What exactly happened with Gamestop?

What exactly happened with Gamestop?

I don’t write about investing much here, but when the whole world can’t stop talking about some aspect of the stock market, I had to take a look. It seemed like every single place I looked, there was something about hedge funds being toppled, people getting rich, and, perhaps most inexplicably, GameStop.

What Happened with Gamestop?

The stock market can be a place where people make a ton of money but it can also be highly confusing. This particular subject is one that’s an extra few levels of crazy, so let’s take a closer look.

Short sellers and tall bets

The essence of the GameStop fiasco is that there are stock market players who do something called short selling. Basically, short selling is paying to borrow stocks – usually from a pension or something similar – and then selling those stocks. Later on, when the price of the stock goes even lower, they buy back the stocks they “borrowed” and give them to the pension they borrowed from. The difference in price is what they earn.

This is totally legal, even if it’s complicated, but it’s not without risk. If the price of the stocks goes up instead of down, the short sellers lose money. The most important part of short selling transactions is that you have to get the stocks you short sold back to their owners. If the short seller doesn’t get those stocks back, they’re going to be sued hard.

What happened with GameStop is that their stock was way down – around $2.50/share. Short sellers benefit when the stock of a company is low, because then they can buy it back for less than it was sold for when they borrowed it. However, when the subreddit Wall Street Bets saw what was going on, they decided to squeeze the short sellers. The whole subreddit jumped and bought as many shares of GameStop stock as possible, which drove the price from $18 in December of 2020 to around $350 when you and I heard about it.

That means that if the short sellers sold the GameStop stock for $5 and hoped to buy it back around $2.50, they were poised to lose money when it jumped to $18/share. When Reddit ballooned the stock to over $350, it was going to devastate the hedge funds that were short selling the stock. They either had to buy it back at a tremendous loss, or get sued for not keeping their end of the borrowing contract.

GameStop, Dogecoin, and widespread investing

When the larger media outlets take a peek at the internet, strange things happen. Wall Street Bets is a subreddit full of its own meme culture and there’s a lot of lingo that gets used there that has leaked into the mainstream. In addition to the memes, the interest in investing has started to reach people who would otherwise probably not consider it.

With interest sparked from Reddit, many people took to Robinhood and other investing apps to jump on the GameStop fun. Since winning on the stock market is fun, all of these newly interested investors have looked for new avenues for investing (since GameStop has peaked). Two of the big winners are silver and Dogecoin, both of which have surged as a result of the GameStop craziness.

Many seasoned investors have jumped on Dogecoin in the fallout of GameStopGate. If you don’t know what Dogecoin is, it’s a cryptocurrency based on the Doge meme, and was created mostly as a joke. Now it’s becoming quite lucrative and due almost entirely because of the short selling of the stock of a company having a difficult time.

All of this makes perfect sense, right?

Are you still confused about GameStop stocks?

If you need a quick tl;dr for all of this:

  • Short sellers sell stocks they don’t own by borrowing them from a shareholder
  • They sell them high and hope to buy them back lower so they can make a profit when they return the shares to the original owner
  • The subreddit Wall Street Bets saw this activity and decided to dogpile onto Game Stop stock, driving the price up hundreds of dollars
  • Short sellers would have to buy back the stock at a tremendous loss, or face being sued by the owners of the stock
  • Because of the internet and media buzz about this, many novice investors got interested in the stock market with the Robinhood and Ameritrade apps
  • These apps then shut down sales of GameStop shares, seemingly defending these giant hedge funds from the internet’s collective efforts and these new investors’ rights to do whatever they wanted with stocks
  • Since Game Stop has slowed down, silver, gold, collectibles, and Dogecoin are hugely popular right now, all going up in value significantly

If you’re still confused, don’t worry – it’s a lot to take in. If you want to dip your toe into the strangeness that is Wall Street Bets lingo, and feel like you’re winning at investing without risking anything or actually investing, definitely check out this game I found on Plays.org called GameStonks. It’s a simple browser game that has you collecting Dogecoin while dodging obstacles, all based in the insanity of the internet’s freshest memes.

It’s a fun, light-hearted jab at the Game Stop trading fiasco and you can continuously try to beat your own high score. Think of it like Flappy Bird, complete with associated controversy and internet strangeness.

