Train ‘Em Up!

Insert a huge sigh right here…

It’s a content sigh that happened yesterday as we were leaving the mall.  

This picture represents a successful shopping day for the cubs with no tears, no attitudes, and no whining!  I’m convinced that this little organizer has a lot to do with the successful shopping day, so let me explain. 

PB and I have been through some bad money management stuff.  I’ve shared before about how we’ve never had a problem with tithing our ten percent, but our management of the other 90% was a disaster.  Thankfully, we have control of our money now instead of it having control over us.  So, one of the things that we realized was that we were never taught how to manage our money, and we weren’t teaching our cubs how to manage theirs.  When they received money, their focus was on spending it all as fast as possible.

I started reading a book by Dave Ramsey and his daughter, Rachel Cruze, called “Smart Money Smart Kids” and it changed the way we helped our kids manage their money.  We don’t follow the book exactly, but our version seems to be working well. 

 

Our cubs get paid for getting good grades in school. I know some don’t agree with that, but to us, it is their job to go to school and learn.  We use their report card grades as our indicator of how well they are doing at their “job”.  They get paid $5 for every A, $3 for every B, and $1 for every C.  Anything lower than a C doesn’t earn any money.  Each quarter their earnings can range from $8 – $40.  From their earnings, we help them manage their money using the 10-10-80 method. Ten percent to church (tithe), ten percent to their savings account, and 80 percent for themselves.  PB and I do not dictate what they do with their 80 percent which results in a very stress-free shopping experience for us!  

When report card time comes around, before we even see their report card, they have figured out how much they’ve earned, what will be given away, what needs to be saved, and most importantly what is left for them to spend.  It’s funny to watch them pause and consider the cost of an item when they are spending their money. 

Here is how I’ve set up the organizer:

 

Each cub has three sections: Give, Save, and Spend.  It’s a coupon organizer, and it’s not the best at holding money so I have to use paper clips in each section.  However, the organizer itself is a good size for fitting in my purse on a shopping day.  

Each cub came home with something(s), and because they are becoming smart shoppers, they gave me leftover money to place back in the organizer!  For example, Cub 2 wanted new shoes, but he had to wait for another payday before he could afford what he wanted.  Yesterday, he found these on sale and was able add a new hat to his collection!    

The benefit to the cubs is that they are learning to take care of their financial responsibilities now, instead of later.  You know, that scripture that says “Train up a child in the way he should go…” is so much more than taking your cub to church every Sunday.  Teaching them how to budget, give, and save in this world of debt, credit cards, and instant gratification is our responsibility as parents.  

I’m very interested in hearing about how you learned to manage your money, or how you’re teaching your kids to manage theirs.  We’re always looking for ways to improve on our system.  Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Living for Him!

Oh, Motivation! Where Art Thou?

It’s the first full day of spring break! Due to the number of snow days used in our county, the cubs lost one day of spring break.  We were the awful parents who took our cubs to school yesterday.  It was obvious after being in the car riders lane that many parents decided to stick with their spring break plans.  To make up for the grumblings we heard from our cubs about how many of their classmates were missing, how they didn’t do anything all day, and how they should’ve been able to stay at home, we surprised them with an outing to a nearby trampoline park to officially kick off their spring break week (minus one day).

Sweet treats waiting for the cubs when they got home from school (SkyZone tickets in the eggs!).

  

Cub 1 soaring above his siblings.

  

Caught Cub 3 taking a tumble!

  

Cub 4 diving into the foam blocks.

We are cramming a lot of activities into three days because Maundy Thursday is the beginning of many church services that we will be attending and participating in at the end of this week heading into Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday is also Cub 1’s fifteenth birthday, which we plan to celebrate on Easter Monday. Ministry families sometimes don’t have the option of putting off a church activity.  PB obviously cannot take off Easter Sunday to celebrate Cub 1’s birthday, so we must improvise.  Thankfully, our cubs are incredibly understanding (most of the time) when our family and church calendars collide.

It’s almost 9 a.m. and I’m still in bed. (Loving it!).  No alarm clocks ALL WEEK means that I am really going to have to push myself to get up and moving in order to get 20+ miles of walking in this week.  (Not loving it!).  The struggle is real, but even as I tap away on my phone right now, I can’t help but think about cancer patients who would love to skip out on a chemo treatment, or who would love to be able to go for a walk, but don’t have the energy, or who would love to play all day with their children, but can’t. Those who still have to get up and go to work.  Those who still have to cook and clean and take care of their family members and themselves…all while battling a dreaded disease.  I’m going to get up and get moving because there are some women and men battling breast cancer who could use the funds I’m raising, and who need to see that we support and cheer for them as they are on their journey to victory.

I am about halfway toward meeting my individual walking goal for my team, Faith Walkers!  Thank you SO much to those who have given, and for those who have not, there is still time! 

If you would like to make a donation towards my Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, you can do so HERE.  If you’d rather write a check, just let me know in the comments, and I’ll let you know how to that. 

Living for Him!

Progress, But Not Much!

This week has been jammed pack with family time.  I knew we would have more family time this week because we are fasting from television.  What I didn’t plan for was the winter weather that kept our cubs out of school for three out of five days.  Snow days usually include lots of video games and movies, however this time things had to be different.  The first snow day  (Monday) was the hardest.  Cubs 1 and 2 complained the most.  However, by our third snow day (Friday), the cubs were getting creative and getting along better than we could’ve imagined!  They built things out of cardboard boxes on Day 2 of snow.  One box was used to make a puppet theater.  Then, on Day 3 they put on a puppet show (The Gingerbread Man) for PB and me.  





While they worked on making their puppets and story line, PB and I worked on our puzzle.  The puzzle was one of my Valentine’s Day gifts from PB.  It’s a puzzle that came with no picture as a guideline.  We are working together to figure out what it will be.  The first night that we worked on it, we managed to get the entire frame completed.  We concluded that it was going to be a map.



When we sat down together to tackle the puzzle some more while the cubs were getting their show together, I discovered that it is indeed a map that appears to be of PB’s hometown area. There are familiar names that we were able to put together like Rappahannock River, Spotsylvania, and Fredericksburg.  Hmmm.  Now I’m starting to believe that PB knows a little more about this puzzle than what he has led on.  Since, it’s a Valentine’s Day gift, I think it may turn out to be related to where we first met at Mary Washington College!  So, I’m so excited about finishing this puzzle now, but man is it difficult!  Trying to find pieces of a map with all kinds of squiggly geographical-looking lines is torture!  We spent about an hour working on it and barely made any progress.



This puzzle is how I’m feeling about my week of training for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.  My team captain put out a challenge to us to walk at least 10 miles this week which really is a piece of cake usually.  However, it was difficult to get motivated to exercise with no television to watch while I walked on the treadmill, and no outlet to get to the gym due to the snow and ice.  So, I’m feeling like my progress this week was pitiful and frustrating just like our puzzle.  Next week, though, is a new week with warmer weather in the forecast and I’ll be able to turn on the tv to watch “Live with Kelly and Michael” while on the treadmill!  Maybe the next time PB and I sit down together to work on our puzzle, we’ll make some progress, too!  I’m looking forward to showing you the finished puzzle one day!

If you would like to make a donation towards my Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, you can do so HERE.  If you’d rather write a check, just let me know in the comments, and I’ll let you know how to that. Thank you to those who have committed to giving or have already given!  The Faith Walkers appreciate your support!

Living for Him!