Archive

Big Ticket Items to Buy this Fall

Posted by Ne[x]t on 11.10.15

17604_origThe weekends spent mowing the lawn or grilling out on the patio will soon start to fade, but if you’re in need for a new grill or mower, now is the time to make those purchases. Many items like these will start to go on sale and could end up saving you hundreds if you’re smart. Take a look at a few items you should purchase now instead of waiting until next year:

Vehicles – As dealerships get ready for the 2016 models to come onto their lot, prices for 2015 models will drop drastically. Plus some may offer incentives like cash-back.
Grills – With the weather cooling off, there will be less grilling to be done. With stores getting ready to put the newer models out, you can score major discounts on the older models.
Household Appliances – As with many other items, old models of refrigerators and dishwashers must be cleared out to make room for new inventory.
Lawn Mowers – Lawn mowers take up a lot of space so in order to get them off the floors, retailers will cut the prices tremendously.
Patio Furniture – People begin to spend more time indoors so you may see some 50% discounts as retailers start to make room for winter merchandise.
Though you may be looking to save money this fall, spending right now on any of these big ticket items could save you big in the long run.

Source: MSN Money, Forbes


All-Star Guard Jeff Teague

Posted by Ne[x]t on 06.02.15

The 2014-2015 season for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks was a magical season. The Hawks went from winning 38 games and first round playoff exit in 2013-2014 to winning 60 games and making it to the Eastern Conference Finals this year. Much of the success of the team can be attributed to All-Star guard, Jeff Teague. Teague, however, is quick to point out he wasn’t the only reason for the success in a recent chat with us. He also shared with us about his career as a basketball player and how he became the player he is today.

ne[x]t: At what point did you realize that being a professional basketball player was a real possibility?

JT: When I was a freshman at Wake Forest was the first time I thought that if I worked hard enough, I might have the chance to play in the NBA.

ne[x]t:Can you talk a little about the work you had to put in as a high school student to become the player and person you are today?

JT: I worked hard on and off the floor in the gym so that I could be the best player I was capable of being. I always had goals, but they were my own goals and I didn’t let anyone else define them. I also wasn’t a highly-recruited player and my AAU team was full of great players.

ne[x]t: For any young athletes, what’s the best advice you can give them to help them reach their dreams?

JT: Don’t let people tell you no. But at the same time, create your own motivation.

ne[x]t: Who has had the biggest influence on your life?

JT: My family.

ne[x]t: What is your best memory so far in your basketball career?

JT: Probably getting drafted was my best memory so far.

ne[x]t: What team or player do you enjoy playing against the most?

JT: Every player in the NBA is good, otherwise they wouldn’t be here. But I definitely enjoy the challenge of playing and competing against the best. It’s hard to pick one.

ne[x]t: How was this year’s Hawks team different than teams in past years and what led to the success of this year’s team?

JT: We had a very unselfish team that shared the ball and played very organized and with a common purpose. We all had the same goal and it was just to win games. No one here cared about individual accomplishments. We believed in Coach Bud and we all listened to him.

ne[x]t: Is there one specific moment or game that made you realize you had a special team this year?

JT: I think when we got into training camp and started playing together as a unit, we saw that we could be successful if we played the right way. Once we started the season, we saw the positive results. We stayed hungry by taking it one game at a time.

ne[x]t: Hawks fans really showed up in a big way this year. Can you talk a little about the fans and how they made an impact on home games?

JT: The fans have were amazing. They lifted us up when we needed it all season. We have one of the best home-court advantages in the league now.

ne[x]t: Who’s your favorite sports team other than the Hawks?

JT: I root for my hometown Indianapolis Colts of course.

ne[x]t: Do you have interests in other sports?

JT: I like playing Monopoly and Uno with my teammates, friends and family.

ne[x]t: If you weren’t playing basketball, what type of profession would you see yourself being in?

