Category: Student Finances

What to Do this Weekend: Date Night In Ideas

by Phillip Warren
Date-night-in

We are a month and a half into quarantine and date nights in many households have devolved into, ‘What have we not seen on Netflix yet?’  While we are all ready to get back out and about, there are plenty of fun date night at home options to help you enjoy and appreciate your partner.  This post is partially inspired by the fact that we are celebrating our wedding anniversary tonight and I was already doing so research on what to do this weekend.  I figured if I was already doing the work, I might as well share the wealth with you all!  

Check out a few of our best date night in ideas

Name that Tune

This really is a fun activity that we typically do on road trips, but it works just as well for date night.  Play each other your favorite songs from different eras or events in life.  

What song was popular when you went to your first school dance?  Did you ever learn a choreographed dance to a song?  What was it?  What was your first favorite country/hip hop/punk song?  Did you ever dedicate a song to someone on the radio? Make a mixtape?  First breakup/heartbreak song you listened to 100 times?

Music is such an integral part of our memories.  It is sure to bring out some great stories from your partner that you have never heard before and some great stories from your past that you may have completely forgotten about. All you really need is a Spotify account, your beverage of choice!

Wine Tasting

This is an amusing challenge for the nose and tastebuds.  Taste three (or five–no judgment here) wines and figure out which is which based solely on the tasting notes….you know the ‘hints of pencil lead and cranberry.’  This can be made romantic with dim lights and some candles or you can make this more upbeat with some fun background playlists.

Optional additions to make the night more festive: Cheeses, nuts, olives, crackers, honey

Minute to Win It

Impress each other with feats of strength and balance.  This is an evening bound to be full of laughter.  Check out this video for inspiration! Challenges include…

  • Face the Cookie.
  • Stack Attack.
  • Movin’ On Up.
  • Junk in the Trunk.
  • Suck It Up.
  • Penny Hose.
  • Ping Pong Bounce.

Sweets for Sweethearts

Bake together…even if neither of you is an expert in the kitchen, learning something new together is good for relationships!

Here are some recipes that have videos to go along with them

For easy cooking try these 3 Ingredient Desserts

For all those ripe bananas on your counter

For when you can only be trusted with the microwave

20 Questions

It sounds silly, but this really can be a learning experience. If you’ve been together you may think you know all the answers…but remember people’s tastes and preferences change.  Do you really know that sweet tarts are still his favorite candy? Or is Paris still her number one destination? The answers could surprise you!

Double Date 

Yes! This is actually possible via Netflix Party.  Pick a movie ahead of time, grab the popcorn and candy and chat with your favorite duo.  

Take a trip down memory lane

Look at each other’s pictures from your favorite vacation together.  You’ll be surprised to see the vacation through their eyes and their memories.  You can relive the best times together and appreciate it in a whole new way.  Bring in even more sensory memories by adding a favorite food or drink you discovered during that trip.

Or Take a Virtual Trip

Ever wonder what Venice is like during lockdown?

Join Travel Curious on their next tour with your Venetian born guide, Luca, who will take you on a live virtual walking tour of Venice and will end up in the Venetian mask-maker artisan shop. 

Join for free on their Instagram Live feed on May 15 2020 at 15:00pm BST / 10:00am EST

https://www.instagram.com/travelcurioustours/?hl=en

Read What to Do this Weekend: Date Night In Ideas on Apartminty.


Source: blog.apartminty.com

How to Teach Your Teen to Budget Like a Pro

by Phillip Warren

It amazes us how quickly our girls are growing up. Next month when school starts up again, we’ll have a fourth-grader and a kindergartener.

Even though we have some time before they are ready to move out of the house, we want to spend time now prepare them for the big transition. As a parent, you probably feel the same way too. 

One crucial piece of a financial foundation kids and in particular, teens, need to master is learning to budget (and sticking with it),

While they’re home now, you have a fantastic opportunity to get them comfortable with handling their money.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are some tips from fellow parents and experts in the personal finance space to make teaching this life skill a bit easier less stressful for you and your teen!

Teach Your Teen to Budget for Real Life

Teens or not, whenever most people hear the word budget, they also hear the word ‘no’. To them, budgets feel like a strict diet. Just as fad diets fail, an unrealistic or extreme budget will more than likely discourage your teen and they will quit.

