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World Cup Partying on the Cheap

By: Vincent Mortensen

It’s that time again:  32 countries face off to see who the greatest soccer country in the world is.  The 2014 World Cup has the United States pitted against one of the toughest groups in the tournament.

There will be at least three opportunities to watch our boys, by why watch it alone?  Here are some great tips how to throw a party on the cheap.

  1.  Skip the masses and stay home – Not only is your home and personal television a much cheaper alternative than going to a sports bar to watch, it’s also more cozy and comfortable for your selected guests.  Food costs will also be lower if you decide to entertain from home.Image
  2. Have everyone bring a dish – Instead of slaving over the stove for hours preparing all the food, have your guests bring a small dish.  Better yet, have them find a foreign recipe from one of the 32 countries participating.  You may find you love foods you’ve never even heard of.  If your guests are busy and don’t have time to make a dish, collect money and order pizza.
  3. Don’t Ditch the Dollar Store Décor – If you are the type who enjoys decorating the home for your World Cup party, don’t snub the dollar store.  Numerous decorations can be found there at low prices.  While you are there, you can pick up a few gifts for the games you will be playing (next tip).
  4. Play a game within the game – Watching the United States take on some great teams will be quite exciting, but enhance the excitement by playing a free game within the game.  Below is a link that has simple, yet fun games.
    http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/holiday—celebration-recipes/super-bowl-recipes/score-points-with-these-super-bowl-party-games
  5. Make sure your guests have a good time – While this may not sound like a way to save money, your friends will have a lot more fun at your World Cup party if everyone is having fun vs. going to a sports bar and watching it with hundreds of people they don’t know.  If you make sure they have a great experience,  it will create lasting memories.

The United States may not have the best soccer team in the world, but you and your friends can still have a great time watching them.  Just remember:  You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a good time.  Friendship is priceless.

2014 World Cup:  United States Schedule
June 16:  USA vs. Ghana (4pm mountain time)  
June 22:  USA vs. Portugal (4pm mountain time)

June 26:  USA vs. Germany (10 am mountain time)

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Treat Your Sweetie on a Budget

By: Vincent Mortensen

Valentine’s Day (or if you’re like me, Single Awareness Day) is less than two weeks away.  Many people have the misconception that the more money they spend on their significant other, the more romantic it is.  Oh, if it were only that easy!  Here are a few ways to impress the love of your life and not depress your wallet.

  1. Creating a heart-felt, homemade card with homemade treats (like brownies, chocolate strawberries, etc.) is much more meaningful to your love than running to the local supermarket and purchasing a box of chocolates with an overpriced card.  You could easily save five to twenty dollars depending on how big a box of chocImageolates you purchased in the past.
  2. An entire night of servitude including cooking dinner, watching a romantic movie, and even foot rubs can really help your budget.  The savings could be substantial if you decide to pass up the Filet Mignon at a fancy restaurant and prepare it yourself.
  3. Do your best to avoid purchasing flowers at a specialized shop.  It may cost you upwards of $75 for the bouquet and vase vs. going to your local grocer, purchasing a similar bouquet and vase for a fraction of the cost.
  4. If you and your significant other enjoy physically fit activities, do something fun like going to a trampoline park or take a hike (bundle up, it’s cold out there!)  If you decide on the trampoline park, you may be competing with younger kids for jumping space, but chances are you won’t notice since it’s so fun.

More often than not, your sweetheart will have a wonderful Valentine’s Day regardless of the cost.  If you pay attention and care for them, you can also pay attention and care for your budget.