don’t have to use paid time off, and you can get an extra day or two of relaxation and fun into your weekend. Having a long weekend to look forward to can also make work more bearable, and give you a time frame for saving up.

8. Most Popular Weekend Getaway Locations

If you want to travel somewhere really popular, you definitely want to look for deals. You can use websites like kayak, travelocity, trivago, or airbnb to find deals on transportation, lodgings, and fun times. You can also use sites like the Crazy Tourist to see reviews about popular places and help you decide where to go and what to see on your trip.

Here are some examples of how you can use these sites to your advantage.

Getaways in San Diego

Trips to Santa Barbara

San Antonio Vacation Packages from $658

Las Vegas Weekend Break Hotels

15 Best Romantic (Weekend) Getaways in Rhode Island

New York City Weekend Breaks

Best Weekend Deals Los Angeles

San Francisco Cheap Vacations


The Master Guide to Winter Workouts

winter workouts

Staying active in winter may seem impossible, but with some key tips and tricks you can get back on track and enjoy your healthiest and happiest winter yet.

Explore this Article

Winter is one of the hardest times to work out. Winter has some major eating holidays, it’s cold outside, it’s dark outside, the days are shorter, and you feel sleepy and full of food all the time! But all of this is why it is so important to stay active in winter and avoid being too stagnant during this season.

Tips for Staying Active in Winter

exercise tips

Staying active when it’s cold and dark outside is difficult, and understandably so. Around 17.3 million adults in the U.S. alone suffer from depression and 10% to 20% of those cases are affected by the seasons—like winter. The cold, dark days of winter can really deter us from staying positive and active. But with a few key tips, you can make your life a little easier and help make working out in winter a little easier too.

1. Make Future Plans

By making future plans for the spring and summer you can find your winter workout motivation! Summer plans will give you something to work toward during the winter. This can be anything from a beach vacation to signing up for a marathon.

2. Set Up an At-Home Workout Space

Having a designated space in your home to work out can really help make exercising during the winter easier. You don’t even have to dedicate a whole room to your at-home gym space. Just set up some at-home weights and a yoga mat in an assigned bin near your TV so you can do a short daily workout video and have everything you need right there.

3. Invest in Indoor Equipment

Sometimes the biggest obstacle to working out in winter is getting yourself out the door to go to the gym. Solve this problem by investing in some indoor gym equipment for your own home. Then you don’t have to spend additional time traveling to the gym in order to work out each day. You can even take out a payday loan to help buy the indoor workout equipment you need.

4. Get a Gym Membership

Another way to get yourself going to the gym is to sign up for a gym membership. Ideally, you should choose a gym that is close to home or close to your work. This way your gym will be on the way so you can easily plan a stop to the gym on your daily schedule. You can even keep a locker at your gym so you’ll have all your shoes and workout clothes already there.

5. Find a Workout Buddy

Support is an important part of achieving any goal. A workout friend can help keep you accountable, motivated, and positive as you work toward your physical health goals.

Examples of Indoor Winter Workouts

at home workouts

Just because the outdoors are full of ice and snow, that doesn’t mean you can’t stay plenty active from the warmth and comfort of the indoors.

1. Sign Up for Indoor Sports

There are plenty of indoor sports teams you can join. You can even start your own team with friends! Sports don’t have to be professional or competitive, they can also just be for fun, socializing, and staying in shape. You can also do other indoor sports alone like swimming at the local indoor pool or rock climbing.

2. Use Workout Videos

Workout videos can be a fantastic way to get moving from the convenience of your living room. You can even find free workout videos on YouTube like Fitness Blender. There are plenty of expertly designed workout videos and subscriptions you can purchase as well, like Daily Burn.

3. Do Yoga Circuits

Yoga isn’t just for stretching, it has many great health benefits as a daily workout. Yoga with Adriene are free yoga workout videos you can find on YouTube to get you started.

4. Go Dancing

Sign up for a dance class and learn some cool skills while you workout! You can even find ways to teach yourself how to dance by watching videos or playing games like Just Dance!

5. Do Some Deep Cleaning

Yes, you heard right. You can get your house in order while you sweat by doing some intense spring cleaning early. Make cleaning into more of a workout by doing creative things like core twists while you mop the floor or lifting heavy baskets like they are weights.

6. Create Your Own Workout

Instead of using workout videos you can create your own workout routine with all your favorite moves. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Crunches
  • Plank
  • Mountain climbers
  • High knees
  • High kicks
  • Sidekicks
  • Pushups
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Jump rope
  • Jumping jacks
  • Stairs
  • Weights

Examples of Outdoor Winter Workouts

outdoor workouts

If you are going to exercise outside in winter then there are a few things you need to do to stay safe and be prepared.

  • Do extra-long warmups
  • Wear layers
  • Protect your extremities
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Wear Sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare off the snow
  • Stay hydrated
  • Wear the right shoes and be careful of slipping on ice
1. Go Skiing

Skiing isn’t just fun it’s also a workout! It’s a sport you can do in winter that will give you a full-body workout.

2. Ski Uphill

Skiing uphill is also known as skinning or alpine touring. It involves placing a “skin” to the base of skis so you don’t slide backward and can in essence ski uphill. Snow adds some extra resistance to this uphill exercise making it a doozy of a workout.