The first step before you even talk about the numbers is to discuss exactly what a successful and sustainable budget should be. When done right, a budget is something that helps you move your money towards your goals. Explain to them that at its root, budget is simply a plan about what they’d like to do.

You want a budget that can cover:

  •     Essential bills
  •     Future goals
  •     Discretionary expenses

When your teen’s budget covers those goals, they’re not only putting their finances in a good spot, but they’re moving closer to their specific long term dreams.

Creating a Doable Budget (They’ll Actually Enjoy!)

Once your teen(s) understands how a budget works, it’s important for them to create a budget that they can use in the real world. You can honestly budget however you want, but an easy budget to get your teen started is the 50/20/30.

Quite simplify, the 50/20/30 budget puts money into those three main buckets:

  •     50%  goes towards essentials
  •     20% towards savings (or investing)
  •     30% for fun and discretionary expenses

I appreciate how easy and flexible this budget can be. You can adjust the percentages for your teen’s needs, but it gives them some ballpark idea of how to portion their finances when they are out on their own.

How do you start them out on this budget?

With teens, you may have expenses like clothing or their cellphone bill count as essentials, or you may want to give your child the experience of being responsible for a small, shared family bill while they are still at home.

For older teens, you could even charge them a nominal ‘rent’ to offset their portion of the bills. In some cases, parents give that money back to their child as a gift to help with moving expenses (like for their security deposit) or use as additional savings. 

However you decide, talk it over so your teen understands why you’re doing it this way.

Share Your Family Budget

Creating a budget isn’t complicated, but it can difficult if your teen has no idea what to expect. Knowledge can be empowering.

While we may take it for granted since have to deal with the numbers, but your teen may not be aware of how much it takes to keep the lights on and roof over their heads. If you haven’t already shared your own budget already, now is the time.

Not knowing also puts them at a disadvantage when they start searching for a place or are comparing prices on expenses. Being armed with the numbers makes your teenager a more informed consumer.

When Your Teen Breaks Their Budget

Will there be times where your teenager will mess up with their budget? Probably so. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As parents, we tend to want to protect our kids, but we also have to prepare them for the real world. As Ron Lieber, author of The Opposite of Spoiled, pointed out we should let our kids make financial mistakes. 

Wouldn’t it be better for your child to break the clothing budget while they’re still at home allowing you to help guide them through rather than having break their monthly budget while they are on their own and have bills to pay?

Mistakes will happen, they’re a part of life so giving your teen time to work those them and adjust their budget is a blessing for their future selves.

Essential Accounts for Your Teen  to Have

Since we’re talking about budgets, we should also mention some essential accounts you’d want your kid to have so they can practice managing their money.

Opening up student checking and savings accounts (usually free low on fees as well as not having minimum balance requirements) are good foundational accounts for your teen. They can deal with real-world situations pending charges, automatic transfers, and direct deposits.

As Family Balance Sheet founder Kristia Ludwick pointed out, teens should have the skill of balancing a checkbook even if they decide to go all-digital with their banking.

If they work, talk it over together and see if they can open up an IRA and start contributing. It doesn’t have to be much. The idea is to get them familiar and comfortable with the basics of investing.

Even if they put in $25 a paycheck, having them practice setting aside money in their budget for both long and short term goals is an invaluable lesson. You can also encourage them to contribute by offering a match for what they put in.

How Teens Can Easily Stay on Top of Their Money

With several accounts to keep tabs on, your teen is going to need an easy system to track their budget and goals.

With Mint, they can link up their accounts in one secure spot. They can also add their budget along with any savings goals they want to hit and make sure they stick with them.

Hopefully, these ideas and tips will make it easier to help your teen transition into a self-sufficient adult.

The post How to Teach Your Teen to Budget Like a Pro appeared first on MintLife Blog.


Source: mint.intuit.com

Moving to Las Vegas: Everything You Need to Know

by Phillip Warren

There's so much culture and diversity to embrace in fabulous Las Vegas. Despite it being known as the "City of Lost Wages," there are a lot of opportunities when moving to Las Vegas.

The cost of living has stayed fairly low and it isn't too crowded, especially when compared to other large urban areas. But it might not stay that way forever. Many California residents are packing up and moving here where they can afford a higher lifestyle at a fraction of the price.

