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15 subscription boxes you should try
Just because you’re staying home more often doesn’t mean you have to miss out—and this is especially true thanks to the recent phenomenon of subscription boxes, which conveniently bring everything you need right to your front door. Wondering if you should try a subscription box and how you can get started? We have the answers you need.
What is a subscription box?
Essentially, a subscription box is a package of goods delivered to your door that cater to a specific need: clothes, snacks, activities, and more. You can sign up for a subscription box, and, for what is usually a monthly fee, you will receive a box each month that contains the items you (hopefully) want or need.
What’s inside the box?
No, we aren’t quoting Brad Pitt. These subscription boxes vary in content based on what you ordered them for—it may be a selection of business-casual work clothes, a STEM-related activity for your child, or a collection of healthy snacks. It’s up to you to decide what company to order from and which guidelines to give for your products.
Do I need this in my life?
It’s your call, but many people find that the convenience of having items shipped directly to them can be very useful, especially as people are at varying levels of comfort when it comes to leaving their homes right now. You should be aware that many of these subscription boxes offer a free trial or give current users free boxes to send to their friends or family, so it might be worth it to try one for a month or two to see if you think the value matches your expectations.
What kinds of boxes are there?
We’re glad you asked, because there are a few. The popular categories include fashion, food, and fun—i.e., activities for kids that offer enrichment and learning opportunities. While the content varies, the basic concept is the same. You sign up for a subscription to the box of your choice, answer some questions about your preferences and desired outcomes, and wait for the first box to arrive. But, since we know that the whole point of a subscription box is the customization it offers, we’ve broken down a few of your choices in each category.
Frank and Oak’s Style Plan: This company combines style with eco-friendly clothing options, offering ethically sourced style options for both men and women.
Stitch Fix: You’ve likely heard of this one, because it was offering subscription boxes before they were cool. You team up with a stylist to select clothing and accessories that are just right for you.
Gwynnie Bee: These stylists offer similar choices to Stitch Fix but take their offerings a step further by curating clothing for a wider variety of sizes, meaning your odds of finding a good fit are pretty high.
Nordstrom Trunk Club: If you’re a Nordstrom fan, this subscription might be just right for you. Trunk Club gives customers the ability to choose from their favorite Nordstrom brands. Bonus: You don’t have to subscribe every month to use the Trunk Club.
thredUP Goody Box: thredUP offers a subscription that is meant to meet a thrifty budget without sacrificing style. You can choose from your favorite brands while still making your wallet happy.
Food & Snacks
Blue Bottle Coffee: Coffee makes the world go round, so Blue Bottle is going to send it right to you. There’s even a free trial.
Hello Fresh: This subscription has gained a lot of popularity for its ease of use and ability to get you out of having to cook dinner every night.
Purple Carrot: If you are a vegan, you will want to check out this plant-based food subscription service. Their website offers a chat feature to answer all of your FAQs.
Candy Club: Do you have a sweet tooth? Then you need to learn more about this box that delivers your favorite sweet treats.
Snack Crate: International snack connoisseurs, this box will allow you to sample some snacks that aren’t in your local grocery store for a truly unique experience.
Amazon Book Box: If your children are avid readers or you just want to expose them to more books, this subscription is worth investigating.
KiwiCo: For the kids who are into science or art, these STEAM-based boxes are full of fun and educational hands-on activities to enrich your child’s school year.
Lovevery: These boxes are for the babies in your life and are designed to engage their brains as they begin to explore the world around them.
Brick Loot: If you haven’t experienced the agony of stepping on a LEGO, are you even a parent? This subscription ensures that your kiddos have all the LEGO sets they could ever want.
Sock Panda: Those missing socks are a thing of the past, because this box is full of uniquely designed socks that will comfort you as you search high and low for all the pairs that are MIA.
If you want to try out a subscription box, do some research and see which of these is the best fit for you! Remember, many of these boxes come with a free trial or other promotion, so you may even be able to test a few until you find the perfect fit. Happy subscribing!
Couch to 5k: How to get moving this summer
At Georgia’s Own, not only do we care about your financial wellness—we care about your physical wellness, too, because being physically healthy is just as crucial as being financially healthy. Are you finally committing to your physical health and your dream of becoming a runner? You may have a goal of entering a race, or maybe you’re just tired of the gym and need a new way to exercise. Whatever your motivations are, if you’re looking for an easy way to get started, below are some great ideas to get you moving off of the couch to running a 5k.
