Labor Day Destinations

labor day

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Labor Day Weekend is looked at as the end of summer. Classes are about to be back in session. The college football and the NFL seasons are also upon us. A lot of people take one final trip during Labor Day weekend. They want to enjoy cities before the season changes to fall. Here are five Labor Day destinations for you.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois is a great Labor Day destination. It’s one of my favorite cities to visit in the country. Navy Pier is always nice to check out. There are a lot of shops and restaurants out there. If you are a baseball fan, you should check the MLB schedule to see if the Cubs or the White Sox are in town. You can also enjoy a day of people watching at Grant Park.

Atlanta, Georgia

Centennial Park will be filled with people having fun.  Adults and children will be enjoying the fountain of rings.  The Braves may also be in town. There are also numerous day parties and festivals going on in Atlanta, too. One festival, House on the Park happens every Labor Day Weekend. It takes place at Grant Park. People are out there grilling and listening to house music all day. It’s a fun time. The weather will hot, and muggy so make sure that you dress accordingly.

 

New York, New York

You have so much to choose from in New York. Times Square, Chinatown, and Central Park are just a few options.  The Yankees and the Mets may also be playing some home games that weekend. If you are a tennis fan, you can check out The U.S. Open. That event takes place in Queens. Also, the Labor Day Carnival will be going on in Brooklyn.

Charleston, South Carolina

If you are looking for a laid back relaxing weekend, Charleston is the place to go.  You can also check out the beaches. The Low Country Jazz festival will also be going on this weekend. Charleston won’t have as many people there some of the other cities on this list. Charleston’s southern charm may be what you’re looking for in a Labor Day getaway.

San Diego, California

The final city on the list is San Diego. San Diego has great weather year-round. There will be a couple of festivals going on during the weekend. You can also take a day or two to enjoy Mission Beach or La Jolla. As far as sports, the San Diego Padres might have some home games too.

If you plan on going to any cities near water make sure that you check the weather. It is hurricane season. The worst thing that you want to do is book a trip and then have it canceled due to weather. This happened to me a few years ago. I booked a Labor Day trip to New Orleans only to have it canceled due to Hurricane Isaac. The good thing was that I was able to get the trip refunded.

What will be your Labor Day destination this year?

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Back To School Tips For College Students

Back To School Tips For College StudentsCan you believe that the first week of August is almost over? You know what that means right? The summer break for college students is winding down. It is almost that time for the Fall semester to start. In today’s post, I will be going over a few back to school tips for college students.

Make sure your financial aid information has been completed.

After working in 2 different financial aid offices, I find it amazing to see how many returning students don’t complete their financial aid paperwork until the last minute. If you’re reading this and you’re still in college I hope that you completed yours in May or June. If not, good luck. August is the peak season for colleges. Financial Aid usually takes longer to process during this time. If you haven’t finished turning in your paperwork you risk the chance of having to pay out of pocket or worse missing the semester.

Make sure your schedule is correct.

Review your class schedule to make sure there aren’t any changes. One semester I had registered for a class in May and by the beginning of August, the classroom number had changed. I’m glad I decided to check my schedule. If not, I would have been looking crazy going to the wrong classroom. You don’t want to be stressed out the 1st day because of scheduling issues.

Review your class locations.

If you are taking back to back classes you want to make sure that they are in the same building or at least near each other. A couple of days before the classes start you may want to take a test run to make sure that you will be able to get to them on time.

Move in early.

If you’re living on campus try to move in early. It’s always good to beat the crowd and get your stuff situated before everyone gets there. Moving in early also gives you time to relax and get focused for the beginning of the semester.



Talk to your roommates about rules.

If you’re lucky you should have been able to request who you wanted to live with before the Spring semester was over. If you know your roommates already you probably don’t need to go over too many rules. If you didn’t have the chance to request you’re roommates you should definitely go over a few things such as cleaning schedule, who takes out the trash, etc. That should save you some headaches down the line.

Contact your professors in advance.

You may or may not need a textbook for all your classes. Before you send that $150 per book contact your professors. They will let you know if you will need the textbook. If they do use the book they may even advise to get an earlier edition to help save money.

Decide if you want to join any organizations.

A lot of returning students think about joining organizations on campus during their 2nd or 3rd year. I pledged during my 3rd year in school. I took the summer to do my research. I’m glad I did it. I also wish I would have joined a couple other groups on campus as well.

Get adequate rest before the 1st day.

Finally, make sure you get adequate rest before the 1st day of classes. The first day of school any year can be a whirlwind. It’s even worse in college. Don’t be surprised if your professors give you an assignment. You want to make sure that you are well rested for it.