3. Go Snowboarding

Another great winter sport to do is snowboarding. It can keep you occupied for hours, you can socialize with friends, and get an intense core workout in!

4. Trail Running

Trail running isn’t only for warmer months. You can still jog your favorite trails in winter, just make sure you layer up accordingly and beware of ice!

5. Hiking

Activities like hiking can be really fun to do in winter because it’s cold out and the sun isn’t as intense. Winter hikes can actually be more pleasant because you won’t be fighting the sun or the heat.

6. Sledding

Sledding isn’t just for children! It can be good for adults too. Not only that but you can have fun with the kids in your life all while getting an awesome workout into your day.

7. Ice Skating

Ice skating is a great activity because you can easily do it with friends or on your own. While ice skating you work unique muscles in your legs and abdomen. You can even take an ice skating class and learn some impressive new moves to show your friends.

8. Shovel Snow

This might seem like a chore but it doesn’t have to just be a chore. You can change your perspective on shoveling snow and include it in your workout regime.

9. Play in the Snow

There is a lot of fun to be had out in the snow. You can have a snowball fight, build a snowman, create an igloo, or pull each other around in sleds.

10. Snow Shoeing

Snow adds weight resistance that you can use to your advantage. Going on a walk in the snow can burn even more calories than if you were walking without snow.


Staying active is important for an endless amount of reasons. Physical fitness isn’t just important to your physical health but to your mental and emotional wellbeing as well. Don’t let your physical health plans fall by the wayside this winter by using these tips to finally win at winter workouts.


13 Halloween Activities to Do this October

halloween fun

Halloween isn’t just for little kids who go trick or treating. There are loads of things to do during this spooky section of the fall season that all ages can enjoy.

October is a great time of year because it’s Halloween time and fall time. So it’s completely up to you how you celebrate this month—whether decide to do spookier, Halloween themed activities, or just fall time ones.
 
Here are 13 things to do this October:

  1. Have a Halloween Party
  2. Have a Scary Movie Night
  3. Start Some Fall Time Baking
  4. Go to a Haunted House or Corn Maze
  5. Carve Pumpkins
  6. Do Some Crafts
  7. Participate in Your Community
  8. Trunk or Treat with Friends
  9. Play Games
  10. Make Your Own Haunted House
  11. Have a Campfire and Tell Each Other Scary Stories
  12. Read Scary Books
  13. Listen to Spooky Podcasts

There are tons of fun, festive activities you can do in October, or you can search events near you on google. By the time October comes around there are often tons of events going on for kids, families, and friends near you.

1. Have a Halloween Party

halloween party
 

Include a Costume Contest

Costume contests are a great event to include in any Halloween party. A costume contest is a great idea too because it gives those who have grown out of their trick or treat years a chance to dress up for Halloween too. Here are some things you can do to successfully hold a Halloween costume contest.

Decide what the prize will be.

You can make some kind of trophy or you can buy one. You can even have different rewards for winning different categories.

Halloween costume category ideas:

  • best group costume
  • scariest costume
  • funniest costume
  • most creative
  • most original

Make the invites!

Like any event, you’ll want to invite your guests. You can quickly invite everyone you know by making a Facebook event. You can also put up flyers or send out invites in the mail. You can make your spooky invites yourself the traditional way, with glue and paper, or you can design and print them on free websites like Canva and Adobe Spark. If you don’t want to pay for printing out a bunch of invites, but you still want to design something fun, you can also send out your spooktacular design via email.

Decide what the rules will be.

If your costume contest is going to need a set of rules, it’s best to outline them as early as possible so that people can appropriately plan their costumes ahead of time.

Examples of costume contest rules:

  • Maybe it’s a family party and costumes need to be appropriate, or not too gruesome
  • Maybe it’s a themed party and costumes need to be on theme
  • You can have rules about whether you allow group contestants

Choose the judges.

Every contest needs judges to decide the end results. Before you can have the contest you’ll need to decide who these judges will be.
If you don’t want to have the outcome of your contest depend on the decision of one or a few people, you can make everyone the judge and provide a place for guests to enter their own votes for who should win.

Figure out how you’ll judge.

After you decide who will judge you have to decide how they’ll judge. They’ll need to know what things to look for in deciding who should win.

How to judge a costume contest:

  • Scariness
  • Creativity
  • Originality
  • Best group costumes
Play Games

Board games don’t have to be Halloween themed in order to be a great group activity for a party. October is a cold month, making things like board games a great thing to do when you and your guests want to stay indoors.

Party Food

The food for your Halloween party is one of the things you can get super creative about. For instance, you can put labels on the food to give them spooky names. Punch then becomes a witch’s cauldron, grapes become spider eggs, and deviled eggs become eyeballs.

Choose a beverage

There are an endless variety of punches for you to choose from. Below are some websites with witchy Halloween brews to quench your ghoulish guest’s thirst:

Choose appetizers

Every party needs some great food to keep everybody full and happy. There are the staple party foods like chips, pretzels, and dip. But you can also make your own little appetizers, or your own party mix, to add some Halloween creativity to your food table.

Spooky Playlist

Lots of music streaming services have a Halloween themed playlist you can use.