Did you manage to get some shares of GameStop before everything exploded? Has this whole thing got you interested in the stock market, at least from an onlooker’s perspective? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Teaching Math With Pokemon Cards

Teaching Math With Pokemon Cards

If you had told me at the start of 2020 that I needed to prepare to teach my children at home for a year, I would have laughed. While I had toyed with the idea of homeschooling once upon a time, that was before I was a work-at-home mom running her own 6-figure business. In fact, I was so excited to think that come Fall 2020, both my kids would be in school full-time — oooh the things i had planned!

Make plans and God laughs, right?

So with the worldwide pandemic keeping us trapped in our house, I found myself scrounging for things that would keep my kids occupied in fun, but educational ways.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission should you click through and make a purchase. This is no way impacts your cost nor my recommendation of any products or services.

Teaching Math With Pokemon Cards

My husband, who is an avid gamer, pulled his Pokemon cards out of storage and started to thumb through them. The game has complexities, but at its core, it’s addition and subtraction, and it’s packaged in a fun card game with bright, cute pictures. We sat down and figured out a way to make it accessible to our 5 and 6-year-old children while making sure it still felt like a game. The result is something the kids beg to do, not realizing they’re also learning math at the same time!

How to find Pokemon cards

Stack of Pokemon cards with an Eevee up front

The first thing you’ll need to do is get some cards. If you still have some from your youth, you might want to price check them first – old cards from the late 90s up through the 2000s are potentially very expensive and could yield you some extra cash. For what we’re doing, all you need is basic Pokemon and some corresponding energy cards.

You can find these all over:

  • You can buy them new in packs, but that can get expensive quickly.
  • Flea markets are good to find old collections.
  • Sometimes you can find them in antique malls, or thrift stores.
  • The Facebook Marketplace is a fantastic option to find Pokemon cards. If you find someone who is selling and you tell them you just need Pokemon and Energy, they will almost always be willing to sell you their extras cheaply.

Learning to play Pokemon (very simply)

You’ll notice that Pokemon cards have…a lot going on. The first thing we did when teaching our kids is to ignore the majority of that, and focus instead on three boxes:

Pikachu Pokemon card, with arrows pointing to hit points, energy cost, and attacks

The hit points (HP), the Attacks, and the Energy cost of the attacks. These spots are where basic addition and subtraction happen, and the rest of the cards require higher-level thinking. The version of the game we play with our kids is dramatically lessened in terms of complexity.

First, build a deck for each player. We keep ours to 30 cards – 15 Pokemon and 15 energy. The kids pick out their favorites and then we put in the corresponding Energy cards (Pikachu is electric type, so we need electric Energies).

Start the game by setting 3 cards aside from the top of your deck. Those are prize cards and you get to pick one up each time you knock out the opponent’s Pokemon. When you’ve picked up all three, you win.

Playing the Game

  1. Start the game by drawing 5 cards.
  2. Pick 1 Pokemon from your hand to go in front; that’s who will battle first.
  3. Any other Pokemon in your hand go behind that one, on your “bench”. If your front Pokemon has their HP reduced to 0, then you move another one up to take their place.
  4. Place 1 Energy card on any Pokemon on your team that you want. It’s best to play Energy on your front Pokemon first, as they’re the ones who will be attacking (and getting attacked).
  5. If you have enough Energy attached to the Pokemon to do a move, then they can attack. Subtract whatever damage the move does from the opposing Pokemon’s HP. This is where learning math comes in – we use little glass aquarium beads or coins to count out damage. It makes it easier for littles to conceptualize math when it’s a matter of adding or taking away concrete objects like tokens.
  6. Once a Pokemon has taken more damage than their HP, they are “knocked out” and put aside. Then, a Pokemon from the bench moves up to take their place. Finally, the player who knocked out the Pokemon gets to draw a prize and add it to their hand.
  7. Keep going until someone has drawn all three prizes – they’re the winner!

If you’re keeping it very simple, it’s basically a matter of letting your children pick their favorites and make a deck. There is a strategy that comes into play because you can only play 1 energy per turn, and sometimes you want to put it on your Pokemon on the bench. This is because when your front Pokemon gets knocked out, the one you bring up to replace it can immediately attack if you put energy on it already.

Learning math with Pokemon cards

So what I laid out is a VERY oversimplified explanation of the game, but I want to dive into why it’s so great for teaching math. The game is about dealing damage and knocking out Pokemon, but it’s done in big, clean increments. The words are simple and the colors and characters are engaging – kids learn better when they care.

In fact, one of the best things you can buy for your kids if you want to do this is an Elite Trainer Box. It comes with 8 packs, pretty counters for damage, and enough cards to build a deck. The whole box itself is sturdy cardboard to hold your collection, too. You can use anything as counters, though – change, those little glass aquarium rocks, and so forth. We used M&Ms once, but our Pokemon kept inexplicably losing damage counters and the game took 2 hours.