Those are a few tips for returning college students. Do you have any more back to school tips for college students? Did I miss anything?

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5 Easy Ways to Stay out of Debt

5 Easy Ways to Stay out of DebtThe amount of debt that the US has is over 16 trillion dollars. That amount is ridiculously high. As I previously posted I have some debt that I am working on paying off. In the next few months, I will go into overdrive and work even harder to pay it off. I know that I’ll be able to make it happen. I just have to stay focused.

Unfortunately, I know that I’m not the only one in debt. You might be in debt and is having a hard time coming up with a plan to pay it back. In today’s post, I want to share with you five easy ways to stay out of debt.

Create a budget

Creating a budget is very important. A budget is a spending plan that shows you where your money goes. If something is not in your budget don’t buy it. It might be hard to get used to a budget at the beginning, but if you are focused, it will work. There are multiple apps out there that can help you with your budget. One of my favorite apps is Mint. I wrote a review about it here.

Pay bills on time

Paying your bills on time helps to keep you out of debt and it also helps your credit score. At one point I used to pay several bills late each month. Most of those bills were collecting interest and late fees. My finances were not a pretty sight. I took the time to go through each bill and I wrote all the due dates in my planner. Then I contacted the creditors that I was behind on and started paying them. It took me a few months, but I was able to get current on all of them. If you’re in a similar situation, I want you to know that you can on track too.



Don’t spend money you don’t have

Sometimes people buy stuff even if they don’t have the money for it. Whether it’s using a credit card too much or allowing your checking account to become negative, don’t spend money you don’t have. I have made mistakes in the past by over spending. Having to pay your bank or credit union an overdraft fee is not fun. I’m not 100% against using credit cards. I just think that people should use them in moderation. People get in a lot of debt and they truly don’t need to be in it.

Forget about keeping up with the Joneses

This one is tied into #3. I’m sure you have heard the phrase “Keeping up with the Joneses”It means that you are trying to match someone’s social status.  Don’t do it. The Joneses are usually broke. You don’t have to be like them. Don’t spend money that you don’t have. Nothing positive will come out of it. The people that you are spending to impress don’t give a damn about you anyway.

Avoid credit cards or loans that have high interest

When applying for a credit card or loan, you should make sure you choose the one with the lowest interest rate. If you can’t pay your credit card off each month, the low-interest card is the best option. I hate paying interest, but I’d rather pay it on a credit card that has an interest rate of 12% instead of one with 22%. The interest will add up quickly. Luckily, I paid off my credit card debt earlier this year.

You’ve just read 5 easy ways to stay out of debt. Paying attention to your money. Don’t get caught up trying to be like someone else. Debt is a huge problem for millions of people in this country right now. If you can, try not be like everyone else. Strive to be debt free. I am looking forward to the day when I can say that.

What other ways do you know of that can help people stay out of debt?

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8 Places to Sell Items Online

8 Places to Sell Items OnlineThis post may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission on purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this site. Read the full disclosure here.

Selling items online has been one of my best side hustles during the last few years. I’ve sold numerous things such as shoes, coffee mugs, and board games. If you are looking for a side hustle, selling things online might be up your alley. In today’s post, I will be sharing eight places to sell items online. I will start out with one of my favorites, eBay.

eBay

eBay is one of the largest online marketplaces. I’ve been selling on and off with them since 2008. It is free to list 50 items each month on eBay. After that, they charge a $0.30 fee per item. There are two options for you when it comes to selling. They are auction and fixed price.

eBay allows you to list things for domestic and international buyers. The choice is up to you. Not all sellers are comfortable with selling their things to international buyers. When you list your stuff both ways, you have the opportunity to make a lot more money. If you are interested in learning more about eBay, check out this post. I’m also working on a beginners eBay course. Sign up here for more info.

Craigslist

Craigslist is the next place where you can sell items. It is different than eBay in a few ways. When it comes to Craigslist, there are no auctions involved. The items have a fixed price, but buyers can check with the seller to see if they are open for negotiation.

You also don’t ship items with Craigslist. You meet up with the buyer and complete the transaction in person. Some people don’t like dealing with Craigslist for that very reason. In my opinion, Craigslist is safe. You just need to use some common sense. For example, it would not be smart to complete transactions at night. I don’t care how much money you could make. You should only meet with buyers during the daytime. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Related Reading: How to Sell on Craigslist Safely

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook is more than just a social media network. It’s slowly becoming a one stop shop. Besides sharing pictures and posting messages, you can sell items in the Facebook Marketplace.