2. Have a Scary Movie Night

scary movie night
 

Have a movie night with friends, host a drive in movie, or if it’s not too cold you can have an outdoor movie night on the lawn. You’ll need to plan some movie worthy snacks, like popcorn, soda, candy, and other treats.

Then you’ll need to plan the movie watching space, gathering all the cozy blankets, pillows, and flashlights your guests will need to be comfortable during the duration of the movie. You could even make a fort for you all to hide out in while you watch some scarier movie choices.
Then you’ll need to pick your movie.

Classic Halloween Movies

Experience some older but great Halloween movies this season.

  • Hocus Pocus
  • The Nightmare before Christmas
  • Halloweentown
  • Casper
  • Monster House
  • Beetlejuice
Halloween Movie Snacks
  • popcorn, seasoned sweet or salty
  • pretzels
  • fruits
  • veggie trays
  • make your own monster mash mix

3. Start Some Fall Time Baking

fall time baking
 

You can have a night of baking or cooking together with friends! Gather your favorite people around you, listen to your favorite music, turn on a show, converse, or play games all while making yummy fall time foods and desserts.

Check out these 50 Easy Fall Baking Recipes from Taste of Home for some ideas of what you could bake. But here are some other fall staples you could look into making with some friends:

  • Maple donuts. Everyone can help form the donuts out of the dough.
  • Candy apples. This is a great group activity because you can have all the decorating options out on a table and everyone can make up their own candy apples.
  • Pumpkin bread. Slices of this seasonal bread goes great with warm cups of cocoa or apple cider.
  • Apple cider. If you live near an apple orchard or an apple cider press you can make a night of picking apples and watching them get pressed into freshly made apple cider.
  • Sticky buns. A warm, gooey classic to chunk out on in the cold months.

4. Go to a Haunted House or Corn Maze

There are lots of outdoor Halloween activities you can do in October. There are scary corn mazes and regular ones, hayrides, and haunted houses.

5. Carve Pumpkins

carve pumpkin
 

Jack-o-lanterns can be really fun, no matter how old you are.

  • Remember to be safe
  • Use templates
  • Make it a competition
  • Use sharpie to draw your design first
  • box cutters
  • Use a pumpkin carving kit
  • use a tarp!

6. Do Some Crafts

This is an especially great activity to do when you have little kids to occupy. Happiness is Homemade has some great craft ideas to choose from.

7. Participate in Your Community

You can volunteer! Or start a cause or charity. This time of year is a great time to use Halloween fun as an opportunity to fundraise, or do a coat drive.

8. Trunk or Treat with Friends

Just because you’re not 8 years old anymore, that doesn’t mean you can’t have your own trunk or treat with friends. Everyone can decorate the trunks of their car as you all go around the parking lot getting candy and being with those you care about.

9. Play Games

Before it gets too cold out you can all get outside and play some fun spooky games. There are some classic games you can play with friends that can really get you in the eerie Halloween spirit.

10. Make Your Own Haunted House

haunted house
 

Who needs to spend money on expensive tickets when you can haunt your own house!

  • Decide where you’re going to have it, the porch, inside the house, in the basement
  • Use tarps to make the walls
  • Cover everything in cobwebs
  • Save money by making your own decorations and scary characters

11. Have a Campfire and Tell Each Other Scary Stories

campfire
 

Here’s a list of some books where you can find uncomfortable tales to tell in the dark.

12. Read Scary Books

13. Listen to Spooky Podcasts

 

It’s always fun to do seasonal things and get into the spirit of the season, whether that means doing scary stuff like haunted houses, or just festive fall time things like baking. And if payday just isn’t landing on the right day this October, you can always take out a convenient Payday Loan to tide you over.


READ MORE

Plan your Halloween festivities this year, “Start Planning Your Halloween Festivities Today.”

Keep you and your kids safe this Halloween with these tips, “5 Important Halloween Safety Tips.”

Stay on budget this year with these Halloween budgeting tips, “Saving Money on Halloween.”

Get inspired for your Halloween costume, “8 Cheap Halloween Costume Ideas on a Budget.”


Upgrade Your Home with Amazon Daily Deals

amazon daily deals

There are lots of great deals you can take advantage of every single day, with Amazon’s Daily Deals! You won’t believe some of the great things you can find. Every Tuesday we highlight some of our favorite Amazon Daily Deal buys. Here are some of our top picks from today:

*The prices shown below are the sale prices listed at the time of posting.

Robot Vacuum Cleaner

 
robot vacuum
 

Current Sale Price: $95.93
Originally: $165.99
You Save: $70.06! (42% off)

Let’s be honest, everybody wants a robot vacuum cleaner. With a robot vacuum, you won’t have to vacuum your carpets or sweep your hard floors ever again! This Coredy brand vacuum even comes with a pet filter.

Echo Wall Clock

 
echo wall clock
 

Current Sale Price: $24.99
Originally: $29.99
You Save: $5.00! (17% off)

Yet another great Amazon device! Amazon Echo now has a sleek wall clock that’s compatible with Alexa. You can set timers using Alexa, and she’ll show you the timer on your wall clock, so you can now see how much time you have left instead of just waiting for Alexa to let you know the timer is done.