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Before our kids could read at the level they can now, I read the cards to them and explained the math. They put on the damage counters, or removed them (some abilities heal). Every aspect of the game gives you the opportunity to count but in small amounts that are great for little thinkers. You need a certain amount of energy to use abilities, and those abilities do a certain amount of damage, and each Pokemon has a certain amount of HP.

Putting it together

So let’s recap:

  • Find some Pokemon cards, either at a yard sale, in your basement if you’ve kept them, or pick up an Elite Trainer Box for maximum value. I do not recommend buying packs. You can check Facebook marketplace – there are often people on there selling repacks with everything you’d need to play and for relatively cheap. Players are always looking for ways to offload their extras.
  • Let your children pick their favorite Pokemon and build a deck. If they’re under 7, I recommend just using “basic” Pokemon and energy in your decks. Trainers and evolutions make the game more dynamic and fun, but this is about teaching math and game basics first. Add the cool stuff later.
  • Decks should be 30 cards (the real minimum is 60 but that’s excessive for what we’re doing). Also gather up some counters for damage.
  • Start the game with 5 cards, and set aside your three prize cards. Also put a starting Pokemon from your hand out front, and the rest on the bench behind it.
  • The youngest person goes first! No cheating, mom and dad.
  • Start your turn by drawing a card, playing Energy on one Pokemon and if you can do a move, do it.
  • Let them count out the damage and place the counters. If their mathematic understanding is more advanced, you can have them compare the damage on the Pokemon to their HP, and state the difference to determine if the Pokemon is knocked out.
  • The winner is determined by whoever draws their three prize cards first. Prize cards are drawn by knocking out your opponent’s Pokemon. The drawn prize cards go into your hand.

This is a very simple overview of the game, but it’s enough to engage little minds and get them thinking about math. Then, as your kids get older, it can be something they want to keep playing. Card games are often laughed off by parents as money-sinks, but they really are valuable for teaching reading, math, and advanced concepts. The complex interactions teach strategy and innovation, and it’s a great way for kids to socialize.

Do you have any unique and fun ways you’ve been teaching your kids math or reading? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below! Or, perhaps a better question – who’s your favorite Pokemon?

 

 

15 Eco-Friendly Tips For Your Home That Will Save You Money

15 Eco-Friendly Tips For Your Home That Will Save You Money

When you’re trying to help the planet, it might seem like it’s an expensive lifestyle. Surprisingly, though, there’s actually so many things that you can do that will actually save you money instead! From the kitchen to general environmentally tweaks you can make in your home, there are plenty of eco-friendly ways you can start saving money today!

Start in the Kitchen

One of the best things you can do is to invest in reusable products. When you spend money on reusable products, you are investing in something that will last years. Whereas, when you buy single use products, sure you spend less in the moment but in the long run, you waste a lot. Some reusable items that you should definitely invest in are: water bottle, reusable bags and stasher bags. Likewise, you should also look into using glass containers. Glass containers will last a lot longer than plastic containers plus they are better for the environment which will save you money. They can be recycled forever whereas plastic containers can’t.

Food Prep

Cooking from home is such a great way to save money. Want to help the environment with it? Meal prepping will save you even more money plus help reduce your food waste. When you meal prep, you know exactly what foods you need to make each dish. This prevents you from impulse buying food that ends up rotting away without you realizing it.

Shop in bulk

When you buy items in bulk, you spend less money in the long run. Plus, you reduce the amount of packaging you bring home. One large bag 10 lb bag of rice is less packaging than 10 small 1 lb bags of rice. You might also look to buying tea in bulk vs individually packed tea bags. Teabags might seem like a small thing to think about but if you’re drinking one cup of tea a day, that’s 365 tea bags sent straight to the landfill. Instead, buy tea leaves which are cheaper to buy in bulk and can be composted so they leave behind no waste.