It is very easy to list items on the Marketplace. All you have to do is click on the tab that says Marketplace and get started. Once you do that, you click the sell something button. You then post what the item is, the price that you are selling it for, a photo, a category and a brief description. If someone wants an item, that you are selling, they will contact you via Facebook message.

Amazon

Nine times out of ten, you’ve heard of Amazon. It is an online marketplace where you can sell or buy all types of stuff. If you create your own items or drop ship, Amazon should be on your list. According to the Alexa website rankings, Amazon is the 4th busiest site in the United States. That’s a lot of traffic and potential buyers out there.

If you sign up for an individual selling plan, you pay $0.99 for each item sold. There is also a referral fee and a variable closing fee. Sandy from Yes I Am Cheap has made over $60,000 on Amazon. She has a course that could help you get started. For more info, check here.

Bonanza

Have you ever heard of Bonanza? I’m not talking about the old school TV show. Bonanza is an eBay alternative. It was founded in 2008. Believe it or not, I just found out about this website earlier this year. I wish I knew about it beforehand.

Bonanza has cheaper fees than eBay. After having items listed on there for the last couple of months, my only gripe is that this site doesn’t get nearly as much traffic as eBay or Amazon. The good thing is that more people are finding out about Bonanza. Lately, I’ve been seeing more people talk about it online. As the popularity of the site continues, the sellers will be able to make more money.



Offer Up

Offer Up is a trendy phone app that allows people to sell things. Folks take a picture of their item and post it right from their phone. Everything is done through their online app. If you try to go to the Offer Up website on your computer, they will direct you to the app.

With Offer Up, you sell locally. There is no shipping and handling involved. You and the buyer communicate with each other and figure out where you want to complete the transaction at. In my opinion, the amount of money that you can make on there depends on what you are selling. I know that electronics are always a good selling category.

eBid

eBid is another online selling platform. You can sell pretty much anything on the site. As with Bonanza, eBid does not have as much traffic as eBay does. It may take you a little longer to sell an item.

eBid has been around since 1999. When I found that out, I was shocked. I thought it was a newer site. I’m sure there aren’t too many people who’ve heard of eBid. Their site is free to list items. They only charge a 3% sale fee meaning that their fees are less than some of the other options that I mentioned earlier. eBid also has over 13,000 categories to choose from.

Your Website

The final place to sell your items is on your own website. Doing that will allow you to be in charge of pretty much everything. You control the number of things that you want to sell. The prices are set by you. You are not charged any insertion or final value fees. If you don’t have a website, it’s pretty easy to set one up. I wrote a post a while back that explains step by step how to create a website with Bluehost.

As you’ve just read, there are a lot of places where you can sell items at online. Test some of the different platforms out and see which ones work for you. I currently have items listed on eBay, Craigslist, Offer Up, Bonanza and Facebook Marketplace. I’m all about diversifying. I’m probably going to list some things on eBid pretty soon too.

What is the one thing that is most important when it comes to your online listings? It’s your pictures. The better that your pictures look, the quicker that you will get some sales. Some sellers take better photos than others due to their camera or equipment. There is a way that you can make the photos look a little more professional that won’t break the bank. It’s called a light box.

Many sellers purchase light boxes to help with their pictures. They notice a big difference. The light boxes are portable and easy to set up. One light box that is popular with online sellers is the BrightBox Portable Mini Photo Studio. The Brightbox allows you to take pictures anywhere. Below are a few pictures of it.

Today, I want to give one of my readers a Brightbox to help them with their online selling business. To enter the contest, leave a comment below stating how you plan to use this item. I will randomly choose a winner on September 1st. Make sure that you enter today.

 

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5 Side Hustles for Millennials

5 Side Hustles for Millennials According to the Washington Post, there are over 75 million millennials out there. They’ve overtaken the baby boomer generation. As a millennial myself, I know that the grind is real. Many of us have thousands of dollars’ worth of debt. It could be from credit cards, or it could be from student loans. Other millennials are underpaid. To enjoy life, many millennials have to find ways to make extra money. Some get part time jobs, while others do side hustles.

The side hustle is usually a way to generate extra income besides your current day time job that you maintain to cover all your required monthly obligations. Perhaps it will seem like a tough challenge to work a day job and get a side hustle. That is why it’s important that you find the one that perfectly fit in with your current lifestyle. There are hundreds of side hustles out there that you can do. Today, I’m going over five side hustles for millennials.

Sell on eBay

The first side hustle idea is to sell on eBay.  EBay has been around since the late 1990’s. The platform is straightforward. I’ve been selling on and off with them since 2008. I started to get more serious with eBay in 2014 once I decided to start paying down my debt. In my opinion, this is one of the best side hustles for Millennials. There is a lot of money to be made on eBay.  You have to figure out which type of items you like and go from there.  If you need help do that, check out my post titled 100 Things to sell on eBay. I share with you 100 items that you can sell.

