It’s October, the temperatures are cooling down and all of a sudden being out and about with your family doesn’t seem like that much of a chore.
Ha ha, taking a three year old out is never a chore, right? RIGHT?
But truth be told, time is going by quick and this nice cool weather will soon become frigid and icy for some of you and doing anything outdoors will require bundles of clothing and two pairs of socks. Unfortunately frigid and icy is not an optimal family time environment. Personally, for me, anything under 75 is not optimal family time outdoor time, but beggers cannot be choosers, kwim?
So the time is now to get up and get outside, or better yet go on a fun last minute family vacation if you can! As you know I am a proud ambassador for Discover and so excited to share some of these great tips with you. Not only is Discover Deals a great resource for stocking up on outdoor goodies, including offering a 10% cashback bonus at Columbia, Foot Locker, and Timberland. but they also have some great tips to keep you in line so you can enjoy those family vacations! Let’s face it- no one wants finances to be the stopping point this fall.
First, you can start on Discover itself. There are a fountain of online resources on their website for anyone to use to become more financially literate, which you can access here: https://www.discover.com/company/corporate-responsibility/financial-education/index.html
However, if you don’t have credit (or much credit), the key is to building good credit (and ability to do extra things!) is to start small. One credit card or small loan can get the ball rolling. Here are a few tips from Discover to help you establish good credit:
Pay on time. One of the most important steps in building and maintaining a solid credit history is to pay all of your bills on time each month. That way, you’re showing the lender or creditor that you’ve got enough cash flow to cover your expenses. If you pay late, it may damage your credit history, and lower your credit score.
Keep your total charges well within your credit limit. If you want to boost your credit history and credit score, you’ll want to keep your total monthly charges well within your credit limit. Why? In calculating your credit score, you’ll take a hit if your balance is above that limit because it signals to creditors that you may be having financial difficulties and thus are a riskier borrower. Discover provides FICO credit scores on all cardmember statements, which is pretty helpful to keep track of over time.
Regularly read your credit report. It may not be your favorite reading material, but negative information can damage your credit history and your credit score. Making sure your information is current and accurate will ensure that no clerical errors keep you from getting credit or best available terms on a loan.
Understand what debit cards can do for you. While they look like credit cards, debit cards actually function more like a checkbook or cash. They provide direct access to the cash in your bank account. So you can pay for items and services with a debit card instead of writing a check. What debit cards don’t do is help you build your credit history because you’re not using credit to buy these items.
Focus on what you want. Your credit history becomes critical when it’s time to make those big purchases, like a home or a car. At that point, a one percent difference in the interest rate on a loan will either cost you or save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
In the mean time, vacation or no vacation, October is a perfect month to enjoy fall! Why?
- Lots of outdoor activities and crafts that’ll be sure to make your day enjoyable and memorable. Look around for leaves and pine cones (hint! I have a pine cone craft for you!) and get your kids together for some well earned family time.
- This is the calm before the storm. Next month is when the barrage of important family holidays begin starting with Thanksgiving, and soon you’ll feel like you haven’t had a moment of peace and quiet with your significant other and kids.
- Your kids won’t suffer in the heat. This is a big one for my family. During the summer everyone is exhausted after just an hour in the sun (unless we’re swimming.) This time of year it feels as if our energy is restored and we can explore the world for days. Another plus…no sunburns!
- Get your money’s worth out of summer clothes that still fit. As long as you bring a sweater or blanket, you can let your kids run their summer clothes ragged, especially if they don’t have a younger sibling that will inherit them. Forget about preventing stains and messes, live a little and allow your kids to have the time of their lives with no inhibitions.
To get you rolling, I wanted to share a totally fun Fall craft that you can complete with your kids. Fall crafts make me super happy so I hope this tutorial inspires you to get out there.
Preschool Friendly Pine Cone Craft
The materials you’ll need for this craft are simple, and you probably have them in or around your home already.
- Pine cones
- Optional: extra ‘bling’ like rhinestones or beads.
The obvious first step is to collect pine cones if you haven’t already. I would recommend getting one for each design you plan on creating.
Next, do you best to shake off any excess debris or dirt that will get in the way of your paint staying.
Let your child (or yourself) loose and enjoy decorating your very own pine cone.
Here is how ours turned out if you need some inspiration.
The last, and hardest step is to leave your pine cones outside while they dry.
Then you can place them on your mantle, shelf, or on top of your fridge to decorate your home for fall.
While that was fun and I really hope you enjoy all there is to offer this season, I am personally holding out for a family vacation before January.