JT: If I wasn’t playing, maybe I’d be a coach or work with kids in some way.

ne[x]t: Here at Georgia’s Own, we like to stress the importance of making smart financial decisions to our young members. Before you reached the NBA, how were you at managing your finances and how has that changed? Do you practice any smart money habits?

JT: I definitely know that my NBA career won’t last forever, and I’ve always felt it was really important to take care of my finances. I save a lot of what I earn, and I’m really interested in the real estate business.

ne[x]t: We also speak greatly about the importance of giving back to your community. Are there any charities or organizations with which you currently work?

JT: Through my Foundation, I work with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding. The last couple of years, I’ve made a donation for every assist I had to the hospital. I also challenged local businesses to join me in donating.

Through much hard work and dedication to his craft, Jeff Teague  helped lead the 2014-2015 Atlanta Hawks to one of their most successful seasons ever. We hope you join us in congratulating Jeff and the team on all of their accomplishments and we look forward to see what next year holds!


Summer Fun on the Cheap

Posted by Ne[x]t on 05.29.15

With summer approaching, now is a great time to think about your plans to enjoy your free time. It’s easy to spend wildly as the options for entertainment and travel can get quite expensive. There are, however, lots of budget-friendly ways you can have fun or plan an inexpensive vacation or staycation. Here are a few tips to keep in mind for your summer planning.

1. Set a budget

To keep from overspending that may strain your finances, sit down and establish a budget. Also, be sure to set a realistic budget. While that trip to Disney World may be what you have in mind, only do it if it’s possible. If it’s not in the budget this year, plan ahead for next year and start saving toward it now.

2. Think about alternate lodging options

Vacation rentals or private homes are great options that may be cheaper than a hotel. Websites like VRBO and HomeAway are great sites to browse for these options. One benefit is that most of these rentals have kitchens which allow you to cook your meals versus heading out to an expensive restaurant every meal.

3. Search for special offers

Companies like Groupon or Living Social have getaway deals that just might work for you. They also have great deals on other entertainment such as theme parks, painting classes or skeet shooting. Let the internet be your friend! And who knows, you may find a location you never thought you’d visit.

4. Go camping

A quick Google search shows there are more than 15 free camping sites in the state of Georgia. If you don’t own camping equipment, ask family members or friends. Camping is a great way to unwind from your busy lives and can be very affordable.

5. Volunteer

Instead of spending money heading out of town, look for ways to volunteer with your family around your community. Not only will you be doing a good deed for others, it will be a special bonding time you’ll be able to share with your family. It’s a win-win for all involved!

6. Look for free events

Concerts or movies in the park, art festivals or open-mic comedy nights are just a few free events you can probably find. Utilize the internet or check a local paper for listings around your area.

No matter your financial situation, everyone deserves to have a little fun throughout the year and summer is a great time to find affordable entertainment. Hopefully this gives you a few ideas on how to enjoy your summer without breaking the bank!

Source: U.S. News & World Report


What Does it Take to Rent My Own Place?

Posted by Ne[x]t on 04.15.15

The-Rental-Application-ProcessYou may feel emotionally ready to move out on your own, but are you financially prepared? Living independently means much more than not having to be home by curfew; it comes with a great deal of financial responsibilities. Renting a place is the easiest way for you to get started on your own. But, before you take the leap, know the types of expenses you’ll incur with the big move.

There are many costs for which to prepare just to walk in the door of your first place. Here’s a list of a few big ticket expenses you may need to save for in advance of getting your first place.

