Summer Bucket List Ideas For Teenagers

Teen Summer Bucket List

Technically a bucket list is a collection of things we want to do or accomplish before we ‘kick the bucket’.  But the idea is portable.  What do we want to accomplish this month or year or as teenagers we might ask what we want to do during summer break.

Hmm, a summer bucket list for teenagers… now there’s a fun topic.
Here’s a list of ideas based on my experience, both as a former teenager and as someone with plenty of post teenage experience.

Work, just not full time
Have some responsibilities – and your own spending money – but don’t overdo it.  You have your entire life to work long hours.  Meanwhile, having a part time job will force you to plan and allow you to meet new people but still preserve the bulk of your summer for the good stuff.

Read at least 3 good books
Sure, school may be out but don’t neglect your brain altogether.  Select a couple books that promise to give you a new look at life and perhaps even shape your future self.  For these books, stay away from non-fiction but find something entertaining.  Your particular interests may vary but consider something like Money Ball, Freakonomics, The Richest Man Who Ever Lived, The Millionaire Mind, or practically anything by Malcolm Gladwell.

Take a road trip, without your parents
This is more appropriate for an older teenager:  Plan an overnight trip with a friend.  Perhaps visit a relative or another friend living/visiting in another town.  This breaks up the summer routine while providing a small taste of being on your own and probably a few good stories too.  Don’t do this on the sly, make sure your parents are aware and allow them to contribute to the planning.  Demonstrate to them that you can handle this and you might be surprised the doors this will open.

Think about the kind of adult you want to be
This is abstract thinking, not detailed life planning.  Consider someone you know that you’d like to emulate.  Perhaps there are characteristics from several people you want to replicate in your life.  Work backwards from those examples to consider how to replicate them.   What’s one small thing you can do today that moves you in that direction?  Do that.

Stay up late and get up early
Maybe you don’t want to do both of these on the same day, but don’t simply fall into the routine of staying up late and sleeping in just because its summer.  Get up early to watch a sunrise or to see how much stuff you can accomplish before the day hits its full stride.  Stay up to catch a late night movie or an after midnight meal at a Waffle House or Denny’s.  Both early mornings and late nights have their own rhythms.  Which speaks to you?

Make plans to correct a regret
Another one with some weight, but we don’t get better without some introspection.  Look back on your last school year and think about the one or two things you wish you could change.  Maybe it’s a better grade in Algebra, or not making the team, or not asking the new girl to the dance.  Commit to being the person that accomplishes those tasks this next year.

Be active
For most teenagers summer is filled with lots of down time.  But that doesn’t have to be lounge time.  Be active with friends, develop an exercise routine, or learn a new/silly skill like juggling or riding a unicycle.  Do something other than sit around all day.  Establish a tendency towards action and your future self will thank you.

Spend a day at the lake/river/creek
Summer is about outdoors and water so plan to spend at least a full day combining the two.  You may live near a beach, lake, river, or even a creek.  Enjoy it with friends while you have the opportunity.

Help Someone
This can be as simple as mowing someone’s lawn while they’re on vacation or as structured as volunteering at a soup kitchen.  Worry less about the scale and focus on performing a task for no other reason than to help someone else.

Camp out
Enjoy the outdoors.  Even if you only pitch a tent in the backyard, get outside away from the electronics and enjoy the outdoors.  A campfire with s’mores alone makes the entire experience worthwhile.

Enjoy doing nothing
Spend a lazy afternoon watching the clouds or relaxing evening watching the stars.  Listen to yourself breathe and let your mind wander.  Enjoy the stillness of the experience.

Above all, enjoy and appreciate the summer.  The time will come soon enough when there is no such thing as a summer break.  Until that time crush the ones you get.

Photo:  Weed Whacker


Check out the best new earbud for your podcast listening.  The EarWaxed Pro-Cast featuring a flat tangle free wire and built in mic for easy and safe call handling.



Setting Up a Prosper Peer to Peer Lending Account

In a recent article we stepped through the basics of Peer to Peer lending.  This new internet enabled is like a dating service for investors and borrowers.  Rather than borrowing from banks at 10+% while CDs pay a paltry 1.5%, borrowers can benefit from lower rates while investors can reap similar benefits on their end of the transaction.

During my research for that article I became intrigued with the opportunities and committed to setting up investment accounts and reporting on my experience.  Today this series begins with a look at the process for setting up an investment account with Prosper.  Below I’ll unpack the process step by step so you’ll know what you can expect if you elect to follow suit.

Here goes.  A step by step guide for setting up an investment account with Prosper.  I’ve included several images but the sign up process is very quick and intuitive.  It probably took me 10 minutes over 2 sessions (I’ll explain that below), and I was taking screen captures along the way.


Image 1 is simply getting started.  Depending upon where you start, you’ll see one of both of these.



Image 2 is a 3 page personal profile.   

Prosper Step 2

Prosper Step 3

Prosper Step 4









Page 1 Collects your basic contact and identification details – name, address, phone, social, DOB.

Page 2 Collects your bank information.  This is for the electronic tranfer of funds into your Prosper Account.

Page 3 Confirms your data entry and collects approvals for Legal Agreements and Disclosures.


Prosper Step 5


Image 3, at this stage you have technically set up your account, but there are some housekeeping items.  This page reconfirms your log on ID and assigns a temporary screen name.  It also explains the process for verifying your banking account.    This step is similar to other electronic or internet based accounts in that it makes a couple small transactions, each under $1 and asks for you to verify those amounts to confirm you own the account.  The actual verification process may require a couple days depending upon the pace of the transactions.



