Planning for the New Year as a Family

family resolutions


2014 has sprung! Let’s ignore all the blather about how old we’re getting (when did YOU graduate high school?) and instead get to the point. Whether on paper or just in passing thought, you probably make some sort of resolution for yourself each new year. Have quiet time, go to church, lose 20 pounds, stop spending.

But why not involve your kids? Sit down together with a pen and paper (or be trendy and use chalk and a big chalkboard-paint wall) and talk through some things you want to do as a family this coming year. Less of a bucket list and more of an goal sheet, this is a great way to hold yourself accountable and get everyone thinking on the same page.

Here are some ideas to help you start.

  • Family Traditions – What are some traditions you have or some you’d like to start? Vacationing the same place each year, having a weekly game or movie night, or just having a family devotion before bed? Traditions help keep families together and feeling connected.
  • Places to Go, People to See – This is your “bucket list” stop. What are some places you’d like to visit this year? People you want to see or write to or reestablish a connection with? Think outside the box: could you write to a missionary? Send cookies to someone in the military? Visit a shut-in?
  • The Family Who Eats Together … – “According to a number of reports issued by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA), children who eat at least five times a week with their family are at lower risk of developing poor eating habits, weight problems or alcohol and substance dependencies, and tend to perform better academically than their peers who frequently eat alone or away from home.” – Huffington Post
  • Parent-Child Dates – How will parents make sure each child has individual attention? Ask your kids and see how they respond. How do they envision spending one-on-one time with each parent?
  • Weekly Schedule – Talk through how much your weeks hold. Do they seem crammed, with no time to enjoy rest and down time? Would your kids enjoy adding an activity or changing what they participate in?

I hope you’ll take these bullets as some jumping-off points. Let me know if you decide on any “family resolutions” for 2014!

photo credit: Elle_Ann

Money-Saving Web Sites


Everyone likes to save money, right? The Web is packed with tons of money-saving Web sites. The following sites are just a sampling of the sites we thought you might find most helpful!

Educational/Informational Web sites

• Fly Lady —

• BeCentsable —

• BillShrink — —


Centsible Sawyer —

Money Saving Mom — —

Baby Cheapskate —

Coupon Cravings —

Deal Seeking Mom —

Mommy’s Wish List —

Online Classifieds

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Hand-Me-Downs —

Online Shopping Helps —

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Coupon Web Sites

The Grocery Game —

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• RedPlum —

Shopper Card Coupons —

• P&GeSaver —

• Cellfire —

Other — —

For more information, check out our January 2010 ParentLife article "From DINK to SIWK: Living a Single-Income Lifestyle" by Jeff Land.

Do you have some great money-saving Web sites you could recommend?

January Giveaway

It’s hard to believe that a brand new year is upon us! With a new year often comes new goals! Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? I am confident that finance-related goals are at the top of many of your lists.

Bad money management habits are hard to change, so the key is to start teaching your children healthy money management skills early. Our January blog giveaway just might be the service you need to help your child! This month we are giving away one 1-year subscription to

ThreeJarsLogo.png is an innovative modern allowance system that lets kids earn, track, and use their own money online. With this online service, you set an allowance limit for your child and decide how his allowance will be divvied-up between Save, Spend, and Share jars. Your child manages his own account, but your approval is required for all financial decisions.

  • Save — Your child can boost his savings by earning interest from you, encouraging the savings habit.
  • Spend — He can spend his money by requesting cash or gift cards.
  • Share — He can share money too, by making donations to charities of your choice on or off the site. (Don’t forget to teach the importance of tithing using the "Share" jar.)

Stop by for more details about how this allowance system works.

Everyone* who posts a comment on our blog during the month of January will be entered to win one 1-year subscription to

*LifeWay employees are not eligible for this giveaway. Multiple comments do not increase chances of winning.

Does your child get an allowance? How are you teaching your child about money management?