I don’t run
We understand—running isn’t for everyone. But, it is a great (and free) way to get some exercise in and some calories burned. It should be noted, however, that running is considered a high-impact activity, meaning it can take a toll on your joints and muscles. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it—it just means you might be sore afterward.
When you get dressed for a good run, you will want to be comfortable. Even if it’s cold outside, you will probably get warm when you run, so dressing in light layers that you can remove along the way is a great idea. And, you need shoes that will support you for the long haul, so put away the flip flops and grab your tennis shoes.
Where should I go?
Where you run is up to you—you might find a nice park nearby, or maybe you’re more of a treadmill person. Running can happen anywhere you have the space. One note: you might want to consider occasionally changing your running spot so you don’t get bored, which is not very motivating for a run.
You will want to be well-hydrated before and after you run. But, don’t drink too much water right before a run, because that can make you feel sick. Drinking throughout the day is a good idea anyway, because your body needs the hydration. And if you’re going for a run—forget about it. Your body will thank you for the extra water while you’re running!
I keep giving up!
Motivating yourself to run is hard, especially if you are doing it alone. Try joining some local running clubs or ask a friend to join you on your next run to help you stay accountable and to make the run more enjoyable. You can even set up a running schedule with a group to help you make it part of your weekly routine. While you’re training for your 5k, consider rewarding yourself by opening a savings account to reward your hard, physical work with financial gain. Georgia’s Own has a number of savings accounts to choose from to help you reach your financial goals along the way. Consider this a motivator along your running journey.
How often should I run, anyway?
This is another area that is really up to you. We encourage you to start small, especially if you aren’t a frequent runner. Try setting a goal to run two or three days a week for twenty minutes and work your way up to more days for longer periods of times. If your goal is to run a race, start small there, too. Try to make your first race a smaller distance, like a 5k, rather than a half marathon.
How do I even start?
A lot of people feel lost in the process of becoming a runner. We love apps like C25k®, an eight-week running program which helps you start at a reasonable pace and gives you cues for slowing down, speeding up, and increasing your overall speed—ultimately helping you run a 5k. Most basic features of the app are free, so it’s an ideal tool for someone who isn’t sure they want to fully commit. C25k can be found on the App Store and Google Play.
You may want to add some tunes to your run as many runners find that they can pace themselves more easily to music, allowing them to meet their time goals and give themselves some breaks as they run. Multiple music streaming platforms, like Spotify, have ready-made playlists that will give you some inspiration.
What if I hate it?
You might not be a runner—and that’s okay. But how will you know unless you try? Using an app like C25k will help you master the basics, and you might just discover that there was a runner in you all along. And if not, you can still rest assured that you can hold your own in any spontaneous three-legged race challenges.
If you’re ready to get moving this summer, there are lots of ways to start! Running gets bonus points for requiring no extra equipment, being available 24/7, and allowing you to exercise while catching up on Netflix. Start small, and you’ll be running a 5k in no time—and reaching your savings goals along the way.
Lake season: 9 things you need to know before buying a boat
The sun is out, which means it’s time for one of our favorite summertime activities: lake days! If you are hoping to while away many of your days on your favorite local lake, you might even be thinking about buying a boat. Before you take the plunge—pun intended—below are nine things you need to know before buying a boat.
1. See if a boat is in the budget
The first thing you need to do is determine whether you can afford a boat at all, and if you can, how much boat you are willing and able to buy. This will narrow down a lot of the choices you have to make during the rest of the purchasing process. If you have questions about budgeting for big expenses like a boat or questions about financing your dream boat Georgia’s Own is available to help you in your decision-making process.
2. Talk to current boat owners
Doing some online or in-person research is never a bad idea, but you can’t beat personal experience when it comes to deciding which boat is right for you. Ask those friends and neighbors who are always on the lake to help you get started on your boat-buying journey. They can offer a lot of insight on what you need, what you want, and what isn’t worth your money.
3. Always start with safety
Going on a boat means spending time on the water, which means you need to ensure everyone who will be on the boat is able to do so safely. If your boat will be primarily used for your family, it’s time to invest in swimming lessons for those who are able to take them. For those who aren’t—and for everyone who will set foot on your boat—you will need to make sure you are following local laws for life jackets and other safety requirements.
4. Choose your boat carefully
If you didn’t even realize there were multiple types of boats to choose from, it’s okay—but you do have some decisions to make. What do you want to use your boat for? Are you spending lazy days on the lake? Will you be fishing a lot? Are you hoping to go viral on the Internet with a well-timed backflip on some water skis? Answering these questions will help you decide which kind of boat is the best fit for you.
