Kids and Money

This category will let you in on all my secrets that I have used with my kids. I am not the perfect parent, but I am determined that my kids avoid the same mistakes that I have made!

Organizing My Kid’s Rooms On a Budget

Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in Kids and Money, Money and Marriage | 0 comments

Organizing My Kid’s Rooms On a Budget

So something you may not know about us is that we live in a  1330 sq. ft. house.  What this means is that I have to keep us downsized every summer.  It’s really not a big deal, but as soon as school lets out I start cleaning, selling, and throwing away.

This year, I decided to put the boys together in one bedroom and make the other bedroom more of a game/educational room.  Since I am a third grade teacher in our area, it’s funny how their bedroom started looking like my classroom.  This was starting to become really fun!

If you are looking to redo a room in your house, here are some money saving tips that I would suggest.

So, this is what I had to start with.  A messy room.  Toys were everywhere and everything was sitting on the floor.  Anytime I would ask my son to pick up his room, he would throw everything in one bucket.  This included guns, legos, underwear, clean clothes, etc.  I don’t think he knew where to put anything so he just threw it all in one place.  Here’s how I got started…

 

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The first place I started was in their closets.  I like to do this every year and clean out old clothes and sell them.  You can click here to find out how I make money selling clothes on Facebook.   I wanted things off the floor, so I made room at the top of the closets for blankets.  This will make it easy when we have company to find bedding easily.

 

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I took this old table and tore off the blue cover on top.  Underneath was a beautiful piece of wood.  I then painted that wood white and then dry brushed it blue.  I then hot glued a few clothespins on it and want to use this for hanging up wet artwork or schoolwork that the kids are proud of.

 

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The next thing I needed to do was organize their 10 million Lego pieces.  They love playing with Legos but half the time they’re frustrated because they can’t find the piece they’re looking for.  I thought I would turn their bookshelf on its side and use it that way but it never did look right to me.  So, here’s how I organized all those little pieces…

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I bought that Lego head from a friend selling it on Facebook for $5.  The kids have been wanting one for a long time, but I didn’t want to fork over the $20 that it normally cost.  The red and blue bins were from Dollar Tree and the small organizers on the bottom are little lunch containers from Dollar Tree.  This makes it easy to organize people, sort animals, and keep up with tiny pieces.  I also left room on the shelf for them to show off their creations.  They have been playing Legos so much lately because they can finally find their pieces.

The last thing I really needed was a bookshelf.  I am a Reading teacher and LOVE books.  Throwing away books is not really an option for me.  We have taken some to Half-Priced Books before and sold a few there, but I can’t let them go.  I can always remember where we bought the book, who gave it to us, or how old the kids were when it was their favorite.  Too many memories are wrapped up in books.  So I needed something big to help me keep the books organized.  I found an AMAZING deal that afternoon while taking a break on the couch.  I logged onto Facebook and found this 9-hole cubby organizer for $10.  Yes, $10.  I couldn’t believe it.

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Lastly, I hung a few posters around the room that were sort of all over the place.  One thing that you’ll notice is that there are blank spaces on the walls.  This is something I got from Capturing Kids Hearts (my favorite program for improving behavior).  It talks about leaving wall space and bulletin boards blank so that the kids can take ownership and help you decide what should go up there.  The boys and I are still working through this part.

 

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That black chair I got for free from a friend getting rid of it.  This small bookshelf in the center picture I was able to get for $5 at Walgreens for an after Christmas sale.  The beanbag and other accessories came from Facebook.  The large bookshelf was given to us for free from friends cleaning out their son’s room.  When redoing a room, just keep your items opened because there are always great deals to be found.

I hope to label their stations.  So far we have a Creation Station, Art Station, Reading Station, and Play Station.  The boys really seem to like the organization and I wish I had done this years ago.

And by the way…can’t get the boys to keep the room clean?  Start a marble jar.  It works every time in my household!

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10 Ways for Your Kids To Stay Cool This Summer and Still Have Fun

Posted by on Jun 21, 2015 in Kids and Money | 0 comments

10 Ways for Your Kids To Stay Cool This Summer and Still Have Fun

If you are from just about anywhere around the globe, then you are probably experiencing a very hot summer so far.  It’s always hot in Texas so every summer I have to be creative when trying to entertain two kids at home.  So, I decided to make a list of some ways that you can keep your family cool while living on a budget.

1.  Splashpads – We usually hit the splashpads in our town every summer because they’re free.  They seem to get more crowded throughout the day so we usually try to get there early.

