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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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                      Last Updated on September 2, 2020

                      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                      Personal finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. That’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

                      In this article, we will explore ways to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

                      4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

                      Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task, if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps to get you started.

                      1. Be Clear About the Objectives

                      Any goal without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream, and this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

                      It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore, if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it’s for. It could be anything, including your child’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car, etc.

                      Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

                      2. Keep Goals Realistic

                      It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a Pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

                      It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

                      3. Account for Inflation

                      Ronald Reagan once said: “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

                      Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

                      For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

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                      4. Short Term Vs Long Term

                      Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach to achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It’s important to bifurcate goals into short-term and long-term.

                      As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a short-term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long-term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short-term vs long-term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

                      By now, you should be ready with your list of financial goals. Now, it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

                      How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

                      Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-step process:

                      • Ensuring healthy savings
                      • Making smart investments

                      You will need to save enough and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals.

                      Ensuring Healthy Savings

                      Self-realization is the best form of realization, and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

                      This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

                      1. Track Expenses

                      The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

                      Also categorize those expenses into different buckets so that you know which bucket is eating most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pumping up your savings rate.

                      If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

                      2. Pay Yourself First

                      Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

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                      Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world, i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and manage all the expenses from the rest.

                      The best way to actually implement this is to put the savings on automatic mode, i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc) every month.

                      Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

                      3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

                      Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

                      Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

                      At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely, but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

                      Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options, and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

                      You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

                      4. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

                      In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that, in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

                      Make savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

                      • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
                      • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
                      • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

                      The key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice, which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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                      5. Talk About It

                      Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission.

                      Therefore, in order to stay the course, surround yourself with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

                      6. Maintain a Journal

                      For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

                      If you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

                      When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energized to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot easier for you to track your progress.

                      Making Smart Investments

                      Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

                      1. Consult a Financial Advisor

                      Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s wise to consult a financial advisor.

                      Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings, and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

                      2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

                      Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

                      Just like “no one is born a criminal,” no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference[2].

                      As a general rule, for all your short-term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature, for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds, etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less compared to equity instruments.

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                      3. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

                      Einstein once remarked about compounding:

                      “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.”

                      Use compound interest when setting financial goals

                        Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

                        Start saving early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

                        4. Measure, Measure, Measure

                        All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

                        If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

                        Measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

                        The Bottom Line

                        Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

                        and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

                        More Tips on Financial Goals

                        Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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