5. Know the costs
You should be aware that the cost of a boat goes beyond just the purchase of the boat itself. Boats require maintenance, supplies, a place to dock or a trailer to take it to the lake—and all these things will cost you. Go ahead and factor those costs into your boat budget before making any final decisions. Fears about boat maintenance should not hold you back from getting a new boat, but they are important to consider. Georgia’s Own is available to help you in your decision making process to determine the best boat for your financial future!
6. Consider your options
A new boat obviously has some appeal. It’s shiny and brand new—and more expensive. A previously owned boat may be a better deal, so be sure to consider all of your purchasing options. With a used boat, you run the risk that the previous owner did not maintain it well, so you will have to weigh all of the choices to decide where and how you want to spend your money.
7. Treat it like a house
We’re not suggesting you say goodbye to your family and move into your boat forever, but we are suggesting that you treat your boat purchase as seriously as you would the purchase of a home. Inspect your boat closely before buying it. That means opening compartments, sitting in the driver’s seat, and conducting a thorough search to ensure that this boat is both safe and has will check all of the boxes on your perfect boat list.
8. Get insurance
Did you know boats need to be insured? It’s true, and you will not want to skip this part of the purchasing process. You can ask your current car or homeowners insurance provider if they provide boat insurance or if they can point you to a trusted source that can. You should also consider asking your fellow boat owners about the insurance they have and any tips they can pass along.
9. Take it seriously
Boats are fun. Being on the lake is fun. In general, it’s all a lot of fun. But this is a serious investment you are preparing to make, so don’t just focus on the fun – focus on making sure that you are getting the best value for your money and that the boat you buy will suit your purposes well. Once that is squared away, it’s time to go back to the fun.
If you are hoping to set sail this summer, we wish you the best! Take some time to research which boat is right for you and how much boat you can afford, and then enjoy your time on the lake as you float by on your new investment. And remember, Georgia’s Own is here for all of your boat-lending needs—click here to learn more about our boat loan offerings.
8 fun summer activities in Atlanta
Atlanta summers can be brutal—the heat and humidity are unbearable, and sometimes you just want to stay indoors. But summers here aren’t totally bad. The start of summer also brings longer days, late-night outings, and tons of outdoor activities. Plus, many events and festivals are returning after a hiatus due to the pandemic, so this summer is certainly more promising than last. It’s time to beat the heat and make the most of everything Atlanta has to offer—below are eight fun summer activities in Atlanta:
Shoot the Hooch
Shooting the Hooch is a quintessential summer activity for Atlantans—it’s a great way to keep cool during the hot, southern summers, plus it’s cheap. You can rent tubes for $20-25, or you can use your own. There are four entry and exit points to choose from, the most popular being from Don White Memorial Park to Memorial Park. The route is only 1.5 miles, takes 2-4 hours to float, and is perfect for beginners. Be sure to bring a life jacket (they’re required by law), a change of dry clothes, and most importantly, sunscreen.
Cool down at Six Flags White Water
Another popular summer activity is Six Flags White Water. Located in Marietta, this water park is filled with thrilling water slides, a massive wave pool, and various kid-friendly attractions. One-day tickets start as low as $24.99, so you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank. You must pay for tickets and parking online before visiting the park. Six Flags White Water operates daily through August 1st and weekends through September 26th.
Alive in Roswell
Formerly known as Alive After Five, Alive in Roswell starts July 15th after a year-long hiatus due to COVID. This popular festival is held on the third Thursday of every month from 5pm-9pm. Hundreds of people pack into Canton Street, the Roswell Square, and Roswell City Hall to partake in live music, food trucks, and vendors. There are various parking lots with free shuttles, first-come-first-serve street parking, and paid parking lots near Canton Street.
Castleberry Hill Art Stroll
Castleberry Hill, a historic, vibrant community, hosts an art stroll every second Friday of the month from 6pm-10pm. It also returns after a year-long hiatus due to the pandemic and begins June 11th. You can partake in a free, self-guided tour of art galleries and murals, plus have a bite at one of the many local eateries. Or, you can sign up for a guided walking tour for $20 per person. Castleberry Hill’s art stroll is a popular activity among locals and for good reason—it was named the Best Art Stroll in Atlanta and the community was listed as one of the Top 10 Art Districts in the Country by USA Today. Information sheets and maps for the art stroll are posted the week of the event and are available at 180 Walker Street SW in front of Bottle Rocket the night of the stroll.
