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Funny and Creative Present Ideas for Friends and Family

Thinking of present ideas can be a nightmare when you aren’t a particularly creative person. Truthfully, if you are buying someone the same presents every year, they probably aren’t that excited for them either. This year, why not mix it up a little by getting them something completely different and unexpected? Here are some ideas.

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Presents That Will Make People Laugh

If you are running out of gift ideas, why not get a gift that is sure to put a smile on somebody’s face, as these kinds of gifts are always a winner. Ideas for this include printing out and framing a funny photograph of you and them, or these hilarious smelly socks, which will be treasured because of the comedic aspect. This will make the gift something you both can look back on in years to come with fond and funny memories. It will also remind them of what a great friend you are and what a good sense of humor you have.

Making a Homemade Gift

Something important to remember when thinking of gift ideas is that they will likely be just as touched with the thought of the gift as they will be by the gift itself. Homemade gifts have a really lovely sentiment and are something that friends and family will treasure forever. A homemade gift could be something arty, such as a painting or a drawing, or a small sculpture. Alternatively, you could make them a collage of photographs for them to hang up somewhere, which makes the gift really personal to them.

Buying Someone an Experience

Getting someone an experience can be an amazing gift idea, especially as there are so many things that people may want to do but are not willing to buy for themselves. Ideas for the kinds of experiences you could buy them are days out to a spa, a ticket to the theater or a concert ticket. This way, if you don’t know what kinds of physical items they would use, instead of aimlessly buying something, you are still getting them a great gift. If you are buying for a good friend or family member, you could get yourself the experience as well as them, so their gift will be remembered as doing something with you. You could use this opportunity to help them step out of their comfort zone slightly by getting them something exciting that they would never have time to do in day to day life, such as a hot air balloon trip.

Try and think outside the box a little bit this year when buying presents for your family and friends. This makes the process of choosing presents really exciting rather than being a bore or something you dread. It will also have a great outcome since when they receive your gift, they will feel as though you truly put effort into thinking of it, rather than just getting a last-minute gift that feels really impersonal and generic.

Money-Saving Tips for Families

When you are raising a family, you will already be familiar with the impact it has on your finances. Research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture has found that each child of an average middle-income family has around $12,980 spent on them each year. When you see this figure in black and white, it’s easy to understand why families are feeling the squeeze. – it’s 40% up from ten years ago. Ouch.

If you regularly get to the end of the month and seeing an empty bank account, you will be keen to know how you can save money. However, and this is the frustrating part, most of the advice you will have come across requires a serious lifestyle overhaul; but it doesn’t have to be like that.

Read on to find out how you can save money without having to lose the family vacation or the small luxuries that you enjoy.

Make wise leisure decisions.

The proverb all ‘work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ is so relevant when you are raising a family and trying to save money. It’s exhausting and relentlessly hard work; you need to be able to switch off occasionally to avoid burnout.

You don’t have to sacrifice leisure activities, romantic dinners out, or me-time while you are saving money. You just need to be savvy about the choices you make. There are some great savings to be with a Groupon promo code for those special occasions.

Plan meals

You will have heard this a hundred times, but have you started doing it? Planning meals a week in advance not only means that you cut down on take-outs and fast foods, but you save money (and eat fewer calories!).

Be strategic with your meal planning. If you are cooking chicken on Monday, save the left-over carcass and any vegetables to make a soup for Tuesday. There is little to no waste, and you get two meals for the price of one.

Shop with intent

Shopping with intent means knowing precisely what you need to buy. Having planned your meals, you already know what purchases you need to make. Writing a shopping list stops any impulsive purchases being added to your cart.

It’s worth investing time to make sure that your shopping list has groceries for the week. Every time you go to a store to get a forgotten item, you risk overspending. That forgotten loaf can escalate!

If you can, try to shop without the children with you. Pester power is real, and another way that you can accidentally spend more money than you intend to. If childcare is an issue, consider shopping online for your groceries. Online shopping is a great way to keep control of your grocery budget.

Saving money while you are raising a family doesn’t have to make you (or them) feel deprived. Research and planning are essential for money-saving. Whether you are planning meals for the week, preparing a list of groceries to buy, or deciding where to go for a meal out, approach all the same and ask yourself, ‘how can I make money stretch further?’

3 Reasons to Allow Your Child to Play Team Sports

There are a number of reasons why some parents tend to shy away from allowing their child to play team sports. Some feel that the risk of injury is too great for young bodies, particularly when it comes to contact sports. Others might be afraid that too much involvement in athletic endeavors would detract from a child’s academic pursuits.

While every parent must decide what is best for their own child, there are many compelling reasons to permit them to participate in team sports. Here are three arguments in favor of allowing your child to play team sports.

1. They Learn Important Life Lessons

Teaching your child vital life lessons can be challenging at times. Not only do kids tend to tune out parents as they try to instruct them on how to best conduct themselves as they grow up, but it can be difficult to make life lessons relatable and understandable to children.

Sports, however, are an excellent mode by which children can learn things like perseverance, patience, and integrity. By being on a team, your child will learn how to work with others to achieve a common goal, even if they don’t see eye to eye with some other members of their team. Teammates have to learn to set aside their differences in order to give the team as a whole the greatest chance for success.

2. Sports Improve Physical Well-being

It is no secret that physical activity when a child is young leads to healthier habits throughout their adult life. There is arguably no better way to encourage your child to engage in physical activity than to allow them to play a team sport. Sports are incredibly engaging for kids, and they get the chance to develop friendships with teammates that will make playing sports even more fun for them.

Anything that you can do to encourage your child to be more active will only help them to develop those habits that will keep them healthy in the long run. Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with giving your child a chance a couple times a week to burn off some extra energy.

3. They Can Potentially Pay for College

While the main goal of playing any sport should always be the enjoyment and fun that you get from it, another decent incentive is the possibility that one day your child might be able to fund their college degree with an athletic scholarship. There are a variety of scholarships offered to student athletes who demonstrate a high level of achievement at their sport of choice.

Allowing you child to start developing their passion and talent for a certain sport from a young age could potentially help them reach the necessary level to be deserving of an athletic scholarship later down the road. There are other requirements that need to be met to be eligible for an athletic scholarship, so feel free to check out for more information.