2.  Slip ‘N Slide – A Slip ‘N Slide is usually something that you can find really cheap in the stores.  I think I have seen them for $5 or less.  We had one a few years ago and we got it out just about every week.  It allowed me to stay home and not have to pack a bag to leave the house.

3.  Gym – I am currently able to  work-out at a local gym for FREE.  My husband had a gift certificate given to him from work for a 6-month membership.  Although, you may not have this luxury there might be an opportunity where you can go for free.  Our gym is running a special where you can bring in a family member for free one week this summer.  If you know of someone that has a membership, they may have some free passes.  Our gym provides a daycare service (which I take full advantage of:).  When I go get the kids, we then head out to the pool or to the hot tub.  We go almost every day because it’s less crowded.

4.  Children’s Museum – I have heard of a lot of museums in different parts of Texas that are well worth going to.  Check your area and see if you have a Children’s Museum.  We have one that just costs $5, but I can usually find a B1G1 free coupon.  I have found these at a pizza place here in town.  My kids could stay all day in the Children’s Museum if I would let them.

5.  Parks – We have some great parks in our area, but I really like the ones that provide shade for the kids.  I will drive further just to get to a park where there’s shade.

6.  Library – The library is also a great resource when trying to beat the heat.  Our local libraries have several events for kids going on this summer.  The other day we showed up just to get a prize for the kid’s reading log and they were showing a movie.  So we stayed a little longer than planned just to have movie and popcorn.

7.  Concerts – Something else that our city does for free is provide family concerts on Saturday nights.  This is outdoor, but they usually wait to start until about 6 or 7.  Check out your area to see if they might offer the same thing.

8.  Reading Clubs – I mentioned this earlier with the library, but we have several bookstores in town that are now promoting reading clubs.  If you signed up for several, this might really keep your kids busy and keep them motivated to read this summer.

9.  Swimming Pool – Heading out to the pool is always a great idea.  I actually just bought a small pool for my kids to use at the house because the majority of our pools don’t open until after lunch.  By then it’s so hot that we don’t want to get out.  One lady I talked to this week said that the pools usually charge around $3 per kid.

10.  Movies – Every summer both of our movie theaters have certain days of the week where they show a $1 movie.  They usually start around 9:30 or 10:00, but it’s nice that we can take in sippy cups and our own snacks.

What did I forget?  Please comment below and tell us how you keep your kids busy during the summer.

 

 

 

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Leaving a Legacy!!

Posted by on Sep 20, 2012 in Kids and Money | 0 comments

Leaving a Legacy!!

My kid just had his 4th birthday yesterday.  I couldn’t believe it!  We were reminiscing the night before about the day of his birth.

I remember it like it was yesterday.  What really surprised me was how much my oldest son remembered.

Wow!  Kids impress me more and more everyday on how much they really do pay attention and listen to what we have to say as adults.

When I went to bed that night I was thinking about how one day my kids won’t be kids anymore.   Sure, now they’re young but I know that time will fly and they’ll soon be adults.

As I thought about their adult-hood I began thinking about what kind of legacy I want to leave for my kids.  Here is a list of what I came up with so far…

SPIRITUAL WALK

I want for both of my children to have a relationship with The One who created them in the first place.  He loves them so much and I want them to know that when others fail around them (because we’re all human) that God is there no matter what.

GOOD WITH MONEY

Of course I have to bring up this topic.  I already see that my children are learning good money habits because of what my husband and I have been through.  My oldest child has seen us at our lowest point financially and I hope that he remembers what that loss of hope looks like.  I don’t ever want him to be in that position.  If they do make poor choices financially, I at least have the hope that they know how to turn it around and make the right choices because of what we have taught them.

SUPPORTIVE SPOUSE

I know that it is way to early to be thinking about their spouse, but it’s not too early to pray.  I do pray that they find a Godly wife.  One who supports them in all that they do and who brings them up – not tears them down.  The other day my oldest child told me that his wife was not going to use coupons.  I told him, in return, that he would not be marrying that lady.  I was joking of course.  Then I went on to say that I would teach his wife how to use coupons and save money – this time I was not joking.  No matter what life throws at either one of my children I do hope that they have a strong and supportive spouse to lean upon during those tough times.

GIVING

 

This is probably one of the best things that I can leave behind for my children.  I want them to be givers.  I want them to learn how to give without always expecting something in return.  My hope for them is that they learn this at an early age.  They will build better relationships and people will be able to rely on them when they are true givers.