Eco-Friendly Bathroom Tips

It might be an adjustment, but have you heard of a shower bucket? A shower bucket is basically a bucket that you keep in your shower to catch excess water. So much water is wasted in the shower so catch the excess and use it around your home to water plants or clean the floors. Something else that might seem different, but worth it, is investing in a bidet. A bidet will save you so much toilet paper down the line. Not only is it great for your wallet but it also cleans way better than using just toilet paper. Lastly, think about using an epilator instead of a razor. Disposable razors can only be used once before they should be replaced. Epilators can be used forever since they just need to be charged

Soap + Shampoo/Conditioner

Making your own soap is surprisingly easy! Mix 1 part water and 1 part castile soap from Dr. Bronner’s in a pump bottle. It’ll make a lot more soap for a lot less compared to buying it from brand name stores. Plus, there’s no plastic bottle to throw out after each use! Also, instead of throwing out shampoo and conditioner bottles, get shampoo and conditioner bars. They last much longer than your standard shampoo or conditioner bottle. And since they simply dissolve when they’re used up, they create with no waste at all.

15 Eco-Friendly Tips For Your Home That Will Save You Money

All Around the Home

Have you ever thought about how the junk mail coming to your home impacts the environment? It’s so useless! It comes into the home and goes straight into the recycling bin (I hope). Ask your delivery person to stop giving it to you by putting a note on your mailbox saying you no longer want junk mail. This eco-friendly tip will let the delivery people know not to give you any.

Saving on Electricity

Don’t forget to unplug unused appliances! Did you know that appliances that are plugged in use energy even if they are turned off? Save that money and help the environment by unplugging anything not in use. Things like tea kettle, fans and laptop chargers don’t need to be plugged in if they aren’t being used. You should also use a power strip when possible. It might seem annoying to have to unplug a bunch of outlets every day. Instead, use a power strip that you can turn off so the power doesn’t come through.

Saving Money on Laundry

Not only are there special tricks to saving time when doing laundry, but you can save money, too! Start by using dryer balls with your laundry. Dryer balls are put into the dryer help dry your clothes faster. Since your dryer isn’t running as long, it’ll reduce your electricity bill. Plus, this will reduce your need to but single use, disposable dryer sheets. Instead, you can add some drops of essential oil to the ball if you want to add some scent to your clothes. Also, don’t forget about hang drying. Instead of using a ton of energy to dry your clothes in the dryer, try to hang dry them when you have time. In the summer, they dry really quickly if you hang them outside. The rest of the year, invest in a sturdy drying rack. This eco-friendly, money saving tips might seem basic, but they can truly go a long way! They’re easy to do and you can implement most of them today and save money within a month. Your wallet and the planet will thank you.

 

Youmna RabAbout the author: Youmna Rab is the author and blogger at Sustainably-Yours.com. She has a passion for helping the environment and living sustainably. She loves teaching her friends, family and readers how they can help the environment too. When she’s not blogging, you can find her curled up on a couch reading. Find her on Pinterest and Instagram.

Socially Distant Volunteer Ideas for MLK Day

Socially Distant Volunteer Ideas for MLK Day

When I served in AmeriCorps from 2009-2011, one of the requirements was that we make MLK Day a “day on, not a day off.” What this meant was that even if the establishment we were stationed at was closed, we were to commit ourselves to work that day in the form of volunteering.

Now that I have children of my own, it’s all the more important to me to establish this idea of service to others. I’ve previously spoken about volunteer ideas for those with kids, but as I write this we’re at the start of 2021 – and still in the midst of a worldwide health crisis. So as we head toward this Day of Service, I find myself wondering – what socially distant volunteer opportunities can I do with my two young children?

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I may make a commission off any purchases made, at no extra cost to you. This in no way impacts my recommendations of any products or services mentioned below.

Socially Distant Volunteer Ideas for MLK Day

My little ones are in Kindergarten and 1st grade, so for the most part I’m coming from the perspective of me having to do a majority of the work in this effort. While I very much look forward to the day when we can safely work together at a service site, I won’t let that impede what we can do today.

Help Around the Neighborhood

Even though hanging out face-to-face with your neighbors right now isn’t a safe idea, there are certainly things you can do to help better your neighborhood and the community at large.

Fill a Micropantry

When the pandemic first hit, residents around our city didn’t hesitate to take action. One of the things that came up often was the establishment of micro-pantries. Much like a “little library”, these pantries are a take what you need, give what you can sort of project. They’re especially great for those in need who may not have transportation to a bigger food bank.

Snow Shovel Coupons

We’ve had one snow fall thus far this year, but I’m hopeful for more – heh which isn’t something I’d normally say, but it’s already been 10 months of isolation and I don’t see us going anywhere any time soon. One thing you can do is create “snow shovel coupons” (or yard clean-up, if you live in a warmer climate!) Drop these off to those on your street who might need the assist, like those with new babies or the elderly. Be sure to include your name and phone number so they can reach out when they need you. You could also include your email address, but keep in mind there may be some without access to the internet or the know-how for email.