  • Moving expenses. If your friends won’t do it for the price of a couple of pizzas, you may be looking at hiring some help and renting a moving van. While it removes a large amount of the stress of a move on yourself, hiring movers can get pricey. According to kudzu.com, a local move can average $260-$580.
  • Security deposit. Some places require that you pay your first and last month’s rent up-front, which is held as protection against damages to the premises or unpaid rent. Paying two months’ rent protects the landlord financially in case you move out on a moment’s notice. With average rent in Atlanta at $1,085, paying $1,000-$2,000 up-front can be quite a lot of money for a first-time renter to come up with.
  • Cleaning deposit. Yet another cash sum a landlord is likely to want is a cleaning deposit. This is held in the event the residence needs some extra scrubbing after you move out. If you have a pet, expect the cleaning deposit to be even higher.
  • Utilities and telephone deposit. Before you ever turn on the heat or make a phone call, you may have to put down some money to activate these necessities.
  • Furniture and appliances. Most rentals don’t come furnished. Depending on the room, you may have to buy a few key items to be somewhat comfortable:
    • Bedroom – bed, mattress, linens, pillows, dresser, rugs, lamps
    • Living room – sofa, chairs, coffee table, television, DVD player, stereo, lamps, rugs, pictures
    • Kitchen – table, utensils, dishes, cookware, microwave, cleaning supplies
    • Bathroom – hair dryer, shower curtain, bath mat

Of course if you plan to have roommates, you’ll be sharing at least some of these costs. But even with a quick estimation you can see that you may need to save quite a lot to leave home.

Monthly bills
Once you are in your own place, the costs continue. It is extremely important to pay all bills on time. If you don’t, you’ll probably be charged late payment fees, and if left unpaid, they will go into a collection agency. Dealing with collectors is not only highly unpleasant, but the negative effect on your credit report is severe. And if you default on some, such as telephone and other utilities, you may not be able to turn them on again until they’re paid (and even then it can be difficult).

If you are sharing your home with roommates, establish how the bills will be paid from the beginning. You may be able to split some and each send a check for your portion of the amount due. Another option is for one of you to act as money manager and collect from the others. However you arrange it, if the accounts are in your name, know that you are responsible for sending the complete payment in on time.

  • Rent: If the rent is due by the first, don’t pay on the fifth or some other late date. Think ahead. It is highly unlikely that you will remain in your fist place forever, so being a good tenant today will help you rent/buy another place in the future. The last thing you want is to establish a bad relationship with your landlord – the very person you will turn to for a glowing rental history reference.
  • Utilities: Utilities include cable, Internet access, garbage, gas, electric, and water. You will soon understand why your parents were always telling you to turn the lights off when you leave the room.
  • Telephone: Whether you have a landline, cell phone, or both, know that all that chatting can cost you big money. Be especially careful with cell phone minutes. Once you have exceeded your plan’s limit, the cost per minute can be outrageous. Bills of many hundreds of dollars are common.

Moving out and living independently for the first time can be a thrilling experience. You can make it even better by being financially prepared and responsible from the beginning. While this doesn’t cover every single cost you may see, it at least gives you an idea of some of the most common expenses you can expect.

 

Source: BALANCE Financial Fitness


Spring Break on a Budget

Posted by Ne[x]t on 03.25.15

downloadWith spring break approaching, now is a great time to plan an inexpensive vacation or staycation for your family. Here are a few tips to keep in mind for your spring break planning.

1. Set your budget. To keep from overspending that may strain your finances, sit down and establish a budget. Also, be sure to set a realistic budget. While that trip to Disney World may be what you have in mind, only do it if it’s possible. If it’s not in the budget this year, plan ahead for next year and start saving towards it now.

2. Search for special offers. Companies like Groupon or Living Social have getaway deals that just might work for you. Let the internet be your friend! And who knows, you may find a location that you never thought you’d visit.

3. Think about alternate lodging options. Vacation rentals or private homes are great options that may be cheaper than a hotel. Websites like VRBO and HomeAway are great sites to browse for these options. One benefit is that most of these rentals have kitchens which allow you to cook your meals versus going out to an expensive restaurant every meal.

4. Volunteer. Instead of spending money heading out of town, look for ways to volunteer with your family around your community. Not only will you be doing a good deed for others, it will be a special bonding time that you’ll be able to share with your family. It’s a win-win for all involved!

