College Bound, Healthy Living

4 Money Gift Ideas for Grads and College Students

Photo by JodyHongFilms on Unsplash

The student loans and living expenses will take years, even decades for some student to pay off. They will hit a point where it is overwhelming and perhaps feel buried in debt. These 4 money gift ideas from MyBankTracker.com can get the grads ahead, before they get behind.

  1. A starter emergency fund
    Every grad needs savings in case disaster strikes, but a recent study showed 45.9% of 18- to 24-year-olds have no emergency savings set aside. When on the hunt for their first job, having that cushion can keep them from ending up in debt if unexpected expenses arise. Steer your grad toward an online savings account; they tend to charge fewer fees and pay higher interest rates. If you’re giving money to your child, think about setting up a joint account if you want to add money in the future.
     
  2. A CD ladder for long-term savings
    Grads want to save for things like their first new car. Setting them up with a CD ladder makes it easy for them to keep earning interest until they need to use the money since you agree to leave the money alone until it matures. The longer the terms, the more interest earned. After the maturity date, they cash it out with the earned interest. Tip:Since the grad isn’t a minor, you’ll need to name him or her as the co-owner.
     
  3. Roth IRA
    Help start a Roth IRA for his or her future nest egg. Since they’re funded with after-tax dollars, withdrawals are tax-free. Even if grads don’t max it out each year, you’re helping them get started which helps if their employer doesn’t offer a 401k. Tip: Single graduates who earn less than $31,500 for 2018 may be able to get a saver’s credit on their taxes for some or all of their IRA contributions.
     
  4. Individual stocks, mutual funds and bonds
    Gifting individual stock shares or cash for mutual funds or bonds will help them start to invest and build wealth. There are sites where you can choose individual shares (FrameAStock or GiveAShare) or Betterment lets you buy stocks and bonds and transfer them to your grad’s online account. For mutual funds, you’ll buy them up front and then transfer them.

Tip: Beware of the gift tax – it applies when you give someone money in excess of the annual exclusion limit. If you’re married, you and your spouse can gift up to $28k jointly per student ($14k per individual).

2019 Valentine's, College Bound

3 Adult Games to Play with Friends and Family

3 Adult Games to Play with Friends and Family

3 Adult Games to Play with Friends and Family

The Holidays are over, a new semester is beginning at school, spring will be here soon and we will have Easter baskets to fill, school, gifts and kids! Sometimes we need adult time. Whether you invite friends over or get a sitter and meet at a friends home for some adult socializing, games always add an extra element of fun. Card games, especially, create laughs and weirdness that is so refreshing.

There are several adult games to play by Goliath Games from GAMES ADULTS PLAY (the name is catchy)! I have 3 of them and we first brought these out on Super Bowl Sunday as we had food prepped and were waiting for the game to start.

True Colors

My 10 year old really wanted to play with us and True Colors was the most appropriate so we played this one with him. In True colors you have cards each player reads at their turn. Everyone is voting on who (besides themselves) most relate to that question or comment.

While you are voting for others in the ballot box, you are then trying to guess how many votes were cast for you. Scoring is a tad tricky at first, but once you can focus on a round of two it’s easier. You get scored based on if you were correct about getting any votes or not and then if you actually got the most votes. For 3 to 6 players and the more the better the game!

Friend or Faux

Friend or Faux is strictly adult fun because these questions get personal and intimate at times. I would save this game for friends you know well and are not worried about creating awkward conversations with. It is my duty to give you that bit of a warning.

However, it is a blast! It is very easy to play and you simply are sharing your cards question with a friend to answer. There are Bull Shit cards in play and you can use it at anytime if you think the player is bluffing and want to create an argument you may or may not win. At your turn you start at Pile 1 for round one and read the card. You wait to answer because everyone else is guessing what you might say. Will they be right or wrong? If they were wrong? What was it they thought you’d say? This is why it is so fun.

If you cannot avoid young ears being around, just stick to the lower numbered piles. The higher numbered pile the worse the questions. Pile 1 is kid-friendly with questions like favorite movie, etc..

Shit Happens

This game is a blast! Again, NOT kid-friendly. Each player starts with 3 cards and lays them down in order of less severe to most severe in circumstances. Such as…

Being Stung by a Swarm of Bees and Finding a Dead Hooker in your Bed (like I said, not kid-friendly so I wanted to make that clear).

Every card has a number professionally dictated as its place on pleasant to worst scenario. The player next to you draws a card and reds it to you, without showing you the number place assigned to that scenario. You must decide where it falls in your stack of cards. If you guess right you keep the card. The first to collect 10 cards wins.

