The Cheap Guide to Father's Day in Baltimore

by Erica Starr 14. June 2012

"I don't need anything," "Don't worry about it," or my personal favorite, “Kids that listen.” If you are like me, these are some of the responses that you’ve gotten from good ol’ Dad when it comes to what to get him for Father’s Day. I interpret these responses in one of two ways: he’s either telling the truth, or as always, he’s looking out for me and doesn’t want me to spend too much money on a gift for him. Gotta love Dad…always looking out for his number one (whether or not I’m still his number one is up for debate, but I like to tell myself that it’s true).

Seeing as Dad is always trying to help me become more financially responsible and independent (his nice way of telling me to stop asking him for money), a great present for him and for myself is to open my own checking and savings account.

Making the old man proud feels great, but I'd still like to do something extra special for him. Luckily for Dad AND my new bank accounts, there just so happens to be several practical yet fun ways to spend Father’s Day this year in Baltimore.

For the History Buff Dad:

The Star-Spangled Sailabration is bound to spark an interest for not only Dad, but for everyone in the family. From June 13th through June 19th, more than 40 tall ships and naval vessels will parade down the Chesapeake Bay and into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in celebration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner. From watching the U.S. Navy Elite parachutists leap out of aircrafts some 12,500 feet above the harbor, to checking out one of five high-precision aviation acts by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, to touring these incredible ships, this is definitely something that Dad will never forget.

Be sure to check out the schedule of events as there is A LOT that you don’t want to risk missing.

Visit our Facebook page for more photos of the Star-Spangled Sailabration.

For the Foodie Dad:

OpenTable restaurants are serving up numerous Father’s Day deals and specials, like steak dinner prix fixes or bottomless beer. It’s the perfect way to say, “Thanks!” to Dad.

For the Music Lover Dad:

Pier 6 Pavilion Summer Concerts

On Sunday, June 17th, Bonnie Raitt and Mavis Staples will be in concert at the Pier 6 Pavilion. Don’t have the funds to purchase tickets? Have no fear! Bring a few lawn chairs and join the folks on the waterfront promenade just outside the pavilion. Better yet, go by boat…the acoustics are just as good as being inside!

Concert time is 7:30 p.m.

Harborplace Summer Live! – Free concerts outside of Harborplace

On Fridays and Saturdays during the summer months, Harborplace & Gallery are filled with music lovers, shoppers and people from all around to enjoy the live entertainment. Make sure to get there early so you can grab a seat at the Harborplace Amphitheater to enjoy their FREE summer concert series.

Friday, June 15 – U.S. Navy Cruisers Rock Ensemble* (Rock)
Saturday, June 16 – Maryland Defense Force Band* (Military/Brass)

*These bands are part of Star-Spangled Sailabration

Friday Night Live! - Free Concert Series

Every summer, Power Plant Live!  provides a FREE Friday night concert series that is held on their outdoor stage. Power Plant Live! is one of Baltimore’s premier dining and entertainment destinations. With over 15 restaurants and bars to choose from, you’re bound to find a place you like to grab some food prior to the show.

Reel Big Fish is slated to perform the Friday prior to Father’s Day this year.

For the Extreme Adventurer Dad:

Is your Dad always looking for the next adventurous, heart-pounding, pulse-racing, extreme rush challenge? Why not check out  Fearless Father's Day at Terrapin Adventures? The special will get you two paid admissions for the zip line, giant swing, climbing tower or high ropes course. Dad gets the third for FREE.

For the “I always wanted to be a Pirate” Dad:

Yep – you read correctly. What? You didn’t know that your Dad secretly always wanted to be a pirate? Isn’t that every little boy’s dream? Help him live out his childhood dream by booking a  Family Adventure Cruise with Urban Pirates. In celebration of Father’s Day, all fathers ride the Family Adventure Cruises FREE all day on Sunday, June 17th. What more could your Dad ask for but living out his dreams with the family?

For the Beach Bum Dad:

Head down to the ocean, hon! While it’s not technically “IN” Baltimore, there is no reason why you can’t take Dad on a trip to Ocean City, Maryland. Cut back on costs by simply making it a day trip. You can spend the day on the beach, walk the boardwalk, pick up some Fisher's Popcorn and eat Thrasher's french fries all before heading back to Baltimore. Before packing the car, make sure you check out Traveling Tips: keep the costs low and the fun level high for more tips on how to save money when taking a short trip.

For the Sensitive Dad:

What dad wouldn’t want a special homemade gift made with love? Get some inspiration from our Father’s Day Gift Ideas board on Pinterest. If you have other DIY gift ideas for Dad that you’d like to share, tag us on Facebook or mention us on Twitter.

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Erica Barry

Mom, You Want Me to Put My Money WHERE?

by Stacy Tharp 1. June 2012

Let's face it - putting money in a savings account isn’t exactly the most exciting thing to do with your hard-earned cash, even for adults.  If you find it difficult to motivate yourself to save, imagine how kids feel about saving.  Here are some tips on how to help motivate your kids to save money and become financially responsible individuals:

1) Give your kids a weekly allowance and help them set a budget.

Have your kids agree to an amount that they should save weekly and the amount they can spend on whatever they want for the week.

 2) Give your kids a reason to save.