Bake Bread for Friends

Ahh the good ol’ trend of bread baking in 2020 – one I will admit I myself took part in. Personally I’ve become a Challah baking expert, fearful of the task that is sour dough, but there are even easier recipes out there that require little more than flour and yeast. Brighten someone’s day with a warm, fresh loaf of bread and go ahead – keep a loaf for yourself, too. I won’t tell.

Set Up a Book Exchange

If you don’t have a little library in your neighborhood nor the desire to take on the task of building one, you can still set up a porch pick-up book exchange. Personally I’ve read far more since the pandemic hit than I have in years, so I’ve gone through a LOT of books! (*psst* if you haven’t yet read The Secret Life of Addie LaRue, it’s a MUST!!)

This service project is one I’d only recommend opening up to select friends, as you don’t want to have to constantly disinfect the space, but it’s a great way to get some new reads for the family while decluttering your home of books you’re done with.

Offer Virtual Tutoring

If you have a slightly older child, you might consider utilizing Facebook or Nextdoor to offer some free virtual tutoring sessions. So many kids are struggling all the more these days, that just a few tutoring sessions can literally change their lives. This is one that might even inspire a “pay it forward” situation where it snowballs from your child offering help to dozens throughout the entire community doing so.

Random Acts of Kindness

While these next service ideas are certainly ones that can be done within your neighborhood, they’re also ones that can help the community at large. With these service projects, especially if doing them on MLK Day, you might also consider including a note. This way it’s not only a random act of kindness, but one that educates the recipient on why MLK is a day on, not a day off.

Redbox Rental Surprise

If you have a Redbox in your area, consider leaving a goody bag for the next renter. This can include a couple dollars to cover the cost of the rental plus an unpopped bag of popcorn or similar goodies. And if you don’t happen to have a Redbox in your area, you could still partake in the fun by sending a love one a Redbox Movie Night Care Package!

Find on Amazon

Blessing Bags

If you’ve been around a bit, you know that creating blessing bags for the homeless is something we try to do at least twice a year. For less than $7, you can create a kit for someone that could literally change their lives. When I was in AmeriCorps, I spent a lot of time working directly with those living on the street and learned a lot. One thing I found out was that one of the most sought after things when homeless are a quality pair of socks. So while things like toothpaste or soap might be items that immediately come to mind for these kits, socks, chapstick, and bus tokens are sure to go a lot further! Whatever you include in the kit, be sure to keep scented items packaged separately – no one wants to eat a granola bar that comes with a floral aftertaste!

Create Cards

This is another easy one that the little kids are sure to love, but the whole family can easily partake in. Now that the holiday season is coming to an end, many of those living alone or in nursing homes find themselves once again forgotten. Take an hour or two and create some cards to send to those who might be feeling lonely in the new year. What might seem like a simple act to you can truly make someone else’s entire week so much brighter.

Rainy Day Activity Kits

I actually prefer to refer to these as “crazy day kits” – an activity set for parents whose children need a special distraction. Similar to the blessing bags, I pick up a pack of gallon size baggies from The Dollar Tree. Then I buy in bulk such items as: craft kits, coloring books, sticker sets, chalk, dress-up clothes, and more! I love that they have affordable activity options that serve as a nice little surprise for the kids and a much needed break for parents. Just don’t forget to avoid items that require parent supervision if you truly want this to be an act of service.

Donate DVDs

My husband originally suggested this idea and my gut reaction was “Seriously who still watches DVDs??” But the I checked myself (and my privilege) because hello – not everyone can afford streaming services. We recently did a big DVD clean out, including a ton of TV series, and offered them up to anyone who might make use of them. While it was hard to part with my dearly beloved 7-Season Set of BTVS, it’s worth it knowing it can be loved by a fellow Joss Whedon fan.

Buy Stamps

Yet again – simple service, but effective! Not only is this great in that you’re supporting the USPS, but you’d be surprised at how helpful this can be for someone who might not otherwise be able to get out to the post office. For example, I have an 85 year young aunt in Minnesota who still loves to send physical mail and I know that a book of stamps can go a long way in helping her stay connected with loved ones. Plus who doesn’t love getting something (other than a bill!) in the mail.

