1. Great way to keep track of spending

As the holidays near, it is inevitable that we will be spending money on gifts, food for parties, and tightening the budget to cover those costs. One way to easily keep track of spending is with the Mint app. Mint helps you budget, set savings goals, and even keeps track of your investments so that you can see where your money is coming from and where is is going. It even segments your spending into categories like gas and restaurants, and lets you know when your bills are due. 

2. Price matching and saving right on your phone

Nearly all of the big-box stores now have price matching policies where they will reduce the cost of an item if you find it cheaper somewhere else. Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, and Kohl’s are just a few of the places that offer that service, as a way to entice you to buy from them. An easy way to find out if an item is cheaper elsewhere is with the Quickscan app. Quickscan uses your phone’s camera and you simply scan the barcode of the item and the app will tell you what store carries that item for which price. You can then take a screenshot of the item and show the cashier for a price match without leaving the store or having to look through ads. 

3. Children’s book perfect for Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving draws closer, our family has been talking a lot more about gratitude. One book that Bethany especially enjoys is Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? by Dr. Suess. The main message is one that we all can find ourselves forgetting from time to time when things don’t go our way: that no matter how hard we may seem to have it, it is important for us to remember just how blessed we really are. 

4. Turn off the light from across the room

Have you ever gone upstairs for the night and realized that you forgot to turn off the lamp in the living room? Or maybe your kids think that electricity is free and they leave every bulb burning. Some genius came up with the idea for an iDevice Switch that plugs into a regular wall unit and syncs with  your phone, allowing you to turn on and off whatever is plugged in, simply by hitting a button on your phone or tablet. Pretty cool!

5. Volunteering made easy

If you are looking for a way to get involved in your local community by volunteering your time but you are not sure where to start, there are two great resources that help match volunteers with organizations in need of help. The first one is Volunteer Houston which highlights non-profits in and around our area and lets you match based on your interests and schedule. The second, Volunteer Match, is very similar but allows you to search opportunities all across the country. Both options welcome both volunteers and organizations in need of help to create profiles to find the best matches.  

BONUS “hack” – free hacky-sacks! 

We are also pleased to announce our partnership with Baker Ripley Neighborhood Centers in Pasadena, TX, along with the Houston Dynamos, to bring a three-day soccer camp to the Center. The camp will take place from 9am to 12pm Monday, November 19th through Wednesday, November 21st at 720 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena, TX 77504. The soccer camp is for boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 12 and all levels of soccer experience are welcome. There is a small fee, but includes a camp shirt, daily lunch, drinks, snacks, player education, coaching, and our McClure hacky-sacks! Call the Center at 713-667-9400 to find out more!  

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