Don’t just make your kids save money for the sake of saving money or “because you told them so.”  Help your kids set goals for themselves.  If there is a toy your child wants, make him or her earn it with his or her savings.  Or, find a charity that your kids would be interested in helping, and have their savings go to that charity.

 3) Use visual aids.

Visual aids are great tools to use for young children to help them see the benefits of saving.  For example, give your kids two transparent piggy banks or jars, and have them put the agreed upon amount of allowance in these “savings accounts”.  Pay your kids a set percentage of interest in the second piggy bank or jar.  Your kids will be able to literally see their savings accounts grow, and they will be able to see the money they earned by simply putting their money in the “bank.”

 4) Open a savings account.

Once your kids are older and understand the concept of saving, open a savings account for them at your local bank.  Take your kids to the bank each week to deposit their money rather than doing it for them, and have them look at their deposit receipts and bank statements so they can see how their accounts are growing.

5) Match your kids' savings.

Similar to paying your kids interest, you can match the amount, or a percentage of the amount, that your kids put away.  This technique will help your kids learn the benefits of 401(k)s, as many employers match a portion of their employees 401(k) contributions.  Many first jobs teenagers get do not have 401(k) benefits, so you can provide this service for them yourself.

6) Set a good example.

Whether you like it or not, your kids are constantly observing you.  Use this to your advantage by making wise financial decisions.  If you don’t have the greatest history of financial management, now you will have the extra motivation of not only feeling like you need to be financially responsible for your own sake, but also for your children’s sake.

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by Jason Dieter 24. May 2012

HelmetWhat's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear these names: Mike Tyson, Johnny Unitas or Lawrence Taylor? Or how about Evander Holyfield, Latrell Sprewell or Warren Sapp?

If you said that they are famous athletes of past generations, you would be right. If you said a few of them are Hall of Fame athletes in their respective sports, you would also be right. However, in light of what you are about to learn, the correct answer would be, they are all athletes who have filed for bankruptcy at some point in their lives. With that being said, the first question we 9-to-5-ers ask ourselves is, how is it possible that a person with all this fame and fortune can speed through his money as quickly as he gets up and down the court, throws a punch or runs the bases? Well, in the case of the athletes noted above, the reasons can be too numerous to mention.

In the meantime, let's consider a few facts:

  • 78% of former NFL players go bankrupt or are under financial stress by the time they have been retired for two years.
  • Within five years of retirement, 60% of former NBA players are broke.
  • Scottie Pippen, an NBA seven-time All-Star and Hall of Famer, made $120MM at one point in his career, only to retire $9MM in debt.
  • Mike Tyson made over $400MM in his prime only to lose it all in a nasty divorce, a Federal rape charge, felony drug possession and several DUI’s, among other not-so-memorable times.

Now, let’s take a step back and explore why these athletes, who often earn millions of dollars in salary and signing bonuses, get to the point of “losing it all” (or in some cases, most of it). Truth is, there can be many reasons, and they can intertwine.Big Spender

Let’s explore a few possibilities below:

  • Athletes often come from less-than-fortunate financial backgrounds and have no experience in handling the “big” money that is thrown their way at such a young age, nor do they take the time to educate themselves on becoming financially savvy. Additionally, they don’t understand the concept of investing their money for retirement.
  • Athletes make the mistake of thinking their careers will last forever, hence being employed longer. According to the NFL Players Association, the average career of an NFL player lasts only 3.3 years due in part to injury, retirement or getting cut.
  • Living lavish lifestyles. Pro athletes’ fortunes may dwindle down quickly because of expensive houses, cars, jewelry etc. High priced wardrobes, gambling, hanging out in night clubs and drugs can be contributing factors as well.
  • Athletes have also been linked to making bad investment decisions. Athletes may be lured into putting their money into tangible investment opportunities such as inventions, nightclubs, car dealerships and the like. These same athletes are considered financial prey to disreputable people who see them as easy targets.
  • In some cases, athletes will hire the wrong people as financial advisors to manage their money. Typically they will compound the problem by trusting that same person way too much.

So what lessons can we learn through the misfortunes and actions of the pro-athlete? For starters, it’s a fact that most athletes will not earn the same amount of money in post retirement as they do during their playing days. Hence, their highest earning period is often very short. However, no matter how much money we make or how old we are, we all need to save for retirement, emergencies and times in life when our income of tomorrow isn’t as much as it is today. In short, save money during the prosperous times to be ready for the lean times.

Also, before you hire a money manager or advisor, ask some basic questions and do your research. Is the person certified by a national accrediting organization or firm? Have there been complaints or lawsuits filed against him or her? Do they come with strong references? Most importantly, trust your gut. If they seem “shady”, they probably are.

Don’t invest your money blindly. Avoid risky investments or what may appear to be a risky investment. Remember, investing isn’t the same thing as gambling. You don’t want to be too risky with your money, and there is absolutely no such thing as a “can’t miss” investment.

It’s certainly okay to be loyal and generous to your family and friends. Besides, where would any of us be without them? However, it should not cost you your own personal long-term financial security. Don’t carry more than you can bear. Take care of yourself first and your immediate family second. After that, be careful, and use your judgment before you extend your financial security among others.

(Sources: Sports Illustrated, Kidzworld)

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