Archive for February, 2011:

Spring Break

Written on February 26th, 2011 by Hopeno shouts

Our winter this year in Atlanta has been long and hard (for us Southerners, that is!) We were even out of school a whole week in January because we got 8 inches of snow! It was fun for the first couple of days, then everyone got stir crazy! And by the end of the week, we were dying to get out of the house to do…anything! So around the first of February, my mind started drifting to thoughts of Spring Break. I wanted to go someplace warm and tropical…but on my husbands budget. Granted, we do not do a big “Spring Break” vacation every year. We alternate years with the “Staycation”, which is staying home in Atlanta and doing all the touristy things that we don’t do very often, (Zoo, Aquarium, Fernbank, etc.). But, thank God, this year is a real vacation, cause Momma wants to get out of Dodge…and get a tan!
So, I started looking at places to go. Since our Spring Break is in early April, Florida is not guaranteed to be warm enough for the beach or swimming. So, cross that off the list. Next, my husband put me on a budget. “Keep it under $2,000″, he said. This is for a 4 to 5 day vacation for a family of four. I started looking at the Disney cruise, which put us well over $2000…actually, closer to $3,000. Next, I looked at Cancun, which seemed fairly reasonable, but decided I wanted to keep my head, so Mexico was nixed. We went to Disney a couple of years ago, so we didn’t want to do that again. I also looked at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, but after doing a Facebook poll, I quickly found out that they charge an arm and a leg for everything once you’re there (food, drink, activities, etc.) So, I went back to the cruise idea.  How about a quick three day cruise to the Bahamas? Aside from Disney, Carnival seemed to have alot of activities on-board that would be of interest to the kids. The great thing about the cruise is that all your meals and entertainment is included, and my husband isn’t handed a bill every night at dinner! He really likes that. Also, we sail to the Bahamas…guaranteed sunshine! Lastly, there is a kids club, for when the adults need a break from our beloved children!
Now when choosing your accommodations, your price point can swing wildly. You can pick a room with no view, where you are on top of one another for VERY cheap. You can also pick a Suite, that is very roomy, but overpriced for a place to sleep and shower (the only time you’re in your room on a cruise!) We went middle of the road, and chose a Balcony room, so my husband and I can sit out at night and have a glass of wine, when the kids are ready for bed. For our family of four, the total of the cruise came to $1531, with a $100 on-board credit. Since we had money left in the budget, I thought we could head down to Orlando a couple of days before the cruise set sail and go to the kids favorite hotel, The Nickelodean. Sometimes, you can find a good deal if you look under the specials section on their website. So, after checking for a few days in a row, I found a special “Girl Scout” rate for $99 a night for a two bedroom suite. BAM! So now, we were at $1731, with enough money left in the budget to do an afternoon at Sea World if we want to! So, there you have it…a five day vacation for a family of four for under $2000…and everyone’s happy…for now!!

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read me at figuide.com

Written on February 14th, 2011 by Jamesno shouts

mutual fund and etf blog over at figuide.com:  http://www.figuide.com/how-to-start-investing-in-mutual-funds-and-etfs.html

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