Teaching Kids About Money

One of our desires for our children is for them to become financially wise. We hope by being honest about our finances and teaching them about how we manage our money that they will have a desire to stay out of debt and use their money wisely.

At 4 and 5, our boys know that we follow a budget and that our budget helps direct our spending.

We started talking about money and giving them small amounts of money at very young ages. We also try to point out how we save money by buying things used over buying them new.

Both boys were given some money for Christmas this year. We put some of it in savings but they both ended up with about $12 in their wallets. Money in their wallets is their spending money that they can spend, pretty much however they choose.

Our 5 year old, Paxton, is a spender and our 4 year old, Weston, is a saver. When Paxton has money, he starts thinking of ways he can use it. Weston prefers socking his money away in his piggy bank and lately has been telling us that he’s saving his money so he can buy a tractor when he grows up. (The saver in me LOVES this!)

On New Years Eve, while we were out eating Chinese food, our 5 year old discovered the wall of vending machines full of candy, toys and stickers. He saw that one of these machines contained NFL stickers (he loves football) and he had to have one. We explained that we thought spending $.50 for one sticker when you didn’t even know which team you were going to get seemed like a waste of money to us. Then we told him that it was his money and he could buy a sticker if he wanted to.

He chose to buy the sticker and was satisfied with the team he got.

Then, he tried to talk his brother into buying a sticker too! Weston stood firm in his resolve not to spend anything.

With money still left in his wallet, Paxton was itching to spend more so he started asking to go shopping. He finally asked, ‘can we go thrifting for jerseys?’ (I love that he appreciates thrifting!)

One afternoon this week, we went to Salvation Army and started looking for jerseys in the kids section. We found a red Georgia Nike jersey in size 6 that fit him and he liked it pretty well. We browsed around the store and came back to the kids section to double check and then Paxton spotted a black Georgia Nike jersey in size 7. He got really excited about this black jersey and we were starting to hang the red one back up when Weston asked if he could buy the red one.

We stood in line and they both purchased their jerseys, pulling their $3.20 out of their wallets, excitedly handing the money over and then proudly walking out with their jerseys that they purchased with their own money.

I was tickled that we had such good thrifting luck and they both found something they wanted.

Once we got home, I showed them that similar jerseys were selling for $40+ each online and that they could not have purchased those jerseys brand new with the amount of spending money they have.

We hope that talking with them through their spending and making wise purchases as children helps them become financially independent adults.

Georgia Jerseys

Paxton was beyond thrilled that his jersey has a Capital One Bowl game patch sewn on it!

And, it should be noted that John David and I are Tennessee fans. Paxton likes Tennessee and Georgia college football, he says ‘I was born in Tennessee and live in Georgia so I can like both.’ And, we’re not sure where Weston’s allegiance lies just yet. (Now, we’ve got to thrift a couple UT jerseys to even things up!)

Bamboo Fitted Review

For the past 5.5 years, I’ve had a baby in cloth diapers. Changing and washing diapers is just part of my daily routine.

My ‘baby’ is currently 20 months old and while she’s showing signs of potty readiness, we’re still at least a few months away from packing up the diapers.

Most of her diapers were handed down from big brothers and a lot of them are quite worn out so having the opportunity to try out new cloth diapers in pretty, girly colors is fun for both of us.

Joysdiaper Fitted

Our newest diaper is a Bamboo Fitted from Joysdiaper, it’s a lovely shade of purple with rainbow trim and is very soft.

This fitted diaper is a one size diaper and can be adjusted to fit babies weighing 6-35 pounds.

The outer is made of bamboo cotton velour consisting of 55% bamboo fiber, 23% cotton and 22% polyester.

Joysdiaper Inside of Fitted

The inner is made of bamboo cotton fleece consisting of 70% bamboo fiber and 30% cotton. I love that the part that touches baby is made up of 100% natural fibers and bamboo is not only soft, it’s also very absorbent and hypoallergenic. Each of these diapers comes with 2 bamboo fiber inserts.

Snaps in Joysdiaper Fitted

One of the inserts snaps directly into the diaper to hold it into place. It’s probably the only insert you’ll need for diapering smaller babies and for daytime use.

Joysdiaper Fitted Inside

The second insert serves as a doubler to provide extra absorption. It does not snap in, but it does go directly under the insert that is snapped in which helps hold it into place.

This bamboo fitted stuffed with 2 bamboo inserts and paired with a PUL cover (we use Econobum with it), makes an excellent nighttime diaper for our heavy wetting toddler.

Cecilia is showing signs of potty readiness and when she does wear it during the day, I put it on her without inserts or a cover, treating it more like training underwear than a diaper. Since it is a natural fiber, she feels wetness more than if she’s wearing a pocket diaper with stay dry fabrics against her skin.

Joysdiaper on Toddler

If you are interested in giving fitted diapers a try or want to add more to your stash, look into Joysdiaper Bamboo Fitteds! They’re great quality and only $13.95 each.

