<![CDATA[Mom's Money Garden - Character Carrots]]>Mon, 18 Jan 2016 15:12:46 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Whittling Your Families Waste´╗┐]]>Mon, 02 Feb 2015 18:54:24 GMThttp://moneygarden.weebly.com/character-carrots/whittling-your-families-wastePicture
Let’s be honest, we live in a very wasteful society.  I am not saying everyone throws stuff away with disregard but this microwaved, instant gratification world we live in is a very far cry from those that suffered through the great depression. 

Jesus himself spoke out against wasting even when they had baskets of bread left from feeding the 5,000.  Jesus told the disciples: "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted" (John 6:12).  Despite performing a miracle and feeding that mean with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread, he was concerned about the leftovers too!  As with everything he did, I believe this is just one more thing for us to notice and take note. 

My suggestion is to have a family waste assessment week, followed by a planning session to make some changes.  You don’t have to go crazy or start straining turnips but this is my suggestion for having a family lesson on wastefulness.

Start with showing off something someone created (or ask for someone to make something up real quick).  The more time that was initially put into the creation, the more profound the realization would be for that person.  Perhaps even a creation show and tell might be a great idea.  Discuss how one might feel it this creation was just thoughtlessly trashed or cast away. 

Next, discuss all the things God created and what the bible says about wasting.  Read the story of feeding the 5,000 in John chapter 6 and place the emphasis on how Jesus responded to the leftovers. 

Ask each family member to spend the next week looking for area that they are very wasteful.  Give some examples of things that are often wasted.  Examples for them may be: water, food, paper, clothing etc.  Encourage them to look all around them.  This is not to police each other or tattletale either.  Teamwork is one thing to be emphasized in this endeavor.  Changes like this are best made as a unit, not as a dictatorship.  Perhaps have a notepad, white board, or sticky notes where someone can jot down discoveries.

At the end of this week, work together for a game plan on making changes.  Perhaps make changes slowly, implementing a few each week.  We want enthusiasm in this, and not bitterness.  Some kind of family reward system may be needed or simply welcomed.

I will tell you some of the things we do in our family:

·         Compost- food scraps are recycled to make our garden rich and productive.

·         Plastic food containers with lids (like cool whip bowls, margarine tubs, etc) or jars are washed and reused almost every time.

·         Out grown clothing that is good condition is passed down to younger siblings, cousins or others that we know can benefit from the clothing.  Only when we can’t find a recipient for the clothing, do we donate it to a random charity.  Even clothing in poor condition gets ripped up for rags.

·         Leftovers are eaten for lunch or sometimes frozen for when we are really busy.

·         When we can’t use something, we take it to the charity garage sale that yearly raises money for two near and dear charities in which we help work every year.  This allows the kids to see the things they once had, go on to benefit the community and the charities.

The idea is not to add tons of work to an already busy schedule.  We don’t have to fanatical or obsessive but we can teach the kids a different way of living.  People who are less wasteful also tend to be less impulsive in purchases as well (read: a future with less debt). 

I would love to know what ideas your family come up with!  Please share in your comments below.

<![CDATA[Thought Tune-up: Rule 1]]>Tue, 19 Nov 2013 17:13:32 GMThttp://moneygarden.weebly.com/character-carrots/thought-tune-up-rule-1Philippians 4:6-8New Living Translation (NLT)
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Thoughts are what drives people to anger, jealousy, discontent, hatred, greed, and even over spending.  Thoughts, however, can also be what leads to love, compassion, generosity, smart choices, and so many other positive outcomes.  The world teaches children and adults almost everything that is contrary to the verse listed above.  It's no wonder we have trouble controlling our thoughts.  In fact, I think most people feel like trying to control your thoughts is a ridiculous expectation.  I have heard many people say, "I can't how I feel (think)."  I completely disbelieve that and have proved it in myself.  The earlier we try to help our kids control their thoughts and align them with biblical principles, the more likely they are to succeed in all aspects of their life.

The rule of thought per Philippians 4:6-8:

1) Don't Worry- What outcome has ever been changed by worry itself?  Worry paralyzes us, affects our attitude and shows distrust in God.  If God knows us by how many hairs on our head (Luke 12:7) and sees that the bird eat daily without them storing away food (Matthew 6:26), why can't we trust that God can handle whatever situation we face with better insight and foresight that we can ever have?  Worry is a human nature and it isn't easy for most to just tuck it away and forget it, but with practice we can keep giving our worries to the one who can best handle them.  

*Perhaps if you have a real worrier (or you are), have them write them down on a paper and put them in a box or maybe fake mailbox (to God).

<![CDATA[Please remove your shoes and drop your problems at the door...]]>Tue, 05 Nov 2013 03:06:18 GMThttp://moneygarden.weebly.com/character-carrots/please-remove-your-shoes-and-drop-your-problems-at-the-doorPicture
Psalm 100:4 (RSV) Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him, bless his name!