Freelance writing

If you are an excellent writer or have a keen eye for editing content, then you have a high prospect of making a lot of extra cash. The Online world is focused on creating content, and you could get in on these jobs by searching for them online. There is an abundance of options from the likes of Craigslist and UpWork to specialized sites focusing on specific job opportunities.

If you’re great at designing websites, then you can find clients that desperately need these services. There are a variety of gigs out there, simply do some exploring and you are certain to find something that works for you.

Driving for Uber

The next side hustle idea is to drive for Uber. You drive your own vehicle; you make your own hours, you can drive for as long as you want, and take breaks at your leisure. It’s all on the company’s app. You could turn it on anytime you’re ready to drive, and you could turn off when you’re not. The company has a few conditions for becoming a driver so you must meet their requirements before you apply.



Find odd jobs

You might decide to do a lot of odd jobs for different people. It could be working on a construction site today, and the following day you’re raking leaves somewhere.

You could do some searching online for a potpourri of random gigs or look for one of the many temp companies serving your area that can connect you with employers searching for temp workers to fill in at their offices.  Once you’re in their databases, you might be hired for a couple of days or several weeks. You could also turn down work when you don’t need it and take jobs that come in when you have the time to get some extra income.

Online casino

If you’re on the lookout for a side hustle that’s also fun, check out making some cash by participating in an online casino. You might be amazed to learn that this is a legitimate way to earn a little extra cash. Numerous sites have reviews and info about online casinos and games as well as useful information and strategies to help you get the most from playing.

It usually takes a little while to get good enough at online betting that you’re making a consistent income, but one of the impressive things about it is you could do it from anywhere- even from your own couch. Also, you can start betting without using your money while you figure out how to play different games and refine your technique.

If you’re a millennial looking for a side hustle, there are a lot of them to choose from. The five listed above were just a few to choose from. If you need extra money, don’t just sit around and wait for it to fall into your lap. That’s not going to happen. Get out there and get it.

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30 Unique Back to School Items


30 Unique Back to School ItemsIf the school year hasn’t started back for you yet, it will shortly. Whether you’re in grade school or college, you will need some supplies for school. In this post, I share 30 back to school items that students can use.

Book Bag

Every student needs a book bag to carry their supplies in. This Under Armour book bag might be the one that you need. It is a reliable, water repellent backpack

Ink Pens

Older students need ink pens. These TUL Prestige ink pens have a medium point. They come in packs of four.
TUL Prestige Metal Liquid Ink Rollerball Pens, Medium Point, 0.7 mm, Assorted Barrels, Black Ink, Pack Of 4

Notebook Paper

Next on the list is notebook paper. Students will use a lot of notebook paper during the school year. Mead notebook paper is the standard. This pack comes with 200 sheets.
Mead Notebook Filler Paper - 200 Sheets - Printed - Spiral - 16 lb Basis Weight - Letter 8.50in. x 11in. - White Paper - 200 / Pack

Pencils

Students should make sure they have their No. 2 pencils. Here is a box of 96 that should last you the whole school year.

Binders

Students need binders for different classes.  You can never go wrong with a classic three-ring binder.

Art Supply Set

This art supply set features pencils, paint brushes, sketch pads and other items.

Calculator

Every student needs a calculator. You can’t go wrong by purchasing a Texas Instrument.

Texas Instruments 30X Simple Calculator

Crayons

Younger students will need crayons. Crayola has a 24 count box that should fill your needs.

Lunch Box

If you bring your lunch to school, you will need a lunch box. The one below is nice, simple and very affordable.

Index Cards

Students need index cards to write down notes. Walgreens has them in packs of 100.

Wexford Ruled Index Cards 3 x 5 Inch - 100 ea - School Supplies

White-Out Tape

White-out correction tape comes in clutch if you make an error when writing with an ink pen.
BIC(R) Wite-Out(R) Multipurpose Correction Tape, Single Line, 26.20ft., White

Scissors

The next item that is on the list is scissors. Scotch has them for in packs of three.

Folders

Students need separate folders for each class. Office Max has some good varieties.
OfficeMax 2-Pocket Poly Folders, Navy

Subject Dividers

Subject dividers come in handy if you want to separate your notes in your notebook.

Planner

I’ve been using planners since middle school. They come in handy. They will help you not forget things. The planner below lets you plan things for up to 18 months in the future.