Weighted Blanket

 
weighted blanket
 

Current Sale Price: $47.92
Originally: $69.90
You Save: $21.98! (31% off)

Weighted blankets have been proven to help you sleep better and reduce anxiety. But all that extra weight can make these blankets cost a little more than the average blanket. If you’ve been wanting the calming help of a weighted blanket in your life, this deal is for you. It also comes with different colors and patterns to choose from, and weight options from 5lbs to 30lbs.

Portable LED Camping Lantern

 
camping lantern
 

Current Sale Price: $14.44

The Odoland portable LED camping lantern isn’t just a great light source, it can also easily hook onto the ceiling of your tent, and it has a built in fan to keep you cool when the wilderness nights are warm.

Amazon Cloud Security Camera

 
security camera
 

Current Sale Price: $89.99
Originally: $119.99
You Save: $30.00! (25% off)

Keep your home and loved ones safe and secure with the Amazon Security Camera. The Amazon Cloud Camera is a great way to always keep a good eye on your home. It comes with night vision and two-way audio.

Reusable Collapsible Straws

 
reusable straws
 

Current Sale Price: $13.99

You don’t have to be panicked about the planet to see the value of these travel friendly, compact straws. They can clip easily onto your bags and this pack comes with 2 straws, and a straw cleaner. Never be without a straw again while showing a little extra friendliness to the planet with these convenient collapsible straws.



Sometimes deals and sales are the way that we get things we really need. You may especially depend on sales when you’re in college, or just starting out on your own, or in a new place. So when you find something you really need on sale, and payday is just a couple days too late, that can be really frustrating. Luckily Check City can help you out with a quick and easy Payday Loan so that you can take advantage of important deals regardless of when your payday comes.
 
Share with us what deals you snagged today by using the hashtags #amazondailydeals #checkcity

Take Advantage of Amazon Daily Deals

tuesday-amazon-deals

We love to shop, but more than shopping, we love event shopping. That’s why things like Black Friday Sales are so popular because it makes shopping into a tradition, an event where you come away with gifts you picked and some bonding time with your shopping buddies.

With Amazon’s Daily Deals you can have a shopping event any day of the week, and you don’t have to wait for a printed catalogue in the mail to enjoy it. Instead you can just take a look at their daily deals online at any time.
 
Below are some of our top picks from today’s Amazon deals. The prices shown below are the sale prices listed at the time of posting.

Pressure Washer

 
pressure washer sale
 

Current Sale Price: $145.49
Originally: $279.00
You Save: $133.51! (48% off)

The Sun Joe pressure washer is a high performance machine with a powerful motor. Its maximum pressure reaches 2200 PSI! It also has two detergent tanks with dials that let you control the mix of detergent and water, a 34-inch extension wand, and a garden hose adapter. This product also comes with free shipping, free returns, and 2-3 year protection plans for only $22 to $30.

White Noise/Sleep Sound Machine

 
white noise sale
 

Current Sale Price: $11.98
Originally: $29.99
You Save: $18.01! (60% off)

Have trouble sleeping? Take advantage of this sale and get yourself a Sleep Sounds Machine. You can use it for yourself, or keep it in the baby’s room to help them sleep a full night. It comes with 6 different noise options, and you can power it with either batteries or by plugging it into an outlet, allowing you to take your sleep sound machine anywhere. It even has an option to set a timer on it for 15, 30, or 60 minutes so that it won’t be on all night, just long enough to put you to sleep for the night.

Mini Projector

 
mini projector sale
 

Current Sale Price: $107.00
Originally: $189.99
You Save: $82.99! (44% off)

Need a projector for your dorm apartment, or want to put on a cinematic outdoor movie night? Then this is the deal for you. This mini projector is small, compact, and wonderfully portable with it’s own fitted case. It’s also compatible with a Fire TV Stick, PS4, HDMI, VGA, AV, USB, and Smartphones, with a 200 inch display.

PNY Products

The following PNY Products are some of the best deals going on today. You can get up to 512 gigabytes of extra space for 60% the original price!
 
pny products sale
 

128 GB PNY Flash Card

Current Sale Price: $15.99
Originally: $44.55
You Save: $28.56! (64% off)

256 GB PNY Flash Card

Current Sale Price: $32.99
Originally: $89.55
You Save: $56.56! (63% off)

512 GB PNY Flash Card

Current Sale Price: $77.99
Originally: $199.39
You Save: $121.40! (61% off)

64 GB PNY Flash Drive

flash drive sale
 

Current Sale Price: $9.49
Originally: $25.04
You Save: $15.55! (62% off)

 
Sometimes deals and sales are the way that we get things we really need. You may especially depend on sales when you’re in college, or just starting out on your own, or in a new place. So when you find something you really need on sale, and payday is just a couple days too late, that can be really frustrating. Luckily Check City can help you out with a quick and easy Payday Loan so that you can take advantage of important deals regardless of when your payday comes.
 
Share with us what deals you snagged today by using the hashtag #amazondailydeals, and #checkcity.

Make Your Own Adventure Club and Get Outside!

outdoor-club-adventure

As a kid you were probably forced outdoors at some point during the day to play outside and get your energy out. You probably noticed as you got older that now, if you want to get outside time you have to provide it for yourself. And if you live in an apartment or the city you may not be able to get quality outdoors time just by going into your backyard. If you live in the city you might have to plan your outdoor time even more as you coordinate trips to local outdoor hot spots. Getting yourself out in nature might be easier if you form a like-minded group to get you going. With the steps and tips below you can make your own Adventure Club and explore nature with your friends!