Sources: U.S. News & World Report


Guys: How to Make Valentine’s Day Inexpensive

Posted by Ne[x]t on 02.03.15

money heart vday 15Valentine’s Day is just over a week away which means now is the time to start scrambling, guys. If you’re anything like me (and a lot of you probably are) you have been putting off making plans for a while. The problem with putting it off for so long is that when you start calling restaurants to get a reservation, the only available times are before 5:00 and after 10:00 pm. So what are you left to do? Luckily, you still have enough time to plan a romantic evening while also spending less than if you were to head to a fancy restaurant. Here are a few quick ideas:

  1. Dinner at the house. This one will win her over if you really take the time to do it right. Try to pick out a main entrée that you know she will enjoy, then utilize your favorite search engine. If you’re not quite sure what you’re doing in the kitchen, there are tons of recipes available online and you can probably even watch a video on how to make it happen.
  2. Be at her service. Instead of spending lots of cash on expensive jewelry, give up your time. Offer to give a massage or do errands that she might otherwise do. Suggest to do the dishes for a month and you’ll really have made her feel special.
  3. Plan an activity together for a later date. Think about something she would enjoy doing (painting, dance classes, watching the Bachelor) and plan to do it together. Get a nice card, type out your proposed plan and insert it in the card. Although this activity may not be something you’re super excited about, if you know it will make her happy, it will definitely be worth it.

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day about the love and adoration you have for your lady, so don’t make it stressful or expensive. If you haven’t planned out that special date yet, there’s still time – but not a whole lot.


Smart Holiday Spending

Posted by Ne[x]t on 12.09.14

As the holidays approach, many of us begin to wonder how we’ll be able to afford everything that goes into making the holiday season memorable. Gifts and travel to see all of the loved ones in our lives and hosting parties can quickly add up to an expensive couple of months. Instead of it being an enjoyable time like it should, it can become stressful. So instead of piling up the debt this year, try some of the following tips to protect your wallet.

Set a Budget

This seems like the most obvious thing to do, but most people fail to set a budget and end up spending way more than they anticipated. List out all of the items you plan to spend on and set a realistic limit for each one.

Plan Ahead

Know what you want to buy ahead of time by doing research. Then, determine where you can find the most reasonable price on the items you’re looking to buy. Check your newspaper for coupons, look online and take advantage of free shipping for additional savings. Sticking to your plan will help to keep you from impulse buys that don’t fit into your budget.

Shop Early

If you’re like a lot of people (talking to you, men), you’ll probably wait until the last minute to go buy your gifts. Last minute shopping can cause several headaches, including long lines; the stores may be out of the items on your list causing you to buy on impulse. It also leaves you less time to shop around for the best deals. Waiting until the last minute to shop online will cost you more with higher shipping fees.

Be Creative

If your budget is tighter than normal, think about giving your time instead of material gifts. A gift for Mom, Dad, siblings, nieces and nephews can quickly add up so a visit and a card may be more than enough. For your spouse, pick a set of chores they usually do and commit to doing those for a couple of months.

Potluck Meals

While a lot of the holiday expenses come from shopping for gifts, cutting down on your dining expenses is another way you can save this year. Instead of dinner out at an expensive restaurant, host a gathering at your house. Ask your guests to bring their favorite dish to share so that you aren’t stuck with providing the entire meal.

These are just a few ways that you can have an un-expensive, yet unforgettable holiday season. Try some or all of them out and let us know what works best for you and your family.


Entrepreneur Will Peterson of Otter’s Chicken

Posted by Ne[x]t on 07.04.14

“If the Colonel had our chicken, he’d be a General by now.” That’s the slogan at one of Cobb County’s recently named Top 25 Small Businesses, Otter’s Chicken. If you’ve ever been in Marietta, Georgia and driven by Otter’s Chicken at The West Cobb Avenue without stopping, you’ve been missing out on some great food.