Find more games like this at Games Adults Play.

2018 Holiday Gifts, College Bound, Reviews

How Do You See The World? Ice Breaker Card Game

How Do You See The World? Ice Breaker Card Game to Encourage Open Discussion

2018 Holiday Gift Guide Feature: How Do You See The World Card Game

I have covered many toys, beauty products and gifts for the home in my gift guide and of all I have featured so far, this gift really intrigues me. Nothing is more important than communication and I really focus on that as a Mother to 3 boys and manage a High School kitchen. From work to family, starting a conversation or getting to know each other’s perspectives are bound to lead to successes. How Do We See The World? is a card game to challenge your perspective and get to know friends and family in a way you may never have before.

Our middle son is at College and I can’t think of a better social game than this. There are 100 cards with 5 questions in different categories. What category you choose to answer from depends on your roll of the dice. The 5 categories of questions are:

  1. Reflections with questions like, “What are your worst habits?”
  2. Relationships with questions like, “Describe your favorite or most impactful Teacher”
  3. Aspirations with questions like, “One thing I can do better is_______”
  4. Life’s Purpose with questions like, “Why do people fear failure?”
  5. Beliefs with questions like, “What makes you happy?”

Actually when I read some of these questions I can’t help but think about those impossible questions you are asked on work interviews. Aren’t those the worst, when you are asked to reflect on yourself and say your attributes on the spot? This game is great practice especially as you get to hear how others would answer similar questions.

Another thought I had was writing college application and scholarship letters? Just flipping through these cards is great inspiration to start talking about yourself as all 5 topics are exactly the 5 topics you’d want to discuss in such letters.

Let’s look at some more questions you will get to answer and hear answers from when playing with friends, family, co-workers, roommates, students, etc. or to prepare an your college essays and interview answers:

Buying How Do You See The World? Card Game

They are available on Amazon.

Need more gift ideas? Visit the 2018 Holiday Gift Guide!

Comment: I was sent product so that my feature can be authentic and my own original thoughts for you. I am an Amazon Associate and I may be compensated for your purchase through my Amazon links.

Back to School 2018, College Bound, Home

The Coolest Charging Station – Powramid Air Power Center with USB

I have partnered with Accell for this feature

The Coolest Charging Station - Powramid Air Power Center with USB

How is your outlet situation in your home? We bought our new home last year and I decided to do something about the cord mess. I bought cord hiders, power strips and got all of our cords hidden and a safe outlet for each end. Then months passed and the holidays hit and more electronics and charger needs arrived into the home and the cords were everywhere again.

When Accell reached out to me to share the Powramid Air Power Center with USB charging station I read about it and it sounds like what I already have until I clicked on the link to see photos. Brilliant! I love the looks of this charging station and the best part is that their charger stations sit on any shelf or desk without flipping or turning on its side with the puling of cords plugged in. You know what I mean by power strips flipping on their sides?

cord mess

So, as a parent of a child in college I can’t help but think how perfect this charger station is in small spaces. They carry more than one charging station such as the Powramid Power Center and Surge Protector, but the charge station I have has 2 USB ports to also charge your phone or tablet easily.

charger

Isn’t it slick? Te outlets are spaced far enough apart that you can fit 2 of those annoying, long plug ends next to each other. I always struggle with the bulky ends on a standard strip. The two USB charging ports feature smart chips to provide a combined 2.4A of fast charging for USB powered devices.

Charger station

Features:

  • Six Adapter-Friendly Outlets
  • 2 USB Charging Ports (Total Output: 5V 2.4A)
  • 6ft (1.8m) Power Cord
  • Skid & Scratch Resistant Base
  • On/Off Power Button
  • Green LED Power Indicator
  • 1080 Joules Surge Protection
  • Blue LED Surge Protection Indicator
  • 15 Amp Circuit Breaker

The geeky stuff:

  • Surge Protection Rating: 1080J
  • Outlets: 6 grounded and adapter-friendly ports
  • USB Charging: 2 Ports, 5V 2.4A total output
  • Power Cord: 6ft (1.8m), 14AWG
  • Electrical Rating: 120 Volts, 15 Amps, 1800 Watts
  • Circuit Breaker: 15A, Resettable
  • Clamp Rating: L-N: 500V, L-G: 600V, N-G: 600V
  • Noise Reduction: 40dB from 150KHz to 100MHz
  • Response Time: Less than 25ns
  • Safety Certification: ETL for Canada and US

Connect with Accel and see all of their charging solutions from your car to your devices at AccellWW.com

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