When I read this verse for the 100th time in my life today, I suddenly saw this verse with a fresh perspective.  It gave me an idea for the whole month of November and maybe the rest of the year.  When I read "enter into his gates with thanksgiving..." I thought of each time we came home and opened the door to our home.

Chances are when you open the door to your home and your family enters, you encounter shoes being slung off, coats removed, backpacks dropped, and much more.  What if, along with that sudden onslaught of dropping your stuff at the door, you challenge your family to drop something else at the door?  They leave behind a bad day, hurt feelings, selfish thoughts, jealous wishes, vengeful plans, and any other muck that clouds their mind.

Then, the second they truly enter the home, they have to say something they are grateful for.  There is a possibility, if they are like my kids, they will be thinking of what they are going to say before they get home.  It's probably due to a competitive nature to be the first to spit out the thankful words, but that's okay.  The result will still be their minds have shifted from the negative thoughts to the positive thoughts.

I am sure there are some fun ways to make this unique to your family.  If you have some ideas to add some creativity, please share!

<![CDATA[You Deserve What You Earn]]>Tue, 13 Aug 2013 21:34:43 GMThttp://moneygarden.weebly.com/character-carrots/you-deserve-what-you-earnPicture
Entitlement: someone who thinks something is owed
to them by life in general; or because they are who they are.  

 I can think of quite a few people who may struggle with improper forms of entitlement, feeling like the world owes them something more than the life they were given.  people tend to hope others get "what they deserve" without really
giving thought to what they themselves deserve.  Children, especially teenagers, rarely skip this struggle either.  Who hasn’t heard a teen feeling like they deserve a nice car, the best phone, or some other expensive item?  All too often, I have heard that the child feels they deserve the same as  their parent who is financially supporting the family.  Rewarding children for excellent behavior or surprising them with a gift out of love is one thing, but when the child expects the same as their adult working parent without doing anything at all, something has gone awry.  
We are all told we are special, which we are because God made us.  I don’t know where many people then draw the conclusion that since they are special, they deserve better than other people.  The world and advertisements do tend to repeat the message, “You deserve the best.” Also, it’s repeatedly confirmed by marketing that one should not have to wait for “the best”, whether or not you have done anything of any value or have the funds to support “the best”.

The bible states quite simply: 
2 Thessalonians 3:10 (ESV)  For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: if anyo
ne is not willing to work, let him not eat. 

The basic idea is you deserve what you earn.  You work for what you get.  Does it get simpler than this?  What happens when we stray from this idea? 

We love our kids and want to give our kids the best, but what if  we are setting them up to have major amounts of debt, no retirement, or an inability to own a home?  Our grandparents used to saving up forever to afford what we now just put on credit.  While credit does allow us to have more reasonable access to homes and cars that we wouldn’t otherwise, it also allows for financial detriment. Astronomical unsecured debts for items that are out of date or replaced before we even pay them off, does not lead anyone to a secure financial or spiritual future.  In addition, it shifts our focus from what we really do deserve. We deserve a life in which we build character, bear spiritual fruit (how about some love and patience?), and affect the world in a positive way. 

<![CDATA[An Independence Day Character Carrot Tribute to Honest Abe]]>Wed, 03 Jul 2013 23:23:52 GMThttp://moneygarden.weebly.com/character-carrots/an-independence-day-character-carrot-tribute-to-honest-abePicture
In deciding on an Independence Day post, I took a patriotic presidential point of view.  Let’s focus on Honest Abe and how he can be an excellent role model for our kids.

Not Giving Up or Quitting

There are many circulating comparisons of Abraham Lincoln’s failures and success.  Although not always agreed upon, it appears true that Abraham Lincoln failed and didn’t quit in quite a few circumstances.  For example, he didn’t do fantastic as a business man but went on to do pretty well as a lawyer and slowly but surely, quite well in politics (he did become President and was reelected).  Also, he didn’t get the nomination for congress the first time but later was nominated and elected.

Paying Debts

One of my personal favorite accounts of his character is that he paid a debt he didn’t legally owe.  He had taken a loan to start a business that didn’t really do that well.  He had a partner, however, that passed away before the partner’s portion of the loan had been paid off.  Despite the fact that legally, the man had passed away and Lincoln wasn’t required to pay that portion of the debt, Ol’ Abe took it upon himself to pay off the entire debt (somebody had to was his reasoning according to records).  He looked at the viewpoint of the lender and that a promise was made for repayment.  While I am not suggesting teaching to pay debts you don’t legally owe, there must be some lesson missing for most kids when the highest rate of bankruptcy tends to be a few years after they have become adults. 


*Discuss that to be of outstanding character, you have to do outstanding things, especially in being honest.  Honesty generally pays off in the long run and you also receive freedom from guilt.