Otter’s, as it’s called by the locals, is a family-friendly, sports-themed restaurant specializing in freshly prepared (not frozen) chicken tenders served in a variety of ways. Owner Will Peterson, a Cobb County native, recently sat down with us to chat about Otter’s, how he got started in the restaurant business and his overall entrepreneurial spirit.

i[x]: Tell us a little about yourself

WP: I grew up in Marietta where I attended McEachern High School. I went on to college at Shorter University in Rome, GA, where I obtained a Masters Degree in Business Administration.

i[x] When and where was the Otter’s franchise founded?

WP: Otter’s Chicken was founded in Nashville, Tennessee by Talbott and Stuart Ottinger, Steve Logan and Charlie Fitzgerald. The first Otter’s restaurant opened in 2003, and ultimately, the concept was expanded to include locations in three states. Peterson Foods opened its first restaurant in June of 2010.

i[x] How and when did you come to own Otter’s?

WP: I was looking at several different chicken concepts and got a recommendation from Rob Shuler (Former Auburn Football player who blocked for Bo Jackson) to come check out the Otter’s concept in Nashville. Based on that recommendation I drove up to Nashville the next day and as soon as I tried the food, I knew Rob had picked a winner.

i[x]: What decisions went into deciding to focus on chicken?

WP: The main reason that the Otter’s concept originally appealed to me was that it was a simple operation and that allowed an extreme focus on doing things right.

i[x]: What types of meals do you offer at Otter’s?

WP: We offer chicken tenders, chicken wings, chicken wraps, chicken sandwiches, chicken salads, buffalo chicken dip and fried pickles and mushrooms.

Additionally, everything on our menu can be ordered fried or grilled. We use 100% fresh never frozen, antibiotic and hormone free chicken and source all of our ingredients locally.

i[x]: Do you have any plans of expanding your menu?

WP: We have plans on adding a “Georgia’s Own” Chicken Sandwich. I can’t tell you anymore about it, but you can come to Otter’s and try it soon!

i[x]: In 2013, Peterson Foods purchased the Otter’s concept from the restaurant’s founding group and parent company. Tell us a little about that.

WP On June 11th of 2013, we finalized the purchase of the Otter’s Chicken Tenders Restaurant Concept from the restaurant’s founding group and parent company. This acquisition terminated our existing franchise agreement and gave us rights to Otter’s Trademarks and concept.

i[x]: What makes Otter’s unique from other local restaurants?

WP: In addition to great food and excellent service, we are very much a community-oriented business. We are very involved with the local schools and sports teams, and do whatever we can to give back to the community in which we do business. It’s my opinion that if you take care of your community, your community will also take care of you.

i[x]: Do you have any plans for more Otter’s restaurants?

WP: Absolutely. I plan to open another location at Kennesaw State in early 2015 and 8 additional stores in the following years.

i[x]: Can you talk a little about the work and time you put in as an owner of a restaurant?

WP: Owning any type of business take a lot of work and time. Fortunately for me however, I really do enjoy working in the restaurant business. The hours are long and the work is hard, but it is also extremely rewarding.

i[x]: What kind of advice do you have for someone starting his or her own business?

WP: Be prepared. It will become your life for a while. Everything you think and do will involve your business. There really isn’t any off time when it is yours. You need to know that the business you are starting is going to be something that you will enjoy doing.

i[x]: As the i[x] program focuses on smart money management, I’m sure that you have had to deal with your share of financial decisions. Is there anything you’ve learned from the restaurant business that carries over to your everyday finances?

WP: Nothing is more important than cash flow. You have to watch it meticulously. Make your inflow greater than your outflow. Sounds simple enough, but it is a challenge even for the Donald Trumps of the world.


Unveiling the New JA Discovery Center

Posted by Ne[x]t on 10.03.13

On August 20th, Junior Achievement of Georgia officially unveiled the new Chick-fil-A Foundation Discovery Center on the mezzanine level of the Georgia World Congress Center’s Building C. In partnership with Atlanta Public Schools, DeKalb County Schools, Fulton County Schools and Marietta City Schools, the experience will serve more than 30,000 middle school students annually. The new facility includes two interactive venues, JA BizTown and JA Finance Park. We recently had a chance to speak with Junior Achievement of Georgia President, Jack Harris, as well as Executive Director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, Rodney Bullard, about the new center.

i[x] When and how did the idea of building a Discovery Center in Georgia come about?