Combination Lock

If you’re in middle or high school, you will need a combination lock for your locker. Masterlock is the industry leader.

Pencil Sharpener

A pencil sharpener will be needed if you use pencils more than pens. Check this one below.
Black Radiance Dual Pencil Sharpener - 1 ea

Laptop

Depending on what grade you’re in, it’s almost a must to have a laptop. The Dell laptop might be what you need. It comes with Windows 10 and has a lot of up to date features.

Printer

In college, I had my own printer. It came in handy. I didn’t have to worry about going to a computer lab and finding out that the printer was broken. The printer below has a scanner and a copier.

Ink

What good is having a printer without having any ink? Ink can be expensive, but there are me deals out there.

Stapler

As you become an older student, a stapler will come in handy. You will need one in college.
Pointe International Economy Stapler, Black

Color Pencils

Color pencils will come in handy for your art class and special projects.

Paper Clips

Paper clips are another small item that you may need.
Office Depot(R) Brand Paper Clips, Jumbo, Silver, Box Of 100 Clips

Post-it notes

Students use post-it notes all the time, especially in college. They come in very handy.

Highlighters

Highlighters are good for students middle school age and older.

Hole Puncher

The next item on the list is a hole puncher. This one should be able to get the job done.
Sparco Transparent 3-Hole Punch, Translucent Magenta

Flash Drive

People don’t flash drives as much as they used to because of Google Drive and Dropbox. They still come in handy.

Dictionary

I dictionary will come in handy when you’re in college. It will help you when you’re working on those late night papers.

Hand Sanitizer

This one is pretty much self-explanatory.

Bonus Items

I have two bonus items that you can get while you’re out shopping for back to school stuff. You need something nice for the first day of school

Shirts

Baseball-Love-Great-Funny-Shirt

Shoes

Here are the Steph Curry One low top shoes.
Under Armour Men's UA Curry One Low Basketball Shoes

This post contains affiliate links. Feel free to view my disclosure here.

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The 4 Best Places To Visit On America’s East Coast

The 4 Best Places To Visit On America’s East CoastThe east coast of America is an exciting part of the country to visit, with so much to offer every traveler. Steeped in history, and full of stunning scenery, the east coast is the ideal vacation destination.

According to Outdoorsy, an RV rental marketplace, anyone traveling to the east coast should spend at least 1-2 days visiting each destination, as there is usually so much to do.

But what are the best places to visit on America’s east coast? We’re going to take a look at that now:

Acadia National Park, Maine

Acadia National Park is thought to be something of a hidden gem. Found on the Maine coastline, the Park has been open for 100 years and is home to a wide variety of ecosystems and terrain.

Covering more than 47,000 acres, and with multiple islands, Acadia Park is home to the tallest mountain on America’s Atlantic coast, and incredible scenery.

Sit on the rocks by the sea, and listen to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. Alternatively, hire a bicycle and ride the historic roads, and experience all that this incredibly beautiful national park has to offer.

Ellis Island, New York

Take a trip to Ellis Island, New York, and visit America’s most important gateway, where more than 12 million immigrants passed through between 1892 and 1924.

A trip to Ellis Island would not be complete without visiting the Immigration museum that brings the museums collection to life.

Once you’ve made your way around the museum, hop aboard the boat that takes you on to Liberty Island, and get a closer look at the Statue of Liberty that began to welcome millions of immigrants to the United States more than 100 years ago.




Shenandoah Caverns, Virginia

Shenandoah Caverns can be found deep underground in Quicksburg Virginia, and are a sight to behold.

Welcoming visitors for more than 90 years, the caverns are home to crystalline formations, amazing geology, and an underground tour that will take an hour to complete.

Discovered in 1884, and with a year-round temperature of 54 Fahrenheit, the Shenandoah Caverns make the ideal destination if you love a bit of history, or you simply enjoy exploring the earth’s natural wonders.

The Florida Everglades, Florida

The Florida Everglades is one of the east coasts most stunning landscapes. Established in 1947, and spanning an impressive 1,542,526 acres, the Everglades National Park has something for everyone.

Home to 40 species of mammals, more than 300 species of fish, and 50 reptile species, in addition to manatees, panthers, and crocodiles, the Everglades will help to make your vacation one to remember.

Go hiking, canoeing, take a tram or boat tour, or enjoy a spot of camping, before taking a peaceful stroll around the boardwalk trails so you can enjoy the Everglades’ sights and sounds at your own pace.

The east coast has so much to offer, from stunning national parks to incredible museums, underground caverns, and stunning landscapes. If you would like to have an unforgettable vacation, head to America’s east coast, and experience all that it has to offer.

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