What is the legacy you want to leave for your children?  Please share your thoughts…

 

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Costs to Consider Before Purchasing a Pet

Posted by on Jul 31, 2012 in Kids and Money | 0 comments

Costs to Consider Before Purchasing a Pet

Before I begin, I want you to know that I am a true animal lover.  When I was little I used to think that I wanted to be a veterinarian until I found out that they use needles and I said Nevermind!  So just know that anything I say today is out of sheer love for all pets, but it is also something for you to consider before spending money on a pet.

OUR PETS:

We have had an Australian Shepherd (who was unfortunately killed 2 years ago on one of our highways) and a pound puppy.

 

Our pound puppy is the one shown in the picture.  Her name is Carlie.  She is a mix between a lab and border collie.  I was glad that we rescued her and have never regretted that decision!

But with any animal there are different cost that you need to consider before just running out and purchasing a pet.  I know that a lot of college students will go and get a pet to keep them company, but having one could be more than you can really afford to take on right now.

One more thing to note is that if you are planning on purchasing two pets then you can expect all of these categories to double.  That is something else we didn’t consider when having two dogs.

Here’s what I came up with so far…

COSTS TO CONSIDER:

  • Maintenance – shots, vitamins, etc.  Cost = $50-$75

  • Food – Our Australian Shepherd could not handle cheap dogfood so we had to buy his food at a local pet store which was not cheap.  Cost = $10-$30/month

  • Medical Costs – Just like with children, you need to think of what could possibly go wrong and save up for these expenses.  Something traumatic is probably going to happen to your animal during it’s lifetime; so be prepared.  Cost = $1,000+

  • Accessories – We potty-trained both of our dogs in a crate which means that we bought 2-3 crates to fit their size.  Your pet will also need a leash, food/water bowls, shampoo, etc.  Cost  = $50-$75

  • Grooming – I tried one time to clip Cooper’s nails and when I made him bleed that’s when I gave up that job.  If you are going to take your pet to a groomer then it’s going to cost you.  Cost = $25-$50

  • Obedience Classes – We did this with Cooper and failed as parents.  Since we failed, we never did try training Carlie.           Cost = $75-$90

  • Boarding – If you plan on being gone much then you may have to board your pet overnight or until you can get back.  $25-$35/night

CARLIE’S HEARTWORM CONDITION

The reason I am writing this to you today is because we are dealing with some high costs right now in our own household.

It has been determined by our vet that Carlie has heartworms.  Greg and I feel horrible about this!

Several years ago we cut out the dog’s heartworm/flea medication due to budgetary issues.  I really don’t feel bad about that part because we needed to eat (especially when Greg was without a job).  But I still feel like we owe this to her.

I feel like we put her in this position so we need to help her back on her feet.

When we started the treatment we thought that it would cost around $500-$600.  One thing that you need to consider is when they give you this estimate even a good vet can’t always tell you what might go wrong.

We took her in for her first round of heartworm treatment and it cost us $90.  Then she coughed so hard that she burst an artery which cost us another $270.

Then we noticed that she almost seemed paralyzed on her backside.  We took her in this last week and that also cost us $270.

They said that her enzymes were too low to continue the treatment so they had her on watch.  When we took her in this week they said that her count looks better so they’re ready to continue when we are.

The problem is that we’re out of money.  So, hopefully we’ll get around to finishing up the 2nd round of treatment soon.

 

I know that the cost of animals can vary, so please feel free to share how much you spend. 

 

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“Sell So Much Stuff the Kids Think They’re Next!”

Posted by on Jul 19, 2012 in Kids and Money | 5 comments

“Sell So Much Stuff the Kids Think They’re Next!”

This is one of my all-time favorite quotes from Dave Ramsey.  I always remember this quote when I need cash.

See, when you finally make the important decision to stop buying everything on credit you have to be highly creative with your spending habits.

It’s really easy to just walk into a store, buy whatever you want, and then just swipe a card.  There’s nothing to it!  Until…the bill comes.  Then things aren’t all that peachy, are they?

When you have cash, you have to keep a close eye on how much you have and where it’s going.  I didn’t do so well with that this week.

SHOW ME THE MONEY!

So, I bought one of Dave Ramsey’s cute wallets to keep in my purse that has the envelope system inside of it.  This helps me to keep track of how much is coming and going.

For the last couple of months we have budgeted $200/bi-weekly for groceries.  Usually the word groceries mean more than just groceries (dogfood, toiletries, etc.)

Somehow I was able to spend $200 in about 3 days.  Don’t ask me how I did it.  I cannot even begin to tell you.