JH Concepts similar to JA BizTown and JA Finance Park started about 15 years ago and currently exist in 20 other cities through the Junior Achievement program, so we knew that we wanted to bring something like this to Georgia. Dan Cathy, Chick-fil-A President and COO, had seen these programs over the years and was drawn to the idea of bringing it to Georgia. Through our work with him, we talked about the idea and about 18 months ago, plans were put together, a location was picked and we began talking to school systems in the area about their possible interest in the center.

i[x]How is the Discovery Center different from similar centers across the country?

JH The level of technology that is being used today is a major difference from other centers across the country. Technology has advanced so much in the 15 years since these centers started to open. We’re really trying to make it an interactive experience for the students.

i[x]What is the goal of JA BizTown/JA Finance Park?

JH To provide a dynamic learning experience designed to enhance metro Atlanta students’ financial literacy and build skills for personal and professional success, and to help them understand why education is important. We really want to see graduation rates and college enrollment increase in the state. We also hope to help students build basic financial and career skills. One other goal we believe will be achieved is creating exposure to high growth industries and sectors.

i[x] What is JA BizTown?

JH JA BizTown creates a unique opportunity where students are able to interact within a simulated macro-economy, and take on the role of employee, tax payer and consumer. During the visit to JA BizTown, students receive unique job assignments and work in teams at their assigned business. By the end of the simulation each student completes a day’s work, develops a personal budget, deposits a paycheck and makes purchasing decisions.

i[x] What is JA Finance Park?

JH JA Finance Park gives students the rare opportunity to experience their personal financial futures first-hand. Upon entering the center, students receive a ‘life situation’ complete with job, income, education, and family scenarios. Based on their adult persona, students visit businesses in the simulation to gather information and make financial decisions, such as managing a household budget, using banking services, and making purchasing and investment decisions.

i[x] Where will the curriculum be taught?

JH The learning begins in the classroom with four weeks of JA-provided curriculum that culminates with a full day at either JA BizTown or JA Finance Park; both simulations will be housed inside of the Discovery Center located in Building C of the Georgia World Congress Center.

i[x] Are these programs required for Atlanta-area students?

JH Atlanta Public Schools, DeKalb County Schools, Fulton County Schools and Marietta City Schools have signed agreements to integrate Junior Achievement’s programming into the curriculum for middle grade students beginning fall of 2013. The goal is to provide every child, no matter their background, the opportunity to develop skills to become financially independent and responsible.

i[x] How can JA of Georgia ensure that this meets Georgia education standards?

JH The curriculums were designed to be in accordance with the national education standards; ergo they align with Common Core Georgia Performance Standards and have been reviewed by Atlanta Public Schools, DeKalb County Schools, Fulton County Schools and Marietta City Schools to become a part of their core curriculum for middle school students.

i[x] Who is funding the JA Discovery Center?

JH An undertaking of this magnitude would not be possible without the catalyzing $5.1 million investment from the Chick-fil-A Foundation and support from Junior Achievement of Georgia’s Board of Directors. The initial funding supports the pre-planning and lease expense of the Discovery Center, allowing us to create a facility that contains cutting-edge interactive technology and realistic simulation stations.

i[x] With the innovation of the Discovery Center, what do you hope this will accomplish for JA of Georgia?

JH We really want it to strengthen the current JA structure and help be a catalyst for the overall program. We intend to develop the next generation of these simulation centers, with the ultimate vision to take them statewide.

i[x] Why did the institute select this particular age group to work with, and how do you think this experience will benefit them going forward?