So, don't waste any time deciding if moving to Las Vegas makes sense for you. The city is expanding and you'll want to take advantage of the growth sooner rather than later. Here's what you need to know.

las vegas nv

Las Vegas overview

As one of the most famous cities in the world, you've probably heard a fair share about Las Vegas. You maybe even visited once or twice. But what you hear about and experience on a vacation is vastly different than living here.

The locals don't hit the Strip every night and party non-stop. In fact, in many parts of Vegas, you'll find quiet, family-friendly neighborhoods. Due to the reasonable cost of living, this city is rapidly growing into a desirable destination.

  • Population: 651,319
  • Population density (people per square mile): 4,298.2
  • Median income: $53,575
  • Studio average rent: $778
  • One-bedroom average rent: $1,236
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $1,454
  • Cost of living index: 105.7

las vegas nv

Popular neighborhoods in Las Vegas

Not all of fabulous Las Vegas is lights and excitement. Each neighborhood has its own quirks and perks. Whether you're a young professional that's starting out on your own or you've got a family, there's a neighborhood suited just for you.

  • Summerlin: Summerlin has lots of community events like farmers markets and free activities. There's plenty of shopping and great restaurants and it's only about a 20-minute drive to the Strip. It's also one of the safest communities in the city,
  • Downtown: Downtown Las Vegas was big before the Strip came along and stole the show. You'll find lots of great restaurants and eclectic vintage shops here!
  • Centennial Hills: This suburb is known to have a little more of a "rural" vibe (or at least, as rural as it can get in a big city like Vegas). Many people who own horses choose to live in this area for the ample space it offers. It's family-friendly and has lots of outdoor spaces like parks and splash pads for kids to enjoy on those hot summer days.
  • Arts District: Hipsters flock to The Arts District to experience the best aspects of the city without the typical over-the-top Las Vegas flair. As its name suggests, it's full of art, along with fun second-hand and vintage stores. It was even dubbed the "least Vegas neighborhood in Vegas" by The New York Times. So, even though it's right there near the Strip, it's a completely different world.
  • North Cheyenne: Located near the Las Vegas airport, North Cheyenne is very convenient for anyone who travels frequently. It's a quieter part of town and is more of a suburb, but it's really affordable and reasonably safe in comparison to other parts of Vegas.

The pros of moving to Las Vegas

There's no doubt that you'll enjoy living in Las Vegas. While daily life as a resident isn't quite as fun and exciting as a weekend getaway, there are still plenty of positive aspects of living in the city.

las vegas strip

You'll never be bored

Much of Las Vegas is open 24 hours, so you'll be able to do most of what you want at any point in the day. You can always access areas of the Strip and Downtown with shows, shopping, bars and clubs, many of which offer discounts to the locals. Or, you can enjoy the endless shopping and new restaurants around town. There's also surprisingly great outdoor recreation at Mount Charleston (you can even ski there in the winter) and Valley of Fire. You can even go boating at Lake Mead.

It's a traveler's paradise

One of the perks of living in a city that people from every corner of the globe visit is that you have access to an international airport that has daily flights to almost anywhere in the world. If you prefer to drive, you're between three and four hours away from Los Angeles and Anaheim — many Las Vegas residents get season passes to Disneyland and take quick weekend trips (some even make it a single day trip!). Plus, the national parks of both California and Utah are easily accessible and you can make it to plenty of them in just a few hours.

Lots of diverse and delicious food

Not only do you have access to hundreds, if not thousands, of amazing restaurants that serve every type of food imaginable, you'll also find plenty of diverse international markets. You'll get your pick of Moroccan, Puerto Rican, Malaysian, Greek, Peruvian and whatever other foods you like. Or, if you're out for a night of excessive eating, you can go for one of the many buffets the city is known for.

The cons of moving to Las Vegas

With the good comes the bad — after all, no city is perfect and you're always going to come across things you don't like. Here are a few of the not-so-great things you can expect in Las Vegas.

las vegas desert

The heat

In other places with hot summers, it's typically a tolerable heat and you can still do outdoor activities without feeling too uncomfortably hot. But in Vegas, the scorching hot summers make it almost unbearable anywhere that doesn't have air conditioning. Sometimes, it's even too hot for pools to open. And even if they're open, the water won't be nearly as refreshing — it feels more like soaking in a hot bath.

But if you need something entertaining to do while you're at home during the extreme temperatures, you can test how long it takes for a scoop of ice cream to turn to liquid on the cement (times of eight seconds have frequently been reported) or you can try cooking an egg on the sidewalk!