If you’re looking for an indoor activity, Painted Pin is the way to go. Located on Miami Circle in Buckhead, Painted Pin is an upscale, boutique bowling alley in a warehouse space that offers bites, bowling, and more, from bocce and ping-pong to Skee-Ball and shuffleboard. Bowling starts at $30/hour per lane on Monday-Thursday and $40/hour per lane on Friday-Sunday. Each lane holds a maximum of six players. The Painted Pin is 21+ Monday-Friday and after 5pm on Saturday-Sunday and is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Visit a farmers market
Summertime also means the opening of neighborhood farmers markets, and Atlanta has plenty to choose from, like the Green Market at Piedmont Park and the Alpharetta Farmers Market. The Green Market is open from 9am-1pm on Saturdays through November at the park’s entrance on 12th Street and Piedmont Avenue. There are dozens of vendors that offer fresh produce, baked goods, jams and preserves, and artisan goods. The Alpharetta Farmers Market is open from 8:30am-12pm on Saturdays through November at Alpharetta City Center. The farmers market offers nearly 100 vendors, live music, and more.
Take a hike
Atlanta and the surrounding area offers plenty of hiking for all levels with watering holes to cool off afterward. The Vickery Creek Trail at Roswell Mill is a moderate, 4.7-mile trail. It’s scenic and shady, plus meanders through the woods to a covered bridge and the historic Roswell Mill, which was powered by the spillway dam during the Civil War. Vickery Creek’s north bank, next to the waterfall, is the perfect place to stop and take a swim after your hike. Watson Mill Bridge State Park, located just outside of Athens, is home to the largest covered bridge in the state and boasts several miles of hiking trails. You can hike, have an afternoon picnic, take a swim, rent kayaks, and more.
Go blueberry picking
Summer is blueberry season, and there are dozens of places throughout Atlanta and North Georgia that offer pick-your-own blueberries. Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge hosts U-Pick blueberries in June for $12 per person, and DJ’s U-Pick Blueberry Farm offers blueberry picking in June and July. Be sure to call for availability to make sure they aren’t picked over. Once you’ve collected your fresh blueberries, you can make a pie, ice cream, jam, or eat them as-is.
Streaming wars: best streaming services to replace cable
Today we have 75’’ smart-4K UHD TVs strategically mounted every five feet throughout our homes. We can be entertained 24-hours a day by tens of thousands of shows on just as many channels that we can watch from anywhere—inside, outside, poolside, in the passenger side, or projected on the side of our homes. But, with the rising cost of cable packages, many consumers are axing cable and sticking exclusively to streaming. The rush of new streaming services has many of us wandering around in a state of confusion. They’re trying to win viewership, and we’re stuck in the middle. Don’t worry–we’ve got your back. Here’s a breakdown of the best streaming services to replace cable:
Classic streaming services
Netflix offers a wide variety of commercial-free, award-winning TV shows, movies, and documentaries you can watch whenever, wherever you want. They offer three plans based on the number of devices that can stream the service simultaneously. It’s available on smart TVs, Playstation, Xbox, Chromecast, Apple TV, Blu-ray players, and more. You can even download your favorite shows and watch them on the go. The monthly cost is $12.99, but take advantage of the 30-day free trial first.
With Hulu, you can view thousands of shows, movies, and Hulu originals with plans that start at $5.99 per month after a free 7-day trial. If you’re looking for more, you can bundle Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ for $12.99 per month. Hulu’s newest feature is live television sports, news, and entertainment. With access to their entire streaming library, the package is $44.99 per month—nearly $175 cheaper than the average cable package. You can stream Hulu online and on iOS, Android, Roku, Fire TV & Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox, Samsung, LG, and Nintendo Switch.
Amazon Prime Video is included in the Amazon Prime membership, which is $119 per year or $59 per year for students. It allows viewers to stream thousands of movies and TV shows, including exclusive Amazon Originals. Without a Prime membership, Prime Video can be accessed with a standalone membership at a monthly rate of $8.99. Viewers also have the option to rent or buy select movies and TV episodes. They can even bundle more than 100 premium channels like HBO, SHOWTIME, MLB.TV and STARZ for an additional cost of $4.99-$14.99 per month. Some Prime Video subscriptions include the Watch Live feature, which allows viewers to live-stream programming. You can stream on the Prime Video app, a compatible Fire TV, smart TV, streaming media player, game console, mobile phone, or tablet.