JH The middle school years are some of a student’s most important years. You learn life concepts and decision making which will only benefit you in the years to come.

i[x] also had the opportunity to interview an important representative of The Chick-fil-A Foundation, Rodney Bullard. As Vice President of Community Affairs at Chick-fil-A, Inc. and Executive Director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, Rodney had inspiring feedback.

i[x] Why has the Chick-fil-A Foundation decided to invest in the Discovery Center and how do you think it will benefit the youth in Georgia?

RB The Chick-fil-A Foundation’s investment in the Discovery Center was inspired by Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy’s unwavering commitment to investing in entrepreneurship and financial literacy for young people. Truett grew up in a financially poor family during the Great Depression and credits much of his business success to lessons he learned as a young boy selling Coca-Cola and newspapers to neighbors. We want to create similar opportunities within the walls of the Discovery Center for young people to gain real-world experience that can inspire them to be financially responsible and excite them about their future careers.  

i[x] How do you see this impacting the Atlanta/Georgia economy, as this generation emerges with real-life business experience obtained from the Discovery Center?

RB The simulated city within the Discovery Center is evidence of the leadership within our real city. Business leaders and educators have created a unique partnership to create a hands-on, experiential learning center that transforms education from abstract to practical. This has enormous potential to excite children about their studies and inspire them to excel in all they do beyond the classroom for years to come as they enter the workforce.     


Summer’s here… but not for long!

Posted by Ne[x]t on 07.06.13

The air is warm, the sky is clear, the sun is shining, and the clock is ticking. Don’t let summer pass you by! Maybe you’re busy with a summer job, internship or classes. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy the weather. And while you’re out, here are some things i[x] has found for you to do that will enhance your summer experience.

Vacation in Atlanta
Just because you’re trying to save money doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. Tourism is the fifth largest industry in the state, according to georgia.org, and Atlanta is a city tailored to fit any and all budgets. The “city pass” allows you to visit five of Atlanta’s top seven attractions, all at a discounted price, including the Georgia Aquarium, CNN Studios and Zoo Atlanta! Also, you can stop by atlanta.net/visitors/specialOffers.html for gift cards for Buckhead dining and shopping destinations.

Local Festivals
Bonnaroo is $300 per ticket. Lollapalooza is sold out, and the secondary market has some tickets going in the $1000+ range. And that’s not including gas, food, etc. Why not stay local instead of breaking the bank to attend a concert or festival out of state? Atlanta is bringing a ton of A-list entertainers including Daniel Tosh, Brad Paisley, and Ke$ha to town at venues like the Fabulous Fox Theater, Georgia Dome, and Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Check out atlantaconcerts.net for tickets. And check out atlanta.net/festivals/festivalsSummer.aspx for information regarding local jazz, art and food festivals, some of which are free to attend!

Outdoor Sports & Rec
If you’re looking for a way to maximize your dollar by getting into shape, competing with your friends, meeting new people and enjoying the summer sun all at the same time, then perhaps a local intramural sports league or outdoor activity organization is for you! Whether you’re looking for football or cornhole, intramural or pick-up, tournaments or charity events or anything in between, Atlanta has you covered. Check out zogsports.com/atl/home.aspx, atlantasportandsocialclub.com, or atlanta.sportsvite.com/leagues for more information, and get out there!

Volunteering
If you have some spare time and you’d like to make the world a better place (while simultaneously making your resume a better document), then lend a helping hand to any one of a number of organizations dedicated to improving the community. You’d be amazed at what a tremendous effect just a few hours of your time can have, and how much impact your small effort can have on both the people you’re helping and you yourself. A sense of accomplishment knowing you made a positive difference in someone’s day can be a very rewarding feeling. If this appeals to you, just check out volunteermatch.org, meetup.com/atlantavolunteers, greatnonprofits.org or just type “volunteer Atlanta” into a search engine to find a cause or organization that appeals to you. Check out the i[x] website (georgiasownnext.com) and Twitter feed (@georgiasownnext.com) to find out what philanthropic and charitable events the credit union is involved with, and to see if any of our volunteer opportunities spark your interest.

Whatever you choose to do with your summer, remember to be safe, be smart with your money and enjoy yourself!







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