A lot of American self help books are about making more money in order to be happy. Whilst I agree money does make life easier and being debt free certainly reduces stress there are many other non-money dependent ways to a good life.

I adore Dr. Phil do you remember him? (He’s that lovely man with a ‘tache from Oprah) I think he is a man of reason and huge common sense so I was delighted when I found he had posted some resolutions for family life quality in 2012. Here are some of his ideas but in my own words.

Making Family Resolutions

Spend more time together

Make 2012  the year you make your family a priority — to spend more time together, live in less chaos or even just have more fun. You may have to change your lifestyle, rearrange your schedule or drop some of your commitments in order to fully benefit your family. Are your children involved in too many activities? Cut away what is not so important  to free more time together. Cutting a few activities also saves money which reduces stress.

Learn to delegate.
Teach your kids and your partner to help out with daily tasks and give them specific responsibilities. Each day my son will sort laundry and bring a loads  to the washer. My daughter helps clean the kitchen floor. My husband this year WILL be learning it is his job to change the beds once a week and clean the bathroom. All hands to the deck makes everyone appreciate the home.

Eat together.
If you don’t evee gather together for a family meal, you are missing an important part of a cohesive family. Make a commitment to sit down for a family meal most evenings. Everyone needs to get around the dinner table and talk about the day. Mute the phone. Don’t tell anyone off or nag. Enjoy this time together, laughing and talking and sharing ideas.

family dinner table

Photo credit: Beverly&Pack

Create family rituals

Traditions create memories so do bake love heart biscuits at Valentines, take a long walk on Good Friday and write your new year pledges on the new year tree at New Year. Children love repetition and the cosy uniqueness of their own family traditions. None of these involve money just time, planning and love.

Make each child feel special.
Ensure you have individual time with each of your children to do nice things together, to talk, plan and share worries.

Nurture your relationship with your spouse.
One of the most important things you can do for your children is to take care of your relationship with your partner. Pulling together helps them feel safe and secure and ensures you have someone onside.

I wish you a blessed family life in 2012

Becky x

 

 

 

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Each month I am going to give you a couple of super simple family budgetideas to try and reduce your family budget They are going to be really straightforward. Here we go…

1) Try drinking water…. lots of water. When you would normally reach for a juice or  a fizzy drink, tea or a coffeee grab a glass of water instead. Encourage your family to do this too, particularly at meal times. Drinks can be pricey and this little saving could make serveral ponds a week difference . It is also REALLY good for you. If you are out in an evening making every seconfd drink water also makes a huge difference to your bill (and hangover!)

family budgeting

Photo Credit:  Greg Riegler Photography

2) Try and reduce your fruit wastage. Try storing apples in the fridge to keep them hard, fresh and crunchy. Keep bananas away from any other fruit. If one piece of fruit spoils remove it immediately from the others. Buy fresh produce in smaller quantities more often so you can enjoy it at it’s best Buy your fruit loose so you can buy exactly how much you need. There are loads of recipes and tips and tricks around fruit storage and uses at Love Food Hate Waste

3. Dedicate a spend free day Choose one day during  one weekend in Sepetmber and do not spend anything. Be as creative as you can, (don’t stockpile pizza and dvds in advance!) use what you have and see how a day away form consumerism feels.

I shall be undertaking all three challenges myself and will report back at the end of the month. If you give these a go I would love to hear how you do.

 

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