Public transportation isn't great

If you're used to having access to a variety of great public transportation options like metros, buses and trams and not relying on a personal vehicle, then living in Vegas will be a major change for you. If you don't have access to a car that you can drive around the city, you'll spend hours waiting for and sitting on a bus, because that's really your only other option.

You can always use ride-sharing services, but that can get pretty expensive when you consider that getting from one end of town to the other could take you upwards of 30 minutes.

It's really dry

With it being a desert, you would expect Las Vegas to be dry. Because of that, lush greenery really doesn't grow here. Some homes still have grass in their yard, but most people opt for desert landscaping — dirt, rocks and a few desert plants.

If you're someone with long hair, get ready to double down on your deep conditioning routine — your hair will need it!

How to get started on your move to Las Vegas

Is the Entertainment Capital of the World the right place for you? No matter the kind of life you desire, there's something for everyone in Las Vegas.

To get you started on your big move, check out the Moving Center for more information about planning your move, including free quotes and moving tips!

We use a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com's multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments to determine our rent prices. Data was pulled in January 2021 and goes back for one year. We use a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
Population and income numbers come from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Cost of living data comes from the Council for Community and Economic Research.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

The post Moving to Las Vegas: Everything You Need to Know appeared first on Rent Blog.


Source: rent.com

Things To Do While You’re Stuck In Your Apartment

by Phillip Warren
Creating An Inspiring Home Office Space

Guest Post

Things To Do While Stuck In Your Apartment During the Coronavirus Pandemic

By now, almost everyone in the country is under some kind of shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders from government agencies due to the coronavirus pandemic. Authorities stress that this is the main way to try to flatten the curve of new infections.

OK, so what can you do while cooped up in your apartment. The options aren’t quite unlimited, but they are numerous. Take advantage of the space you have and undertake any activity that will be good for your mental or physical well-being. Here’s a look at some of the most popular:

1. Do a jigsaw puzzle

This has become quite popular around the country, with people finishing a jigsaw puzzle and then posting a picture of it on social media. The more pieces, the better, say, 1,000 or more. How long you’ll be able to do this to remain occupied depends on how many puzzles you have on hand, or how many times you’re willing to do the same puzzle over again.

If you don’t have jigsaw puzzles, maybe you have a Rubik’s Cube or a book of crossword puzzles. You can also find crossword puzzles online and in your daily newspaper, if you still subscribe.

2. Exercise!

If you have a set of weights in your apartment, use them. Or maybe you’re a packrat and still have exercise routines on VHS tapes or DVDs. If not, there are plenty of routines you can find for free online. 

If you can leave your apartment, go for a walk or a jog, as long as you observe the social distancing rules that are now the new normal. If you don’t want to go outside, walk up and down a stairwell or walk up and down your hallway. Again, give others their personal space.

Short of that, you can go old-school and do crunches, sit-ups and push-ups on your floor. You can also do isometric exercises using a rolled-up bath towel. For a refresher on the techniques, check out these workouts you can do in your apartment and then get to work. 

Whatever you chose, mix it up and keep it fresh as you stay in shape. 

3. Binge-watch

OK, the first two suggestions will put your mind and body to work. At some point you’ll feel like being a couch potato, so why not catch up on a series you’ve been meaning to watch on Netflix, Disney Plus or one of the many streaming services available? You’ve never had a better excuse than now. 

“Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” has become all the rage on Netflix. It was released in mid-March and has given people something to do in the age of coronavirus. It is a true-crime documentary television series about the life of former zoo operator Joseph Maldonado-Passage.

If that’s not your thing, there are favorites such as “Narcos: Mexico” and “Stranger Things” on Netflix. If you’ve already seen them, what’s the harm in starting over? On Disney Plus you can watch “The Mandalorian,” “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and “The Simpsons.”

4. Spring cleaning

It’s spring, and you have a lot of unexpected time on your hands. Now’s a great time to get in some spring cleaning of your apartment. Cut through the clutter and organize your closet and dresser. Most importantly, regularly clean and disinfect important areas such as kitchen surfaces and appliances that are used often. You should also keep your bathroom clean. 

5. Other stuff

There are plenty of other things you can be doing, such as catching up on your reading, playing a musical instrument, writing emails to friends and family and getting plenty of rest.

Read Things To Do While You’re Stuck In Your Apartment on Apartminty.


Source: blog.apartminty.com