Why Going Outside is Good for You

Get vitamin D. You can actually get vitamin D from sun exposure. Vitamin D is very important to our health and it doesn’t always come in abundance in the foods we eat. One of the best ways to get your daily dose of Vitamin D is through being outside in the sunshine. It can help you have strong bones and protect you from certain diseases and ailments. Improves your immune system.
Opportunity to exercise. Unless you’re sitting in a chair it’s hard not to exercise at least a little whenever you go outside. And every ounce of exercise contributes to your overall health! Even a short stroll outside can do wonders for your physical health.
Elevate your mood. A lot of things about being outside can give your mood a healthy boost. The light, the sun, the fresh air, or the flowers and trees can help you feel a little better about the world if you give them the chance. But there are also studies to support this idea. The National Institute of Health (NIH) found in a study of theirs that just walking outside for a bit each day boosts creativity by 81%. Who knows what creative potential you might unleash just by getting yourself outside a little each day!
Good for children. Studies show that being outdoors helps kids focus better. Spending at least an hour outside every day can increase their focus, overall wellbeing, and help them get better grades.
It can be easy to let kids go run around outside and get all the exercise and vitamin D they need, but as we get older it can become harder to find time to get outside. One way to make getting outside easier is to give your outdoor time some kind of purpose.

  • Exercise outside.
  • Go for a daily stroll at the same time.
  • Get outdoor furniture. Once you have some place to set up camp outside, it can be easier to take things you normally do indoors, outdoors while you soak up some sunshine.
  • Make your outside time a group activity by creating your own outdoors club!

outside-nature

What Kind of Outdoor Club Do You Want to Do?

There are many things to do outside and everyone has different interests. Some people really like swimming, or hiking, or kayaking. What outdoor activities most interest you? These are the things you’ll want to incorporate in the purpose of your outdoors club. Having a clear purpose for your club will help a lot once you start bringing other people into the group and involving them in planning.
You can focus on one thing. You can make it a club all about just one thing you know you like to do:

  • Skiing
  • Hiking
  • A sport
  • Swimming
  • Camping
  • Backpacking
  • Running
  • Kayaking
  • Biking

Or you can involve many outdoor activities. Instead of making a hiking group, you can decide to make an adventure club! That way you can plan activities around all things adventuresome.

Whatever the purpose of your outdoor club, you’ll also want to keep in mind who you want to invite to the group and the level of difficulty everyone will be ok with. For instance, hikes and trails are often ranked by difficulty. They can be considered easy, moderate, or hard. So while you are deciding your club’s purpose remember to also consider the level of experience and difficulty you want to involve, and remember to disclose these things to those you invite to the group.

Who Do You Want in the Group?

Outdoor groups can be for all groups of people! You can make no restrictions about who can join the club, or you can decide to make your group exclusive in some way. For example, if you’re a dad looking to bond with your kids through fishing, you might make a fishing club specifically for dads and their kids. You can also restrict the group to certain age groups, like if you’re interested in getting to know more people your age.

Logistics

The last thing you’ll want to figure out before publishing your new group is all the logistics. Below are a couple questions to consider and make decisions about before going live with your new club idea.

  • How are people going to get places?
  • How are you going to get equipment?
  • How will your group stay in contact?

Maybe you’ll expect everyone to use their own cars and equipment to get places, or maybe you’ll want to talk to local rental places for any equipment your group might need. You can also keep in contact with your group in many ways. If you all know each other you can simply create a group text message. Or you can make a Facebook group, or use other messaging apps like Slack, or GroupMe. There are almost infinite options nowadays for where to keep your group’s base of operations.
flyer-outdoors-club

Now that you have your group all set up you can start reaching out for people to start joining. One great way to get members is to create a public Facebook group online. You can also try inviting some people you know and ask them to bring a member or two of their own.

You can also make flyers to hang up around town to meet new people! A flyer doesn’t have to be complicated, just make sure it has all the information they’ll need.

Fun Ideas

There are endless ways you can really have fun with getting more involved in your community and getting to know new people through starting a club like this.

  • Bring snacks.
  • Have a group potluck event.
  • Be educational. You can make a presentation about outdoor etiquette, safety, or hire a trial guide to teach your group about different plants you come across during your hike.
  • Do volunteer work every other month. You can volunteer to clean up a place you visit.
  • Make a website, a blog, or social media accounts for your group and post about the trips and activities you do!

Other Good Ideas

  • Have regular meetings.
  • Assign responsibilities to different people. You can nominate different group members to be the President, Vice President, Trip Coordinator, Treasurer, or Social Media Manager.
  • Fundraise for your trips. You can have a group yard sale or bake off to save up money for your bigger trips or activities. Sometimes your outdoor adventures are going to require fast funds while you’re in between paychecks. If your Adventure group finds itself short on cash, you can always get a payday loan or a personal loan from Check City and pay it back when you return from your trip.

Getting yourself outside is important. The great outdoors are meant to be appreciated and can shower you with mental and physical benefits. You don’t have to go through the trouble of making an outdoor club to get outside, but it can help motivate you to make going outside more of a habit, and who knows! You might just make some great new friends along the way.


