Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Family Goals -- We're All In This Together!

(above image from The New Yorker)
Continuing our "Dollars and Sense" series:
When trying to budget and save $$, it's wise (after the parents have discussed a plan first with each other) to sit down for a family meeting! :)
  1. Use this family meeting time to discuss things positively, honestly, and age-appropriately! Even younger kids can understand that the family is going to be careful spending money, and that everyone in the family can be a helper with this! Be sure not to worry your kids, but sound positive about changes and the ultimate outcome. Let them know "We're all in this together! :)"
  2. Brainstorm as a family some ways to save $$ around the house. Use this time as a reminder to turn off lights, unplug items not in use (energy is still being used when plugged in), turn off water faucet when brushing teeth, etc.
  3. Talk about how everyone is going to be making a few sacrifices to save $$. Give a couple examples of sacrifices that you are willing to make (giving up coffees, color your own hair), and let everyone come up with a few ideas of things they could give up/cut back on. Talk about how everyone has to work together to reach the family goals. Add up what these savings would be each month, and get excited!!
  4. Let kids know if they want something they can either: 1) put it on a future gift list, 2) think of a low-cost version of the same thing, or 3) come up with a way to earn the $ themselves! Remind them of what is a Need vs. what is a Want, and let them know that they might not get everything they want & that's ok.
  5. Have a list of fun, free family events that you could do together (we just went to a free kids Fall Fest and had a great time), and vote on something to do each week! Just because you're on a budget doesn't mean there can't be amazing family fun!!!
  6. Discuss where monthly family savings will be used. Maybe the extra $$ will go toward paying bills, saving for a new couch, or a family vacation! Kids feel excited to know they are saving for a goal. You could even create a chart to color in the money saved until the goal is reached!
  7. Have family meetings once a month to do an update on things!

I'd like to add that even if there are no kids at home, you can still meet as a couple and have this discussion! :)

I hope this will get you started on your own Family Meeting!

Have a blessed day, and tomorrow for "Creating a Welcoming Home Thursday" I'll give you my plans for a dinner party we're having Sat. night! It'll be a fun twist on things!!


Shanda said...

Loved the comic at the beginning! Great ideas on incorporating the whole family into how to save and getting their feedback.

We have made a list of restaurants that offer "kids eat free" days and try to plan our eating out on those days - plus they usually get balloons too! :)

Liz said...

Ahh yes. We've been having a lot of these 'meetings' at our house. :)

Sandy Toes said...

Great ideas!!! Now, girlfriend...those are "fighting" words..give up having your hair colored...I don't know about that one..but I am on board with the rest! I love family meetings!
-sandy toes

Kim @ My Journey said...

Love these ideas.... my husband is a huge Dave Ramsey fan. And, we've had a budget make-over. My elementary aged children have gotten onboard and it's great to see how they've learned to be wiser too about money. Great post! (PS ~ I'm with sandy toes on the hair color. I almost tried it myself, but got nervous that I'd end up spending a ton of $$$ to fix it!) Have a great day!

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

Girl - are you living in my mind? This completely sounds like me (in my serious moments)...and yes, I have not colored my hair, but the natural blond in me is just not going to make it through the winter. My niece just got her cosmetology license, and I am so going to let her practice her hilites on me. Let me tell you how much just having long hair has saved me, but it's time for a change.

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

In fact, just this week we talked about writing out our family mission statement and framing it. It's all about staying on purpose and when we wavor, we'll have that to refer back to. (Different than a life verse which we have).

Darlene - Our Creative Life said...

We just had a garage sale & our daughters kept the money from what they sold and our youngest decided to go buy new winter clothes with her $85 earnings.

Mamasphere said...

I've been trying to get my husband to sit down with me on budget days, just so he knows how much hard work I put into the whole process, but he'd rather just take his cash and leave it all to me. I actually don't mind (I LOVE budgeting and financing), but I'll keep working on him. Our daughter is four and it's the perfect time to get her involved, too.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Imperfect said...

Great ideas for when Hubby and I have kids of our own! And I can't wait to hear about your dinner party. I am a HUGE fan of dinner parties!

Shannon said...

Great tips!

Astrid said...

I've been thinking about having a sit down family budgeting session. Do you think a 5 yr old and a 2 yr old are too young? My 5 yr old is starting to understand that she has to "work" to earn things...but we haven't started on her on an allowance or anything.

All I can say is that I want her to grow up understanding what money is and can/cannot do and the IMPORTANCE of saving money. It seemed like a taboo topic in my family.

Great post!

The Graves' House said...

giving me lots to think about with the holidays coming up...

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Margo said...

This is all so smart, and perfect for the days we live in.
We can do so much without spending money, if we'll only think about it.

View my blog at:

Stacey said...

Hi Stacey-
Love the recent posts- And congrats on the picture calendar win! Which image did you provide?
I am feeling a lot better. It's only in the mornings now that I'm struggling- But it's such a blessing to have some productive time now:)
I'm looking forward to seeing you and your family on Friday!
Blessings always- Stacey

Cherry's Jubilee said...

Great ideas! I appreciate you taking the time to share these ideas. Every little bit helps...times are rough. cherry