Image 4:  Meanwhile, you’ve recevied 3 emails from Prospser through the process thus far.

Prosper Step 6




Below are images of each of the 3 emails.  Presumably they could arrive in another sequence, but here they are as I recevied them:

 Image 5-8

Prosper Step 7

Prosper Step 8Prosper Step 10



Prosper Step 9



Email 1 is a simple greeting

Email 2 asks that you verify you email address – clicking on the orange button takes you to your Prosper homepage, image to the right.

Email 3 confirms that a bank has been added to your account.  This will happen even though the bank has not yet been verified.


At this stage you’re still waiting to verify your bank.  But when you close the home page achieved from the email and attempt to reaccess it you get to select a security image that will appear each time you log on.  Again, similar to other internet based banks.


Prosper Step 11


 Image 9 Select your log on image.  Lots of categories and options are offered so you can select something reflective of your personality.





Prosper Step 12

Image 10 Once back to you home page, you’re reminded to verify your bank account.




 A few days later it’s time to verify your account.  Prosper and Lending Club follow the same procedure.  A small deposit and withdrawal is name to your account and you validate the amount to demonstrate ownership over the account.


Prosper 13Image 11  Once you see the activity in your bank account log back into prosper and click the verify link.



Prosper 13


Image 12  Enter the Deposit and Withdrawal amounts from your bank account and click to verify.





Prosper 14

Image 13  Prosper will confirm your verification and you’re set to transfer money into the account.



Prosper 15


Image 14  Time to transfer money.  Prosper allows recurring deposits as well as the ability to schedule a future transfer.  I opted or a single transfer for the sake of this demo.




Prosper 16


Image 15  Here you confirm your intended transfer and your off.  It’ll take a couple days  for the transfer to take effect. 








Once the confirmation is complete, you’ll collect an email communicating the same information and you’re back on hold waiting for the tranfer.  I’m fine with this waiting period as it gives me time to read again about the investment options. 

Another email will arrive once the funds transfer is complete and its now time to start investing. 



Prosper 20


 Image 16 – Upon logging back into your account, you’ll notice that my $100 transfer is now availble for investing.  Click Invest Now.





Prosper 21

 Image 17 – Not all of the features within Prosper are great and this, to me, is a dud.  Immediately, I’m asked to automate my investments.  In this process, you set your investment criteria and the system will auto-invest your funds.  I’m sure there are folks who love this, but I’m not one, at least not with my very first experience.




Prosper 22

 Image 18 – so I back out and hit the Browse Listings button.


 Prosper 23

Image 19 – Another dud feature that pops up.  Here they are promoting ‘featured’ loans.  I appreciate the attempt at help, but I’d rather search and make my own selections, so I hit the View All Listings to continue.








Prosper 24

Image 20 – Here’s what you’ll see when you select a loan.  Loan Type, amount, term, yield, and funding % are all present.  Then below you see the rating data for the borrower.

This is an example of one of the loans I selected.  The A rating with high credit score and income looked very good relative to the 10.53% return.

Also note, that this page demonstrates the borrower rate (11.53%) for comparison against my return (10.53%).  I knew the spread was small, but this is less than I had expected. 

After making the decision to invest in this loan, I entered my investment amount and clicked “Invest Now”.


Prosper 25

Image 21 – A pop-up screen will appear and ask that you confirm your investment.  After confirming you may return to shopping investment options.









Prosper 26

Image 22 – After making all your selections, you can view the Pending Investments from your account page.

My new selections are still considered Pending because the Loan process is still in process.  A loan must receive miminum level of funding, (typically 70%), before it will close and similar to an auction, there is a timeframe for this to occur.

I selected loans that were all above or near the required funding level but each are still several days away.

Above are my selections, here’s why I made these selections:

Debt Consolidation 1 – This is a teacher with a high credit score making nearly $100k with a low Debt/Income Ratio.  A near 15% return sounds worth this level of risk.

Debt Consolidation 2 – A near 800 credit score with over $100k income with very low Debt/Income.  This is an A rated note according to Prosper, all of which surprised me that this would return over 10%.

Debt Consolidation 3 – This one is similar to #2 but not quite as strong.  700+ credit score, etc.  In the notes section, not all borrowers complete this field, the borrower presents as a recent college grad (with a $50k income, nice), who reports no student loans.  The borrow claims that this loan is to clean up bad credit card habits from college.  That sounded familiar to me and with no student loans and solid income, I found this to be a compelling risk.

Home Improvement – This is by far my riskiest loan, with a scheduled return of over 25%.  What was I thinking?  Well, I may have rolled this dice but here’s my thinking.  This is also one of the smallest loans I bought into.  It’s a $4000 loan with a monthly payment of only $162.  The borrower also has a upper-mid 700 credit score and great employment record.  The borrower appears to be carrying no debt other than a mortgage and has a low debt/income ratio.  My bet is that this borrower will pay this loan off early, in which case I only earn the high rate for a brief period.  I guess we’ll see.


At this stage, I’m fully invested and waiting for my loans to originate, at which point they will be active and I’ll start receiving monthly payments.  I look forward to tracking these loans and sharing with you my results.

If you’re at all interested in setting up a Prosper account, then I ask that you consider using the link provided below.  This is my affiliate link, which means I’ll receive a small referral fee at no cost to you.  If my materials helped in your decision making process, then this is a perfect way for you to say “thanks”.


Thanks for following along, and good luck in your investment strategies.  If you do decide to invest with Prosper, I hope you’ll share your experiences and results in the comment field below.


Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button Technorati button Reddit button Myspace button Linkedin button Digg button Stumbleupon button