Newer streaming services
Paramount+, formerly CBS All Access, offers streaming of more than 10,000 episodes of your favorite CBS shows, classic hits, and exclusive original series. Viewers can also watch live sports, shows, and news at home or on the go via their local CBS station, CBSN, CBS Sports HQ, and ET Live. Streaming devices include Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Chromecast, Android TV, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Samsung Smart TV. Paramount+ offers a Limited Commercials Plan for $5.99 per month and a Commercial-free plan for $9.99 per month. Opt for the annual plan, and you can save more than 15%, but take advantage of the free 7-day trial first.
Apple TV+ features Apple’s original ad-free and on-demand series and movies. Viewers will also find hit movies and shows available for rent or purchase and access to other video subscriptions like Showtime, Starz, and HBO. Watch it on your favorite Apple devices, smart TVs, and AirPlay‑enabled TVs. You can also access it on the web at tv.apple.com. Most Apple TV+ series release three episodes and then one new episode per week, so binge-watchers take note. Apple TV+ doesn’t have a library of licensed shows or movies and won’t release entire seasons of your favorite shows at once. After a 7-day free trial, the service costs $4.99 per month, and subscribers can divvy up viewing privileges among six family members. Apple also bundles Apple TV+ with its Apple Music student-discount plan at no extra cost. Viewers who purchase a new Apple device qualify for a free 1-year subscription.
Disney+ launched its highly anticipated streaming service in November 2019. Viewers can get the best of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic all in one place—and it’s always ad-free. The entire family can watch new releases, classics, and exclusive originals on the go or at home on up to four different devices at one time. After a 7-day free trial, you can stream for $6.99 per month. Want more? You can bundle Disney+ with Hulu and ESPN+ for just $12.99 per month.
HBO Max is a newer streaming platform that bundles HBO with classic shows, documentaries, specials, and blockbuster movies, acquired series and movies, like Friends, plus an exclusive collection of new programming under Max Originals. HBO Max is $14.99 per month. Viewers who currently subscribe to HBO NOW through HBONOW.com and are billed through HBO or subscribe to AT&T TV or U-Verse TV have access to HBO Max at no additional cost.
With so many new streaming services, multiple viewing options, different pricing plans, bundles, and promotions, finding the perfect streaming service can be difficult. Your best bet is to compare prices, offerings, and determine which works for you.
Want to receive a $25 bonus?
You can earn even more when you use your Georgia’s Own contactless credit card to pay for streaming services. When you use your Georgia’s Own Visa Signature®, Platinum, or Student Visa contactless credit card to pay for monthly subscriptions, like Netflix, you’ll earn a $25 bonus!* Don’t have a Georgia’s Own Visa? Click here to apply today.
*Promotion period begins April 1, 2021. Must have recurring payment in one or more of these streaming services for at least 11 consecutive months to qualify: Apple Music, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora Premium, Sirius XM Select, Showtime streaming, Spotify Premium, HBO Max, Starz, Apple TV+, Paramount+, Peacock Premium, Peacock Premium+, or Discovery+. 3,250 points, worth $25 in cash back, will be applied per 12-month period to your Georgia’s Own Visa Signature or Platinum card account within 2 statement billing cycles following 11 consecutive calendar months of eligible streaming service purchases if the account is in good standing. The maximum points a member can receive is 3,250 annually regardless of the number of streaming services. We reserve the right to adjust or reverse any portion or all of any streaming services credit for unauthorized purchases or transaction credits. Offer may be withdrawn without notice.
Netflix & chill
Netflix and chill took on a whole new meaning in 2020. With most movie theaters still not re-opening, we’ve compiled a list of the top movies to stream this spring!
Godzilla vs. Kong | HBO Max on March 31
Coming 2 America | Amazon Prime on March 5
Concrete Cowboy | Netflix on April 2
Jack Snyder’s Justice League | HBO Max on March 18
Mortal Kombat | HBO Max on April 23
For the Family
Raya | Disney+ on March 5
Tom & Jerry | HBO Max on March 5
Cruella | Disney+ on May 28
The Kid Who Would be King | Disney+ on April 16
Oldies but Goodies
The Color Purple | Hulu on April 1
Legally Blonde | Netflix on April 2
Night at the Museum | Disney+ on April 1
Mad Max | Amazon Prime on April 1
Madea’s Big Happy Family | Netflix on April 1
Napoleon Dynamite | Hulu on April 1