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10 Fun And Inexpensive Amusement Parks You Can’t Miss

10 Fun And Inexpensive Amusement Parks You Can’t Miss

With summer coming close to an end for many families, this is the time when they may begin planning their final family trip before life goes back to normal. Visiting an amusement park is a great way for families to enjoy themselves without having to spend a boatload on having fun. Aside from a ticket, transportation, and food, costs are usually minimal aside from a souvenir here and there. Today, let’s take a look at ten fun but inexpensive amusement parks from across the country that you should add to your list of places to visit.

Hersheypark – Hershey, PA

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    Hersheypark is located in the city of Hersey, PA. It is a well known amusement park for the area and attracts tons of visitors to Lancaster County, PA every year. Tickets per adult is $52.95 and per child is $31.95. However, while being the second most expensive on this list, it still comes with a big bang for your buck. There are a ton of rides, and you’ll find yourself paying less than $50 for a full meal for your whole family of four.

    Knott’s Berry Farm – Buena Park, CA

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      Knott’s Berry Farm isn’t actually a farm, but the amusement park in Buena Park, California. Originally owned by the jam producers of the same name, Knott’s Berry is a classic amusement park that offers visitors a break from Disneyland. There are two parks, Knott’s Berry Farm and Soak City, their adjacent water park. Pricing for both parks is $60, however if you want to just enjoy Knott’s Berry Farm, you’ll only have to pay $45 for yourself and $35 for children and grandparents. Visiting on a hot day and just want to visit Soak City? They have a pass that allows you to pay $30 for yourself and $26 for the kids.

      Cedar Point – Sandusky, OH

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        Cedar Point is one of the oldest in the country and is equipped with over 70 rides. When you add in lines and the number of hours in a day, you won’t be able to experience them all in one visit. The park, brewing with attractions, even has three water rides in that total. Pricing, done by height, is $45.99 for those over four feet and $19.99 for those under four feet. If you are a senior citizen, you’ll be able to enjoy the $19.99 ticket price as well. You’ll find yourself paying no more than $60.00 for food while there.

        Kings Island – Mason, OH

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          Another Ohio favorite is Kings Island in the city of Mason. Kings Island is a must-see for those looking to have amusement park fun at an amazing price. With nearly 50 rides, the park is a value for adults, paying $33.99 and kids costing $29.99 for a full day’s fun. While kids are a little more here than at Cedar Point, you won’t find yourself paying more than $40 for a meal for a family of four. If you aren’t sold by the price just yet, the fact that admission also includes enjoyment in the Boomerang Bay water park should have you packing the car now for some summer fun!

          Michigan’s Adventure – Muskegon, MI

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            With a slogan like “Two Parks for the Price of One, Thrills Connect”, there’s no doubt Michigan’s Adventure would make our list. Located in Muskegon, Michigan, this water park has a total of over 50 rides and the second park, WildWater Adventure is located adjacent to Michigan’s Adventure. Single-day admission is $29.99, a general price for all family members over the age of three. However, their two-day admission ticket allows you to save $10, for $49.99.

            Disneyland – Anaheim, California

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              Disneyland is the most expensive on this list, however, you get the most bang for your buck. This Anaheim, California park is a vacation in itself for those outside of the California area. However, if you are from Southern California, or even other parts of the state or neighboring states, Disneyland can be a great way end to the summer. After the $72 price tag for adult tickets and $62 for children, you can find yourself able to save money with food. Unlike other, smaller and cheaper parks that may up charge on food, in Disneyland you have a choice of fine dining and cheaper eats that can total a little over $35 for the whole family.

              Knoebels – Elysburg, PA

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                From the most expensive, but still affordable amusement park on this list Disneyland, to one that is practically free to get in to, Knoebels is a great way for individuals to tailor how they want to spend their amusement park day. Being free to enter and park, you only pay for an unlimited park pass if that’s what you like or a hand stamp for the rides you’d like to enjoy. This means that those not inclined to certain roller coasters can still enjoy family day without feeling left out or wasting admission. For a family of four, your whole day will only cost around $100, not just food.

                Schlitterbahn Water Park – New Braunfels, Texas

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                  It is still summer after all, so Schlitterbahn Water Park is an amusement park we had to feature for those looking to cool off in the last few dog days of summer. The award winning water park isn’t simply your run-of-the-mill slip-and-slide water park. Schlitterbahn allows you to enjoy everything water related, from water coasters to beaches and even a bit of surfing to mix things up. A one-day adult admission is $47.99, while your children and senior citizens are $37.99 each.

                  Six Flags – North America

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                    Six Flags is a household name in amusement parks and they are friendly to your wallet, believe it or not. While their one-day pass saves you only if you are certain you will only visit a particular park once, and that’s it, their Play Pass could be a much larger savings. for $8 more than their $51.99 for adults ($32.99 for kids) pass, you can have access to all of Six Flag’s parks around North America. This means from Montreal to Texas, you can enjoy what Six Flags has to offer.

                    Dells Water Parks – Wisconsin Dells, WI

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                      Imagine a water park, brimming with H20, open all year-round, in the middle of America. That’s a water park you’ll find in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Dells Water Parks features both indoor and outdoor water fun, allowing the park to keep some parts open during various parts of the year. The grouping of parks include Noah’s Ark (largest in the US), Chula Vista Resorts, Mt. Olympus, and Temple of the Black Pearl. Each park ranges between $20 – $39.

                      Featured photo credit: CTV via ctvnews.ca

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                      Published on September 17, 2018

                      How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

                      How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

                      Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

                      With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

                      So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

                      1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

                      It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

                      You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

                      So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

                      2. When you want something big, wait

                      Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

                      It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

                      We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

                      A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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                      So, you get the itch.

                      You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

                      Here’s where you have to take a step back.

                      Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

                      Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

                      It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

                      The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

                      3. Live smaller than you can afford

                      You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

                      You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

                      That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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                      Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

                      Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

                      The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

                      But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

                      4. Practice smart grocery shopping

                      Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

                      But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

                      Create a grocery budget

                      Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

                      Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

                      I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

                      Make a list… and never deviate

                      Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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                      You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

                      These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

                      Eat before going grocery shopping

                      It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

                      If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

                      After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

                      Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

                      However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

                      This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

                      5. Cancel your gym membership

                      Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

                      The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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                      Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

                      I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

                      Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

                      Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

                      For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

                      Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

                      There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

                      It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

                      I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

                      Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

                      The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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