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Inflation, Vacation, and My Big Gambling Win


My casino win

My partner and I are still in Boston visiting family for a few more days. Massachusetts is beautiful this time of year, but coming back has definitely reminded me why we left. Everything here is so much more expensive!

Yesterday my dad treated the family to juice, smoothies, and a snack after a long walk. For just two smoothies, a juice, and a sandwich, the total was $50. That order would’ve cost less than half where we live in Michigan, so I had sticker shock to say the least! Inflation has really hit this area hard.

I went with my parents on a grocery run and the total was $180. In the Midwest, that same cart of groceries would’ve cost under $100. According to my family, housing and utility costs in the Boston area have also skyrocketed. After visiting Massachusetts, I’m even more grateful for the low cost of living we enjoy in Michigan and won’t take it for granted.

Taylor Swift Concert

Speaking of inflation, concert tickets have also become so expensive in the past few years. The Taylor Swift tickets I bought on the resale market for $800 (ouch, typing that out still hurts!) a few months ago finally got delivered to us this week.

I was nervous I wouldn’t get them because I’ve had issues with resale tickets in the past. I traveled to Las Vegas to see a Sara Bareilles concert with my sister a few years ago and our tickets never got sent to us. But luckily everything worked out with the Eras Tour and my sister and I will definitely get to go.

However, for a few days we contemplated putting our tickets back on the resale market. We found out that the going rate for tickets in our section is about $1,500 each, so we could make a nice profit if we resold them. But in the end, we decided that the memories from this concert will be priceless, so we’re going to keep them.

Saving Money on Vacation

From the pictures I’ve seen on social media, it seems like everyone dresses up for the Eras Tour. Fans usually pay homage to one of Taylor’s albums with their outfits. My sister picked Lover, which has a dreamy pink and purple cloud aesthetic. I opted for Reputation and am wearing all black and doing snake face makeup to match the album’s snake motif.

Instead of going to the mall to get our outfits, we headed to the thrift store today to save money and got some really cute, affordable pieces. We’re also planning to tailgate before the concert with some food and drinks from home so we don’t have to buy overpriced stadium food.

Some other ways we’ve been saving money on this leg of our vacation is by enjoying family dinners at home instead of going out to eat. So far we’ve had steak on the grill (with portobello mushrooms for me since I’m vegetarian), burgers, and a vodka tortellini dish.

My spouse and I also met up with a friend and brought a picnic instead of eating out. We’re hanging out with them again later in the week and going to their apartment for dinner instead of a restaurant to save money. For pocket money on this trip, we used interest we earned from our high-yield savings account, so we’re not racking up any kind of credit card balance.

My Big Casino Win

I’ll also be able to cover some of our vacation costs with my big gambling win. My mom likes to visit the local casino a few times a year and wanted to go while I was here. I usually don’t gamble, but went to spend quality time with my mom. I made sure to set a strict budget and only planned to gamble $25.

Luckily I hit the jackpot after spending just $10 and came away with a $190 profit! I didn’t press my luck and continue to gamble, which is how my mom ended up losing money. I’m using my win to help pay for gas and food on our drive home.

I’m curious to know how BAD readers feel about gambling. Do you ever buy lottery tickets and gamble, or do you view it as a slippery slope that can lead to financial loss and debt? Let me know in the comments.

Read More

Vacation on a Dime

Keeping Costs Down on Our Road Trip

Jumping into Summer Vacation Plans

8 Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe and Healthy


As parents, we want to guarantee the safety and well-being of our children. While the measures require money, the well-being of kids comes first. From the moment they come into this world, we are tasked with creating a nurturing environment where they can thrive and grow. However, with so many potential hazards, knowing where to start can be challenging. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide packed with practical tips to help you keep your kids safe and healthy.

1. Encourage Games That Aid in General Development

According to The Genius of Play, realistic pretend play helps children as young as three years old to understand the real world. Through these play activities, children can actively explore their surroundings and engage in imaginative scenarios. As they take on different roles and situations, they develop problem-solving skills by finding creative solutions and making decisions. Additionally, realistic pretend play allows them to make sense of the world around them, understand social dynamics, and build empathy as they navigate various scenarios.

2. Create a Safe Home Environment

Forbes reports that Americans spend $20 billion yearly on security devices. The money makes it evident that creating a safe home environment is a top priority for parents, and they understand the importance of protecting their loved ones and property. Security cameras, motion sensors, and alarm systems can provide additional security and peace of mind. These technologies serve as proactive measures to deter potential intruders and ensure your family’s safety.

3. Teach Personal Safety

Educating your children about personal safety rules is vital. Teach them about stranger danger and to be cautious about talking to or accepting gifts from strangers without your permission. Help them establish boundaries and understand how to say ‘no’ in uncomfortable situations. Also, teach them basic first aid skills, such as cleaning wounds and knowing when to seek adult help. This will empower them to take care of themselves.

4. Implement Parental Control Measures

In today’s digital age, it’s important to establish parental control measures to safeguard your children’s online activities. Set up parental controls on electronic devices, such as computers, tablets, and smartphones, to regulate their access to age-appropriate content and limit their screen time. Also, use internet filters and monitoring software to protect them from inappropriate or harmful websites. Finally, stay informed about the latest social media platforms and online trends to understand the potential risks and guide your children on responsible online behavior.

5. Maintain a Healthy Environment

Creating a healthy living environment goes beyond basic hygiene practices. Keep your home clean and free from allergens and pollutants. Regularly vacuum, use air purifiers if necessary, and ensure smoking areas are away from your child. Ensure your child’s school or daycare facility follows appropriate health and safety protocols.

6. Monitor Your Child’s Health

Being attentive to your child’s health is crucial. Be on the lookout for signs of illness or discomfort. Please familiarize yourself with common childhood illnesses and their symptoms. For example, check on their fever to ensure it falls within the normal range between 100.4 F and 104 F. If your child’s fever is persistent or accompanied by concerning symptoms, consult a reputable healthcare provider for help.

7. Ensure Adequate Sleep

Ensuring your kids get enough sleep is crucial for their safety and health. A good night’s sleep supports their physical and mental development. During sleep, their bodies can rest and repair while their brains process information and consolidate learning. Adequate sleep improves their attention span, memory, and overall cognitive function.

8. Provide a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet consists of a variety of nutrient-rich foods that provide the necessary vitamins, minerals, and energy they need for optimal growth and development. It supports their physical growth, strengthens their immune system, and helps them maintain a healthy weight. It also instills healthy eating habits that can benefit them throughout their lives.

The above strategies and measures serve as essential building blocks for ensuring the safety and health of your children. By observing these practices closely, you can create a nurturing environment where your children can thrive and grow. Your children’s well-being should be top of your priorities.