READ MORE
Read all about vitamin D and it’s health benefits.
 
Check out another Check City Blog article, “Getting Outside This Spring” to learn some other great ways to get outdoors more often!
 
FEATURE IMAGE BY PETER CONLAN
OTHER IMAGES BY BLAKE LISK

Saving Money on Camping

Summer is here and that means that soon families all over the country will be heading out on family vacations. One of the many fun and exciting family activities for the summer time is camping. Camping with the family can be a rewarding experience for all to enjoy, but if approached in the wrong way can get pretty expensive. In this post we’ll cover some ways that you can save money on camping which will allow you to use that money that you would have spent on your family vacation to build up your family savings incase any unexpected expenses come up. These tips will also allow you to go camping without it costing as much as a stay in a four star hotel.

Many families use camping as a way to go on a family vacation because of its rewarding properties of bonding and experiencing the wilderness. Not to mention that camping is a far less expensive alternative to staying in a hotel, and with the often free activities that surround a camping family, entertainment costs for a family vacation are typically reduced to zero.

But with all of the positive aspects and cheap costs of camping, there are still ways for a family to save on costs while undertaking family camping trips this summer. One such way is to find discounted or completely free camping areas.

Look For Free Campgrounds

For generations past, paying for camping may seem a sin against nature and against the very activity of camping itself, but the realities of today’s wildernesses is that there is typically a fee associated with camping in a manicured and well groomed camping space. Campgrounds that have been built for the sole purpose of making money of campers have sprung up across the country and charged people and families a modest fee for their use.
These places of paid camping should not be discounted while making family camping plans, however. They provide a distinct service, and again, at a cheaper rate than a hotel, and can be used to great effect by those families who wish to use them.

Paid camping areas or camping companies, like KOA, offer families the opportunity to camp, save money on a hotel, and still stay close enough to big cities or other attractions so as to allow the family additional vacation areas without increased cost. A family can save more money on their vacation if they will use discounted promotions offered by KOA and other privately owned campgrounds to plan their vacations around.
But it is not only these privately owned interstate camp sites that charge a fee for camping, the federal government too asks campers to pay per night at their groomed camp sites. National forest will often be home to many kept up camp grounds and campsites that a family can enjoy while being in a federally protected wilderness.

These camp sites are often more rugged than the privately owned campgrounds discussed before, and will allow the family to experience the outdoors in a more traditional way. Another benefit of federally operated campgrounds, beyond being out in the wilderness, is that they are often offered at pennies on the dollar to other campgrounds and, again, especially hotels.

While it is true that even paid for camping sites are far less expensive to stay at per night than a hotel for a family, at about a quarter of the cost in most cases, there are still ways for a family to camp for absolutely free. Completely free campsites can be found in most wilderness areas, it just may take a little hunting before one can find them.

Go to The Backcountry

In addition to free pull up camping spots that are scattered across the wildernesses and forestlands of the country, there are also many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of camp sites that can be accessed through hiking and backpacking. Backpacking into a campsite will often take more camping skill than simply camping out of a car, as all that is required for camping while backpacking must be carried in and out on one’s back.
But the benefits of backpacking into a campsite include typically totally free camping and an even greater experience with the outdoors. Beyond looking for discounts on chain camping areas, finding free pull in camping, and taking a hike to free campsites, there are a few additional ways a family can save on their summer camping trips.

Save on Camping Gear

One such way is to save on camping gear. Ask any father who takes his family camping and they will tell you that camping gear is essential and not cheap.
But a family, even an over-exuberant father, can save money on their camping gear by simply shopping intelligently. For example, it may be difficult to pass over the sleeping bag rated to fifty below, but the reality is that it will seldom dip below freezing in the summer in most camping areas so the less expensive thirty above sleeping bag should do just fine.

By saving on family camping, a family can take meaningful and enjoyable camping trips this summer. As they do so, they will be able to save money on vacation costs while still having quality family time with each other.

Are Timeshare Investments Worthwhile?

It’s that time of year again when everyone gets sick of the cold weather that winter has to offer and they start to day dream of warmer times and locations. For those of us you that plan ahead, winter can be one of the busiest times of year for vacation planning. Most vacation rentals open up their schedule around the first of the year and in most cases its first come, first serve to try to get your favorite cabin, condo, or camping spot. In the midst of all this vacation planning madness it can be tempting to start looking into “investing” in a timeshare.

If you’re not familiar with timeshare properties, these are properties that are typically resort style condominium units that you can buy rights to use. In exchange for your investment you are given a set amount of time (typically one week) each year that you get to use the property.

It’s easy to get sucked into timeshare sales pitches, some of the top time share companies in the nation will travel from city to city offering free dinners, discounted vacations, and other gifts and prizes for just attending the seminar, once they get you there they will lay out a very convincing sales pitch by illustrating things that time shares will do for you and your family such as:

  • Create Family Memories
  • Locations from Myrtle Beach to Snowy Colorado
  • A Wise Investment for the Future

It’s important to understand though that the sales reps at these seminars work on a commission so sometimes you’ll get sales reps that will either tell you half-truths or just flat out lie to you about what you’re getting in to. Most timeshare owners that are dissatisfied with their purchase are unhappy because of lies that were told to them during the sales process.