*Remind them that when they really want to do something, success doesn’t come right away.  We grow and become our best person when we fail a little.  Without failure, pride typically takes over the character of even the best person.  Pride doesn’t allow us to become the great people we can become through failure.

*Teach your older children a little about paying debts you DO owe.  Perhaps show your teens the small print at the bottom of EVERY credit card slip they will sign which states they agree to pay the amount shown, like a little tiny contract.  Explain a little about late fees (what you pay when you don’t pay on time or at all).  Discuss ways that everyone else still pays for debts that aren’t paid, like the cost of loans may rise for those who do pay to cover those who don’t (or loans are much more difficult to attain).

Happy 4th of July!


Read more about the Abraham Lincoln Failure and successes here:



<![CDATA[Plan for Proverbs 21:5]]>Fri, 28 Jun 2013 21:36:03 GMThttp://moneygarden.weebly.com/character-carrots/plan-for-proverbs-215Proverbs 21:5 
NIV version says: 
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.  (Tell that to your kids and they will gloss over with boredom)

CEV version (aka: kid friendly version) says:
If you plan and work hard,
    you will have plenty;
    if you get in a hurry,
    you will end up poor.

You can tell your kids to plan as well as work hard, but having the bible to back you up will probably go further.  When you crack open the good book, it's amazing how much good instruction is given to us by God about our finances.  Making sure the kids understand the biblical standpoint on financial management is essential to their future success.

How can they be diligent?
"Spend some, save some, give some" strategy is a great start.  Teach them when they receive money to make a plan for their money, not just spend every dime.  Try encouraging your sprouts to save a little and give a little, but do so as it is age appropriate.  At the very least, try to slow them down to keep them from running straight to the store with their fresh dollar(s) burning a hole in their pocket.

Teach them good work ethic.  It's one thing when they are little and will inevitably make a bigger mess than they are help, but at least they are helping.  My kids are great helpers and I believe it's because even when it killed me to let them do a job, I smiled and praised them.  I didn't go back and redo the job until they were in bed, blissfully unaware.  As your children get older, work as a team and show them HOW to do things properly.  Then, after enough instruction and maturity has occurred, push for diligence in the work they do.  

Encourage perseverance.  There is always a fine balance between keeping our kids from giving up too easily and allowing them to become overwhelmed or frustrated.  For example, one rule we generally have is that if you sign up for a sport, you play it for the whole season.  I never make them sign up, so it's their choice and they know they have to finish the season.  They don't ever have to sign up again, but they have to stick it out for the time signed up for.  Only once we let our son out of it, but that was because the coach wasn't showing up, telling us when games were or doing anything at all (there can be exceptions to any rule).  

Reward hard work.  We don't want our kids to expect something every time they do what they are supposed to do.  However, when one of our kids does something unexpected or exceptionally well, we at the very least praise them.  Depending on the level of good work, we might do more.  We might have a mini-celebration, go to a restaurant, go to a movie, have a Popsicle or any other creative way to honor that effort.  We celebrate and reward hard work as often as we possibly can so that they can see diligence leads to good things.   

<![CDATA[My favorite financial "starter verse"...Hebrews 12:11]]>Thu, 27 Jun 2013 20:48:32 GMThttp://moneygarden.weebly.com/character-carrots/my-favorite-financial-starter-versehebrews-1211Hebrews 12:11 (NIV) No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Usually when I am teaching a Christian based finance class, this is one I start with because it affects all aspects of our lives, especially finances.  Being disciplined by our parents is tough; disciplining ourselves can be even tougher.  To properly manage finances, we have to learn discipline and though very painful, it promises great reward and peace (read: financial peace) for those who succumb to it.  

This verse is applicable to children and parents alike.  To truly teach our children, we also have to practice what we preach which is a primary purpose of the portion of this site called Proper Propagating. It's very difficult to change a lifetime of practiced monetary habits.  However, this will be a great help for your entire family if you get on the discipline bandwagon.  

For children, they too often have developed strong financial habits and perceptions much earlier than one would think.  Whether it's demanding or expecting something from the store, spending every dime they have or if you are lucky, perhaps they are a frugal fellow that saves every penny.  However, if you are going to change or further develop habits that will last a lifetime, you will have to teach discipline.  I do mean discipline regarding money, not brushing their teeth, but it's amazing how every single aspect of their lives affects their ability to be disciplined with money. 

Discipline in life will affect their food choices, exercise habits, overall cleanliness, work ethic, and of course financial responsibility.  The list could really rattle on for a while, but the idea is that if they lack discipline in something even like picking up after themselves, you will most likely see it in money matters later.  Discuss this verse with your children and create a plan to implement discipline for everyone.  Perhaps everyone (yes Mom and Dad too) can make one change?