Experiment with Chore Charts

I’d love to say we’ve raised our kids to pitch in around the house without much asking or prompting, but honestly that’s not true. Our boys (ages 3 and nearly 8) can be very helpful, but they’re also totally happy when we do things for them. Get milk, clear plates, do laundry, make snacks, tidy rooms, put away their backpacks, find their shoes. You get the picture.

The other week I was standing in the kitchen doing all the things for all the people and felt overwhelmed. At that moment, I realized we needed to change things up.

We always envisioned raising self-sufficient, non-entitled, responsible kids… but sometimes we need a new strategy to help us reset, stay consistent, and follow through. Continue reading

Figuring Out Where to Buy Groceries

Nerd alert. I love talking about grocery budgets. Why? It’s one of the easiest budgets to trim, and yet it’s also one of the easiest budgets to blow if you’re not on top of it.

Over the last couple of years, we’ve tried a lot of different strategies for reducing our budget (more on that here), and one of the most efficient ways to trim the budget is to know where to buy your groceries.

So, which grocery store has the best deals?  Continue reading

Curbing Consumerism in Kids

Curbing Consumerism with Our Kids (and Ourselves)

We do our best to teach our kids about money and spending decisions… but there’s no getting around the fact that consumerism can be a big hook on our kids (and on ourselves).

It’s a fact of our modern society. Ads, shopping, and consumerism are all around us. They surround our kids, too, who see 40,000 commercials each year. Forty-thousand! With all these messages around buying, needing, and consuming, it’s no surprise many parents struggle with too many toys and too many “can I have this?” at the store.

Which begs the question… Continue reading

Needs vs. Wants – Teaching Kids the Difference

Identifying wants vs. needs is a helpful tool for curbing spending – for both kids and adults. I mean, how many times have we heard our kids say, ” But I just need those new jeans.” Or, “I just have to get the newest Xbox game.”

I’m guilty as well! “I need these new yoga pants. And also this big box of wine.” Do we really need it? Really? Continue reading

How (and Why) We Became a One-Car Family

Last year, we decided to give back our leased car and become a one-car family. We often get questions about how we “get by” with only one car, especially as a busy family of four. Here’s why we decided to go this route, and how we do it. Continue reading

2017 – A Year of Intentional Living

As my husband and I sat down to brainstorm and prioritize our goals for 2017, a theme came up over and over – to live intentionally.

The definition of intentional is simple – “done on purpose; deliberate.”

In all areas of our life, we aim to be thoughtful and deliberate, rather than falling back on old habits. To slow down a bit. To think in the big picture. To be flexible, but focused.

Here is how we aim to live intentionally this year, and how it is shaping our goals for the year ahead. Continue reading

Ditching Paper Towels for Good

A few months ago, I was shopping at Costco for our large monthly grocery haul. Paper towels were on the list, and as I stared at the mega box our family would blow through, I thought, “Do I really want to spend $20 on paper towels?” The answer was no. Instead,  I bought a dozen white dish towels for $10. Without giving it much preemptive thought, operation ditch paper towels had begun. Continue reading