Some of the most common lies include:

  • Timeshares can save you money
  • Timeshares are a financial investment
  • Timeshares can easily be rented or sold at anytime
  • Exchanging a timeshare is possible at any time, any place
  • The timeshare offer is only good for today

As you consider investing your money in something like a time share it’s important to pull the emotional side of things out of the equation. It’s easy to let yourself think that if you don’t move forward with an investment like this you’re a bad spouse or parent because you don’t care about investing in memories with your family but it’s important to understand that you can still have amazing family vacations and oftentimes for less than the cost of a time share.

You see, what most people don’t understand about time shares is the fact that when you purchase a time share, once the initial investment is paid off, you still have the maintenance fees for as long as you “own” the property. These fees can oftentimes cost anywhere from $1200 – $2000 per year which is more than a nice annual family vacation would cost.

Something that most people don’t understand about timeshare properties is that they aren’t necessarily designed to just replace hotel expenses as they are pitched, the system itself is designed for people who might like to own a second home but maybe not be able to afford a full vacation home or similar resort facilities. So if you’re not at the point in your life where you have the additional income to pay a second mortgage, then timeshares are definitely not for you.

Some of the reasons we recommend NOT “investing” in a timeshare are:

First, it’s not an investment. The term investment would imply that you’re going to be able to sell it, ideally for a profit, at a later date and you can’t give the things away once you own them. All you are doing essentially is pre paying your hotel bill for the next 20 years in advance and those of us that know anything about money know that you’d be much better off putting that money in an investment and the investment would produce enough for you to be able to pay your hotel bill.

People like the idea of a condo and having a place that they can go. They’d probably even like to use a condo as a family thing being a place that they can go to, a traditional location that they can go to every summer. But it’s important to understand that people have done that for years without time shares. You can still go to the lake, but rent the lake house or beach condo for a couple weeks instead of tying yourself down to a lifetime maintenance fee.
The problem is that you are locked in, and while some of the time share people give you the ability to trade back and forth but even then they’re telling you where you can stay even after you’ve “pre paid” your hotel you are just stuck in these things. In a recent survey of people who had gone through the process of purchasing a timeshare they had about a 98% dissatisfaction rate.

Second, they are almost impossible to get rid of. If you are able to sell your property you will never get the initial $5,000 – $50,000 that you originally invested. Usually at best you’ll be able to find someone willing to take over your annual fees. We did a search in the completed listings section of eBay recently and out of the hundreds of people who

What if you’ve Already Invested in a Timeshare?

If you’ve already invested in a timeshare property then there are several options for you. The first option is to simply enjoy it. By simply remembering why you purchased it in the first place and make sure you get your use out of it each year. However, if you’re like the vast majority of timeshare owners that are trying to get rid of their properties then below is some information for you.

Beware of Companies That Approach You about Selling Your Timeshare

Unfortunately, timeshare owners have become a large target for scam artists. They realize that in this down economy people are desperate to get rid of their timeshare properties and would be open to having help in selling these properties. What typically happens is a person will call you knowing that you are a time share owner, they will then say that they can help you sell it or that they might even have a buyer already lined up but that you need to pay them for their services in advance.

Once you’ve paid them for their services they will most likely say that the sale fell through but that they will continue to search out buyers. Usually months or even years will go by without these companies ever delivering an interested buyer or refunding your money.

Another Option Is Donating

While some timeshares can maintain or increase in value over time, the vast majority of them decrease in value down beyond what you might be paying in annual fees. Now these timeshares can be almost impossible to get out of in fact a lot of the time you will see them selling for $100.00 or less on eBay because people just want to get out of the expensive annual fees. One way that people have found to get out of these timeshares is to donate them to charities.

Now it’s important to understand that this isn’t a guaranteed way out of your time share but it’s a way that you can get rid of your time share and have a nice tax deduction. In fact you will be able to get the full appraised market value of your time share as a write off even though the timeshare itself will probably sell for much, much less when the charity that you donate it to turns around to sell it.

Now there are some guidelines, you can’t donate properties that current have a mortgage on them or if you’re behind on your maintenance fees. When it comes to these types of donations a representative from the National Associates for Cancer Research called these types of donations a “win win” because the donor is reliever of the responsibilities of paying costly ongoing maintenance fees for a time share that they no long want and the charities are able to fund their programs. Now it’s important to point out that this isn’t a fast process. It can take up to three months to get the paperwork put together and process your time share so if you’re thinking of a tax deduction you’ll want to act sooner rather than later.

The Best Fall Lawn Care Guide

fall lawn care
 

Fall Lawn Care

Fall is just around the corner and it is time to begin preparing for the coming seasons.

We want your lawn to be in top form this coming year. Here are some great tips to add to your fall lawn care guide this fall. Be prepared to have the best looking yard in the neighborhood this upcoming season.

Take Care of the Leaves

Although the changing colors of the leaves are beautiful, it is important to start thinking about the way you will take care of your lawn when those beautiful leaves start to fall. It is very important to take care of leaves as soon as is possible. There are a few excellent options you can take when it comes to taking care of fallen leaves:

First, there is the option of bagging them. Many people use this option every year, because it allows for a clean way of getting the leaves off of the lawn. Doing this can be a bit time intensive, not to mention it can be a little inconvenient at times.