Photo Memories

Do you have a friend who had a new baby in 2020? Or perhaps your parents haven’t seen their grandchildren in almost a year? Or heck – do you just know someone who was maybe a wee bit stressed out (har har!) Whatever the reasoning behind it, one thing you can do as a beautiful act of service is to create a photo project for a friend/family member. This is again something that your kids can help with, regardless of their age, as they can suggest photos, colors, and designs to include. Personally I love using Printerpix to create photo books! While I often use them for myself – it’s the only way I actually have physical photos from over the years – they also have so many personalized gift options. While many might say they don’t wish to remember 2020, it’s not one we’ll ever forget, so might as well focus on the fun!

Acts of Appreciation

While I’m optimistic that this year is sure to brighter than the craziness that was 2020, acts of appreciation are still very much needed. A simple “thank you” goes a long way in making someone’s day brighter, but today I encourage you to take it one step further.

Facetime Friends/Family

This one seems like a no-brainer and possibly even a head scratcher – how can making a video call be an act of service? Well I don’t know about you, but I know there are certainly friends and family that I’ve done a poor job keeping in touch with as this health crisis has worn on. If there’s someone you’ve been meaning to connect with lately, make today the day to do so! And even if there’s no one that comes to mind, put your kids to use and have them video call a friend. Like the “crazy day kits” this can be a great distraction for parents who need a moment to themselves.

Thank Our Delivery Friends

This is another one that I think becomes a big deal during the holiday season then tapers off as we head into the new year. Provided you have the time to gather up supplies, set out a basket with bottles of water, mini hand sanitizers, and snacks. And if a grocery store run isn’t an option, you could still create a sign or even leave a note letting those dropping off your mail and packages know that you appreciate them!

Create Hope Rocks

Painting rocks might seem like an outdated trend, but I most definitely disagree. Gather up some rocks from your backyard, bust out the acrylic paints, and get to work creating rocks with positive messages. Then go for a family hike or walk around the neighborhood and place these rocks in semi-hidden areas. It’ll be a fun and day-changing surprise!

a green painted rock with the word happy written in yellow paint

Chalk the Sidewalks

Like the idea above, this is one that is fun but effective! While winter may not seem the season to bust out the sidewalk chalk, there’s no reason not to, provided there’s no snow in the forecast. Already dealing with the wet white stuff? Chalk your windows instead! When we had to celebrate my daughter’s graduation virtually, we picked up a set of chalk markers from Amazon and went to work on the windows of our van and the front of our home. It’s a great activity for the whole family and one that can have a big impact on anyone who happens by.

Long Term Service Ideas

These are some ideas that I would recommend starting off on MLK Day, but carrying on throughout the entire year and longer.

Host a Virtual Fundraiser

This is one that people often think about when their birthdays roll around, as Facebook often suggests holding a fundraiser for your favorite not-for-profit. Why wait! As a family, vote for your favorite not-for-profit, set a monetary goal, then utilize your social media and connections to make it happen. While things like food drives are great in “normal” times, they’re not as safe an option right now. Plus did you know that raising money directly is actually a far better alternative to food drives?

Home Recycling

Hopefully this is one that’s already in place in your house, but if not – start today! And if your family is already great about recycling, today is a great day to remind your kids about why it’s so important.

Set Up a Moonjar

I was first introduced to the idea of a moonjar when my kids are itty-bitty, like way before a cat convinced me to quit my job to run this blog! A moonjar consists of three sections – spend, save, and donate. While it’s a great tool overall to teach your kids about money, it’s also a nice way to open the conversation about the importance of donating to those in need.

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Reflect on Social Issues

Speaking of helping those in need, MLK Day is the perfect day to reflect on social issues. While 2020 taught us many things, one thing that will certainly carry through is that the United States is in serious need of bettering (and has been for quite some time!) While I won’t go too far into my own political beliefs, there’s no denying that we owe it to future generations to do better. No matter your child’s age, it’s essential that you not only start conversations on social betterment, but that you keep that door open to them for the rest of your life.

Some books to consider:

No matter what service project you choose to do with your family, I hope it’s enjoyable for all. It really is so incredibly important that we instill within our children a sense of service to others. There’s so much pain and suffering in this world, but it only takes a few moments to help heal a small part of that. If we work together, on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and every day beyond that, we can make it so that our children are the shift needed for a healthier, happier, safer future for all.

How to Save on School Supplies

How to Save on School Supplies

The dreaded rush to get the kids prepped for back-to-school time is upon us. New clothes, new backpacks, new pencils – new, new, new. It all costs money and you might end up in an argument or two before the end of it.

Serious question – is wine an acceptable addition to a back-to-school list (for me, I mean)?

Fortunately, with a little preparation and planning, you can get everything your kids need, some of the things they want, and still have cash left in your wallet. And maybe a little sanity left in your mind!

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