Thursday, May 15

Money-Saving Tips...My Family Learned Together!

Raising a family while being self-employed has given me alot of opportunity to learn lessons! Not the least of which was what to do when our income didn't match our expenses. I had to learn quickly how to cut corners and be mindful of how and why I was spending.

Our kids were quite young when we first felt the pinch in our finances. We developed new habits and fun activities as a result:

1. I made a summer and winter cookbook. I cooked only recipes that could be made on the stove-top or didn't need to be heated at all. In an effort to conserve energy, I kept the oven off practically all summer. There were days of rain or cool temperatures when I would turn on the oven just for variety, but I don't think that was more than a day or two! This plan was so successful, I followed it for years. It really made summer and winter take on a whole new look in our home.

2. We planted a huge vegetable garden. We ate most of our bounty and occasionally the kids would set up a 'produce' stand and sell the excess at the curb! They got to keep the profits!

3. I got in the habit of always packing a lunch before we headed out for our day trips. McDonalds and Burger King were a rare treat. Not only did we save money, the kids ate healthier and never really expected a treat along the way.

4. I started giving the kids an allowance. They became very proficient in spending their own money if they wanted something special. They were taught to divide the allowance into 4 parts; savings, church, gifts and me-money. All three of our children are good money managers today!

5. Occasionally I would give them $5.00 when we went to the grocery store and I challenged them to shop for what they see if they could stay within $5.00.

Simple activities, but they built good habits in my children as well as me!

As gas prices and groceries continue to go up in price, maybe this is a good time to re-assess your family's finances and see if you need to encourage new activities and habits!

Have fun while you are at it!!

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