All I know is that last Friday we had $200 and on Monday of this week I literally had less than $10 left in the envelope.

So, how can I show you the money when I don’t even have it?

HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT GROCERIES ARE EXPENSIVE?

I am noticing that the more I’m in the stores that groceries seem to be sky-rocketing.  Is it just me?  Come on…please tell me that I’m not the only one seeing this.

Now I will say that in the endeavor of trying to get my family to become more fit I am buying fresh fruits and vegetables.  I have already stated that eating at home is less expensive than eating out but I’m wondering if they’re both not just through the roof!

Anyways, I’ll quit my griping and move on to the next point.  I think I just wrote all of that to use the big ‘ole excuse of how quickly I was able to blow through my money.

SO, WE STILL HAVE TWO WEEKS TO GO BEFORE PAYDAY

Yes, you read that correctly!  So, what can I do?

You can “sell so much stuff the kids think they’re next”.  My mind automatically starts thinking of what I can sale.

Usually I sale items that are just taking up space in our small house and not being played with.  This week I sold a few toys and then we realized that we did have a little extra money in our checking so I did have to pull from there just to get us through the next 1 1/2 weeks.

So, be creative when spending.  I can’t just go swipe a card that I don’t have.  I guess I could try swiping my Kroger card over and over in hopes that maybe one day it will pick up the tab for me, but it’s probably not going to happen.

I have to have actual dollars when I go to the store.  If I don’t have that money, then I think of fast ways to get cash.

 

What would you do (legally) if you were in my position and were in need of some extra cash fast?

 

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My Kid is a Genius!

Posted by on Jun 6, 2012 in Kids and Money | 0 comments

My Kid is a Genius!

Okay, I knew what you were thinking when you read the title.  “Her child is not a genius!  She just thinks that he is.”  But I bet you’ve thought the same thing about your child at some point.  So, my kid may not have “genius” status, but kids are more intelligent than we sometimes give them credit for.

FOR EXAMPLE…

Do you ever just spend time listening to your child?  Yesterday I was reading a book to my 3-year-old.   This book has been MIA for several months because it had fallen behind our bed.  So, it has been awhile since we’ve read it.  Well, while I’m reading the book my six-year-old is saying the next line before I can even get to it.  I would read one page and then he was reading the next.  He’s always loved books and can retell stories very well.  Now he’s at the age where he can read a lot of the words himself, but he wasn’t even looking at the book.  He couldn’t even see the pictures because he was at the end of our bed.  Amazing!  I knew that he had a good memory, but I couldn’t believe he remembered that book.  I can’t even remember if I’ve brushed my teeth on most days and yet my child could read a book verbatim.

KIDS CAN GRASP MORE THAN WE GIVE THEM CREDIT FOR

Give your kid some credit!  Kids really are smart little beings.  Their minds just seem so sharp and clear.  I like how they are always asking questions and wanting to find out more.  Kids can really figure out things pretty quickly.  My six-year-old has always been very inquisitive.  He will ask me questions about things and I’m not always sure how to answer them.  Things like:  “How big is God?  What can that machine do?  So, he’s my Dad’s dad?”  He is really big right now into our family tree.  He is really starting to piece together who is on my tree and who is on my husband’s tree.  That seems like a lot of information to store in that little mind, but if he asks I almost always have an answer for him.  So, talk with your kids and encourage them to ask questions.  I don’t always just give a black/white answer, but I try to answer his “Why” and “How” questions as well.

INVOLVE YOUR KIDS IN MONEY

I am very big about having your kids involved in money in some way.  At our house, we allow the kids to do certain chores in which we pay them.  We are teaching them how to budget without them actually sitting down and writing out a budget.  On our budget form the very top line item is “charitable”.  Well, I doubt that our kids know what charitable giving is, but we do have an envelope or jar labeled “GIVE”.  This teaches them to make money and then learn to give it away at an early age.  They can also put money in “SPEND” or “SAVE” envelopes.  Our six-year-old is starting to realize that if he saves a little bit of his money and not just go rushing out to spend it then he can buy an even bigger toy.  This is a great concept to learn at six.  Something I’m learning more and more about kids, though, is that they get wrapped up in every story that we as adults tell.  So, just be careful to talk about things that really pertain to them.  Kids can pick up on a lot and just be aware that they are also smart enough to know what is going on in your household financially.  We try to include our kids in a large part of our life, but I don’t feel like they need to know everything being so young:)  So, there are times that we’ll wait until the kids are asleep and then talk more about the budget or other things that are going on in our life.

What are you teaching your children that will last a lifetime? 


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