Joysdiaper is a mom-owned small business with personalized customer service and quality products. In addition to Bamboo Fitteds, they also make One Size Bamboo Charcoal Pocket Diapers and One Size Pocket Diapers. We’ve have a Joysdiaper pocket diaper which is a high quality, well designed pocket diaper at a very affordable price!

 

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Joysdiaper who provided products and payment. All opinions are my own. 

 

Interested in cloth diapering your baby?

Check out my eBook, Cloth Diapers: A How-To Handbook on the Basics of Cloth Diapering. It’s a great resource covering different types of cloth diapers, diaper wash routines, using cloth diapers outside the home and more. It’s $3.99 to buy or FREE for Kindle Unlimited subscribers!

Big Goals

When it comes to setting goals, it’s easy to simply dream about things you would like to do or achieve.

If you don’t make the goals realistic or manageable, they just stay dreams.

I’ve always set SMART goals to turn dreams into reality.

SMART goals are:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Relevant

Time Bound

In May of this year, we set a big goal to pay off our mortgage in 5 years (by May 2020).

This goal fit with the SMART goals formula:

Specific – We want to pay off our mortgage in 5 years.

Measurable – Pay off the balance of the mortgage.

Attainable – We knew discipline, frugality and a bit of creativity, this was a realistic goal for our family.

Relevant – We feel like this is a very relevant goal since our mortgage is our only debt and we want to be completely debt free.

Time Bound – We want to do this by May 2020.

We started out very excited and felt like we were working towards an achievable goal. However, since it was such a big goal (knocking out thousands and thousands of dollars in debt), it felt like we weren’t making any progress.

So, we broke the goal down further. In July (2 months into the process),  I divided the amount we owed on our home by 58 months (the time remaining until May 2020). This gave us a monthly goal to work towards.

Having the monthly goal makes our big goal very doable. Each month, we have a specific amount we’re working towards paying off. Reaching this amount each month is still a bit of a stretch but we hit the monthly goal in July, August, September and October!

Working towards the monthly goal keeps the momentum going. Each month that we reach (and sometimes exceed) our goal, we are excited which encourages us to keep going. While it’s fun to see the big number go down, it still seems to move slowly so it’s more fun focusing on the monthly goal than on the total principal that we still owe.  

Do you have financial goals you want to achieve?

Maybe you want to pay off debt, save an emergency fund or start a college fund for your kids. Or maybe you need to finally sit down, create your budget and set financial goals.

There are several financial resources included in The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle like Build a Budget that Works that can help you build a better financial life.

And, when it comes to money saving ideas, books like Green Your Life, 50 Frugal Dates and even my book Cloth Diapers : A How-To Handbook on the Basics of Cloth Diapering can provide inspiration to help you save as many of your hard earned dollars as you can.

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is available only until 11:59 p.m. EST tomorrow night. Hurry up and snag your bundle – it’s an excellent value!

Homeschool Space Tour

A few weeks ago, I shared about homeschooling in a small space. We don’t have a dedicated school room but we’re making the most of the space we do have.

Our dining area doubles as our learning space which mean this area of our home works all day long. Once breakfast is over we clear the dishes and wipe the table down so we can begin school. Once we’re finished with school for the morning, it’s lunch time and we once again gather around and eat. Many afternoons are spent around the table doing art projects, writing or playing with Legos. And, of course we use our table for dinner each evening.

Homeschool Space

This is the view from kitchen into the dining area. Our table and our school cabinet are the main components of our school room. The black wall you can partially see to the left is our chalkboard wall which is a fun learning space element.

Homeschool Cabinet

Our learning cabinet holds all of our school books and supplies as well as some games and learning toys for our toddler. This cabinet is actually a former TV cabinet that my mother-in-law gave us. A few coats of white paint gave it new life and it’s a great piece to hold all of our materials.

School Books

This top shelf holds our smaller Sonlight books and school supplies (pencil sharpener, scissors, glue, hole punch, stapler, etc.) are contained in the white basket.

The bottom shelf holds our Sonlight books as well as some workbooks we’re working through. The green bin holds the school work for the next day. Each day when we finish our lessons for the day, I spend a few minutes gathering all of the books that we’ll need for lessons the next day and put everything together in the green bin. When I’m preparing to do school in the mornings, I grab all of our materials out of this bin and we’re ready to start learning for the day.

Homeschool Shelf

The shelves to the right contain the kids art and coloring books and hold their crayons, color pencils and markers. The middle shelf is our library shelf. I have found that having a place for library books makes keeping up with them much easier and also makes them not seem like clutter while they’re here (a place for everything and everything in it’s place!) The bottom shelf holds things for Cecilia to play with while we do school. I try to keep these items rotated. And, truth be told, she’d much rather be sitting at the table, trying to get in on the action and attempting to write on things than play with her toys!

My StudentAnd, here’s my student. I’ve been planning on homeschooling him since before he was born and it’s hard to believe that Kindergarten has finally arrived and we’re actually doing it. I was so nervous about finding a good rhythm before we started but so far it has been a really enjoyable experience for all. We’ve had a few moments, but overall I’m thankful for the opportunity to educate him at home.