Increased responsibilities, obligations, and societal changes create more demand on our time.  Technology has influenced our family time and it is becoming less likely to truly unplug and have meaningful conversations.  Here is an idea that will bring the family together and teach valuable lessons along the way.  The best part, there is a reward in store for everyone at the end:

  • Call a family meeting to decide on something long-term that you all wish to save for.  This could be a vacation, TV, a pet or a computer.  All family members must agree on the item to increase the success of equal participation towards the goal.
  • How much money will need to be saved?  How long will it take?  Define the goal and how long it will take to achieve it. Example:  A new puppy at the animal shelter cost $200.00.  If the family saves $20.00 a month, it will take 10 months to get a puppy.
  • List all the ways each family member will contribute to the savings goal.  Some ideas are:

PARENTS

  • Brown bag it!  Pack a lunch instead of dining out.
  • Clip coupons.
  • Comparison shop, store brand vs. name brand.
  • Review cell phone and cable packages.  Can you downgrade or bundle to save money?

CHILDREN

  • Find odd jobs around the house or neighborhood.  Yard work is in high demand.
  • Recycle aluminum cans.
  • Sell items that you no longer use; toys, clothes, movies
  • Turn off the lights!  Conserving energy will lower the utility bill.
  • Have the children get creative and make a chart to track the progress.  Visuals are important to keep everyone motivated to keep working toward the goal.  Also, putting the money saved in a clear jar and seeing it grow will create excitement for everyone.
  • When the savings goal is reached, celebrate!  As a family, discuss what was learned and what was difficult about sticking to the goal.

This activity fosters team work, achieving a goal, and holding others accountable.  These skills will be valuable as the children get older and obtain jobs or further their education.  Perhaps the greatest benefit of all will be how it brings the family closer together.

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