Second, mow the leaves. You can either mow up leaves with the grass or you can use the leaves for mulch.

Last, but not least, use the leaves as a covering for other parts of your garden or lawn. Spreading fallen leaves on garden beds will insulate and fertilize during the winter months.
 
fall lawn leaves
 

Fertilizing

Though the fall leaves may be the most troublesome part of the coming fall, there are a few other things you will need to accomplish to adequately prepare your lawn for next year.

Fertilizing is something you will want to add to your fall lawn care schedule. Fertilizing is one of the most important tasks you have to do. As you prepare for the coming cold, make sure to fertilize your lawn for the winter. This will improve growth in the spring months and make spring prep much easier.

Seeding

Fall is also an excellent opportunity to seed your lawn. The cold months will give you the chance to put down seeds that will sprout in the spring giving you a beautiful lawn!

Many people forget the importance of seeding in the fall. It can save a lot of trouble as winter comes around and eventually turns to spring.

Keep Track of the Fall Weather

Although fall will certainly lead to winter, there may be important changes in the climate before winter comes. This means that it is essential for you to pay attention to the changes of weather as they come.

If you have a particularly mild fall, you may be able to get a bit more preparation and gardening done before winter comes. On the other hand, if the coming autumn is particularly cold, it might be a good idea to get started as early as possible.

No matter what, you will want to be prompt with the care that you put into the lawn and the leaves. Being prompt and attentive with your efforts will yield much better results overall. Be on top of things, and rest easy knowing that your yard is going to be ready for winter with this fall lawn care guide.



READ MORE
Learn more lawn care tips, “8 Useful Lawn Care Tips.”

Check out even more lawn care tips for the fall season, “7 Fall Lawn Care Tips Your Yard Needs.”

12 Fun Fall Activities You Need to Know

Now that fall is almost fully here, it is time to shift from summertime enjoyment to fall related activities. You may be sad summer is coming to an end, but we have great news! There are a lot of options out there that will make for a fun and engaging fall experience.

Here are some fun fall activities to help you have a great fall:

First of all, it is important to note that the normal activities a lot of people enjoy will still be available during the fall season- they are just going to be a bit different due to the change of weather and scenery. For example, activities like running, hiking and biking are all great activities to do during the fall. The cooler temperatures and pretty scenery makes for an enjoyable experience that is easier for the body to regulate, so more people can get into it.

Go Fish- Fishing is a great fall activity. Fishing is a great way to be around the water during the fall season. The fish are going to be more active due to the changing seasons and the cooler temperatures, so this is a prime time to get things done.

Sail Away- Another good option for those who want to try out new things is sailing. Lakes and reservoirs will have less power boats on them as the weather cools, meaning that water and conditions are going to be better overall for sailing.

Climb a Rock- Rock climbing is another great option to try out as the weather cools. One of the big issues with rock climbing during the summer is the mix of hot rocks and sweaty hands, leading to a more slippery and difficult experience. Cooler temperatures allow for maximum enjoyment when rock climbing. It is important to rock climb with professionals, so you can be as safe as possible.

Fall Leaves- One of the most beautiful parts of fall are the beautiful fall leaves. You can wander the local park, or head into the mountains to see the beautiful fall leaves. As you look at the leaves, you can gather a few of the most beautiful leaves, press them and keep them as a delightful remembrance of the fall. Watching the leaves turn is one of the really fun fall activities.

Fall Fests- Most communities have many fall festivals. Pumpkin Fests have become a staple in most parts of the country. You can gather pumpkins, buy locally grown produce, hear some good music and perhaps grab a bite. If you are having problems finding something for the young ones, we have you covered. Going to a pumpkin fest is one of the best fall activities for preschoolers.

Farmer’s Market- Fall is a great time to head off to the local farmer’s market. You can wander through the stalls, buy freshly grown produce, and shop for artisanal items. Most farmer’s markets have music and local eateries. If you are looking for a fun family activity, the farmer’s market is a keeper.

Apple-Picking- Some local apple orchards will allow community members to pick their own apples. This can be a fun and educational activity for younger and older ages. The best part of apple picking is the apple pie you make at the end.

Take a Hike- There are so many fun fall activities, but nothing is like taking a good hike. Your local or state park will have nature hikes that are perfect for a fall day’s excursion. You can take a stroll, or a flat-out hike. The main thing is to get yourself out into the nature and enjoy the perfect fall weather.

Corn Maze- Go to a local corn maze. Most farmers will turn their corn fields into a spooky maze during the fall. Like the Pumpkin Fests, you can usually find other attractions with the corn maze, so every member of your family will have a great time! When looking for good fall activities for kids, a corn maze is a great option.

Haunted House- Haunted houses are a fun way to spend a spooky fall evening. You can take a special someone, or chaperone the kids. A haunted house can either be a great couple’s activity, or a fun family outing.

Decorate Your Yard- Decorate your yard, or apartment. You can stuff old clothes with newspaper for a local scarecrow, stretch icky spider webs, and other spooky decorations. Your local market or dollar store will have many decorating possibilities. The only limit is your own imagination.

Concerts- Most cities have concerts in the cooling-off fall months. You can relax to great music, buy some souvenirs, and chill with other concert goers.

We hope you have enjoyed our fun fall activities. Thank you for reading!

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