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Make Your Own Adventure Club and Get Outside!


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!


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.


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.

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 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!

5 Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

While some people may have already given up hope on finding that perfect gift for Mom, it’s not too late to get her something that will really make her day. While the cheapest gift ideas for Mom are always going to be things like a hand made card with a thoughtful note, a framed picture, or even baked goods we’ve put together a list with a wide range of products that will be sure to include something any mom would love, regardless of what her interests are and more importantly, what your budget is.

Gift Idea #1: Les Mis on Blu-ray

Price: $19.99

Gift Idea #2: Our Best Bites CookBook
Price: $19.54

Gift Idea #3: Lululemon The Mat Yoga Mat
Price: $68.00

Gift Idea #4: Bogus Red bamboo Gray by Proof Sunglasses
Price: $95

Gift Idea #5: Kindle Fire
Price: $159.00

As always, at Check City we understand that these holidays seem to always sneak and that sometimes you’ll need a short term loan to get the present you really want to get mom. If you find yourself in that situation getting a cash advance or a payday loan to cover the cost of your gifts for mom until your next payday can definitely help.

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.

10 Great Tips on How to Keep Your House Cool

Tips to Keep Your House Cool this Summer

I’m always excited when summer is just around the corner. The temperature starts to heat up, allowing for more outdoor activities with family and friends. But with rising temperatures comes rising air conditioning and electric bills. Luckily, here are some simple tips on how to keep your house cool.

1. Close doors and windows

During the day, keep your doors and windows closed as much as possible. Every time a door or window opens, you allow unwanted heat and humidity into your house. This causes your air conditioner to work harder and keep the temperature of your house down. At night, turn on fans to help ventilate the house. Make sure they are rotating in the correct direction so the cool air can be pushed up, and warm air pushed down.

2. Use appliances at night

Try and run heat-generating activities in the late afternoon when the sun is down, and the temperatures have cooled. This includes running the dishwasher, or the washer and dryer.

3. Use ceiling fans

Use ceiling fans to help ventilate your house. Using a ceiling fan is a great way to keep your house cool.

4. Use window fans

Window fans can work great if installed and used properly. During cooler days or at night, window fans can provide ventilation. Place window fans on the downwind side of your home, facing out. Keep windows open in each room to help with the airflow.

5. Replace old air conditioners

Is your central air conditioner old? Replace the outdoor compressor with a more efficient, modern unit.

6. Plant Trees

Consider planting trees in places that could provide shade to your home. This is especially helpful when trees can shade doors and windows. This great way to keep your house cool.

7. Close vents

Vents in unused rooms are often left open, and therefore the air conditioner still ventilates air into that room. If you close the vents, you can redirect that air to be in rooms that are actually used.

8. Open windows

If the area where you live isn’t too hot and humid, open the windows to let the air in the house ventilate. Sometimes it can seem cooler outside than inside, so take a break every now and then and go outside. Coming back in you’ll feel a burst of cool air that will refresh you. It is also very beneficial to keep your windows open when the sun is going down and the day is starting to cool off.

9. Wear the appropriate clothing

If you want to keep cool in your home you can’t wear fur coats. Wear thin, workout clothes, and avoid the color black. Darker colors absorb light and heat, and will therefore keep you warmer than you want to be in the summer.

10. Use ice

In the summer, ice is your new best friend. Eat popsicles, drink smoothies, and just simply put an ice pack on your forehead. All of these things will help keep your body temperature down, and you won’t have to touch your thermostat.

After reading these tips, we hope that you can keep your house cool in the summer and save money. Thanks for reading.

The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring cleaning is an important annual task and it’s important not to forget any necessary cleaning tasks.

Many people like to start cleaning out their homes in spring in order to welcome in the sunshine and the warm weather. Spring cleaning can mean whatever you want it to mean. Spring cleaning for you might just be some decluttering or it might mean a complete, deep clean of every corner of the house. 

Spring Cleaning Checklist

spring cleaning

Download the Free Spring Cleaning Checklist HERE.

There are many cleaning tasks to hit when you’re trying to super clean your house. It can all feel really overwhelming. Instead of trying to clean an entire house in one day, create a cleaning schedule so you can spread things out in the span of a couple of days. For instance, Monday and Tuesday could be all about cleaning the kitchen, Wednesday and Thursday are when you clean the living room, Thursday and Friday will be when you tackle the bathrooms, and on Saturday everybody handles their own bedroom.

There are also a lot of cleaning items people forget to do when cleaning their house. Don’t forget to clean: the walls, ceilings, fans, baseboards, doorframes, doors, doorknobs, the outsides of windows, window tracks, powerwash the porch and house exterior, stairs and stair railings, furniture, and behind and under furniture and appliances. You may have to move some stuff around but it’ll be worth it for how much cleaner and dust-free your house will feel.

  1. empty cabinets
  2. wipe the inside and outside of the cabinets
  3. reorganize cabinets
  4. wash, dry, and put away all dirty dishes
  5. put a cup of baking soda or white vinegar in the dishwasher and run the hottest cycle to clean the inside of the dishwasher
  6. clean the sink
  7. use draino on the sink
  8. clean the inside of the oven
  9. clean the stovetop
  10. empty and clean the inside and outside of the fridge
  11. pull the fridge out and clean under and behind the fridge
  12. wipe all counters and surfaces
  13. wipe down the table and dining chairs
  14. wipe down walls, baseboards, and any windows and window sills
  15. sweep and mop the floor
Living Room
  1. put away clutter, make sure everything has its own place
  2. vacuum under and behind the couches
  3. vacuum under couch cushions
  4. shampoo the couch, you can rent or buy a shampoo vacuum
  5. dust and wipe down surfaces
  6. steam the curtains
  7. wash the windows
  8. vacuum, sweep, or mop the floor
  1. clean out drawers and cabinets
  2. reorganize items, use boxes to help you organize and give everything a specific place
  3. wipe mirrors
  4. clean sink and vanity
  5. use draino on the sink and bathtub drains
  6. clean and sanitize the inside and outside of the toilet
  7. scrub the bathtub, don’t forget the faucet and showerhead
  8. clean floors
  1. wash bed sheets
  2. reorganize clothes
  3. reorganize all your other items, give everything a place
  4. clean under the bed
  5. declutter and organize your desk
  6. clean floors

Keep Your Home Clean After Spring Cleaning is Over

clean house

Get Ready for the Day, Everyday

No matter how extensive your spring cleaning is, make sure to keep your home consistently clean after exerting all of that effort. There are many small and simple ways to keep your home clean. First, start each day getting ready for the day. There are a lot of people that struggle getting up and getting ready first thing in the morning. But, feeling put together and ready to go will really make a difference in how productive you are and make things like tidying easier.

Start the Day with Some Quick Tidying

After getting into a better personal morning routine, you can learn to add a quick daily cleanup to your morning routine as well. Even if you only have 5 minutes to dedicate each morning to tidy up it will make a huge difference in the long run. You can also schedule a different time of day for tidying up. For instance, you could put some time aside to clean after you get back from work each day, or maybe right before bed each night you could plan to put some things away before ending the day.

Organization is Key

Finally, invest in an organization system that you like and are excited about. Organization is the key way to give all your items their own designated spot. Then, make a conscious effort to put everything back in its place once you’re done using it.

If you don’t have the money for an organization system, but want to get started right away, stop by Check City today for a cash advance. With our simple cash advance service, you can be on your way to organization and cleanliness in no time.

Getting Outside this Spring

Now that the sun has finally started to shine down and temperatures are heating up, we all can finally look forward to enjoying spring and getting outside again.

This time  of year is perfect for either getting back into healthy habits, or trying something new. There are a lot of activities to participate in which all can make life more enjoyable and dynamic.

Both running and biking are perpetual favorites every year during this time. As the sun comes back and temperature get better, people naturally feel more energetic and more motivated about what they like to do with their time. Winter has the often hidden side effect of making people feel more down and tired than they otherwise would be.

Running and biking are both a great way to bust out of a rut and get your energy back. Being outside and being active help you to look and feel great. Plus, you can have a lot of fun as you get into a positive set of habits and are able to go for longer periods of time.

Those who want a more social experience may want to get people together to play games in a park or have picnics. For many, the activity itself is less important than enjoying the weather and the fresh air and the company of others. It all comes down to picking out a scenario that you will enjoy, and then soaking it up while you are there.

Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth, so getting out of the house and having a good time is a great way to recharge and feel some very positive feelings overall.

So, now is the time to start enjoying the warm time as we all get ready for summer fun. Get out there and shake off the winter blues!

More Tips for Spring Cleaning

Spring is just around the corner, which means that its almost time for spring cleaning! While spring cleaning may not be something that you look forward to every year, it is a great way to start fresh and to get a new start. Doing a deep clean not only makes the room look better and gets rid of all accumulations, but it also makes it so that you can start anew and set a good tone for the rest of the year.

Getting ready ahead of time for spring cleaning will help to make it so that you can get the most out of your experience. In fact, the more you prepare for spring cleaning, the more you might find that you are doing it along the way!

To begin with, start clearing out the things that you don’t need out of your home. Going room to room and junking any clutter that you might find helps to open the room up and make it look much better. Systematically doing this makes for good daily or weekly projects, without anything becoming overwhelming.

Next, make sure that you have all of the supplies which you might want ahead of time. Make a list of everything that you are going to target with your efforts and you can get a good idea of what to buy. Things will vary by person, but getting cleaning supplies, vacuum bags, trash bags, window cleaning supplies, and other things ahead of time will let you dive right into things.

Also, you can prepare the rooms which you are going to work on by moving the furniture either out of the rooms or into the middle of them. this way, you can deep clean the spots occupied by furniture, so you can really get at areas which might not normally be reached.

Being ready ahead of time lets you get to work, without you having to stress about preparation on the spot. Simply take it nice and easy over the next month, and you’ll be surprised how smoothly things go!

Planning to Throw a St. Patricks Day Party

As St. Patrick’s Day rolls around you may want to plan a party to celebrate.  There are a lot of people that have a hard time understanding how they are going to be able to plan and orchestrate a party that will be enjoyable and entertaining for everyone that is invited. While you are planning you will want to start by finding a good venue.  Your venue will depend on what you are going to want to do for your party.


Some people like to reserve a karaoke bar while other people would prefer to have their party in their home.  After you have found your venue you should choose a time and start sending invitations. No matter how you decide the invitations, you should be sure that everyone gets them with enough time to make your party their plans for the night.


When you start getting RSVP’s, you should make sure that you are going to have enough food and space for everyone.  This means, you should not invite more people than you or your venue will be able to handle. Be sure that your guests understand if they can invite other guests or if it is an invitation only party.


You will then want to make sure that you have enough food and plenty of drinks for everyone. This means, you will need to have the money to purchase the food and drinks for everyone. If you are short on cash, but know you are going to get paid after St. Patrick’s Day stop by Check City to get a payday loan.  A payday loan can be a great way to ensure that you have the cash to buy the food and the entertainment that you need.


If you do not have enough money you can also ask people to pitch in.  Make sure that you orchestrate what you are asking everyone to bring so that you have enough food for everyone. Take the time that you need to plan a party so your St. Patrick’s day party is a success!


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