Money freedom

Teaching the Value of Money, Part 4

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Money freedom

Money freedom

Do you know HOW to TEACH your older teen and adult children how to be fiscally responsible?

Do YOU know how to budget?            What OTHER factors play into being self-sufficient?

Total freedom, or making determined strides, away from debt and towards independence is the greatest liberating joy!    

I have some information that can help you and your family in this article to give everyone peace of mind and self-reliance!

Broken marriages and unhappy families are more often than not suffering from severe debt.  There are catastrophic circumstances, out of ones control, that do happen and cause financial strife.  However, most of the time, it is due to wanting something now, instead of later.  The pay-as-you-go theory is almost unheard of today and has been replaced with, “You deserve it now”. Example speaks louder than any words.  If you do not know how to handle money wisely, how can you effectively teach your children, of all ages, this most important life skill.

First Step:  Get your finances in order (help is coming if you need it, keep reading)

Second Step:   Demonstrate, enroll/provide the means for your older teens and adult children to master this aspect.  If your child is graduated from high school, or about that age, they must be expected to handle money responsibly and not live completely off mom and dad if mentally and physically able.  

Third Step:  Ensure your child understands how to keep a checking account/card account and to keep it balanced to avoid overage charges and credit problems.  This is a crucial skill to have!!!

Forth Step:  Have clear expectations that your children understand concerning the rules are for them after they graduate high school.  For us, it has been:  as long as they are working part-time to full-time and going to school full-time, paying their own insurance, schooling costs, books and other expenses, they can live at home, have meals, utilities paid for, etc..  They still must chip in to help with chores, pay for the gas in any of our vehicles they borrow and costs they incur.  If they had scholarships, all the better for them, as they are able to save more money by putting away what they earn at a job. If they were to go away for school we would help with food and expenses comparable.   The one thing we will not pay for are the classes.  The reason being, is if they fail, or do poorly in a class, they do not have the ownership or as much invested.  At 18 they are adults now, and can take full responsibility for how well they do in a class, or if poorly/failed, they can pay to retake it and it does not cause friction or discord in our home, as ‘that is their problem to deal with’.  Money talks when it hurts = they give more attention to studies to avoid extra expenses.

  • How to start or teach how to budget?  I agree whole-hardheartedly in what Dave Ramsey teaches as it is basic enough to understand, it is doable for all people, and is just plain commonsense smart.

He lists the following

Step 1:  Start an emergency plan of $1,000.  Why is this important?  It will cover an unexpected job change or layoff for a time to give you time to find another job.  A car repair comes up. Any real emergency that comes along; and this does not mean a trip to the mall for a shopping trip. Step 2: Snowball your debt and pay it off. 

Step 2: Dave recommends listing all your debts, with the smallest first, and paying them down by putting any extra you can manage into the smallest debt first.  When that is paid off, roll all that payment into the next smallest.  When that is paid off, roll the amount you were putting onto the first and second debts, now combining with the amount you were making payments toward the third to pay it off and so on.

Step 3: When the debts are paid down, or off, save up 6 months of living expenses to carry you through a job loss or unplanned monetary circumstances.

Steps 4 & 5: Invest money and save for children’s college fund.

Step 6: Pay off house early

Step 7: Build wealth and help others  For more in-depth information and a wealthy of resources, visit Dave Ramsey’s site at  

A few items I would like to address –

  • Have sufficient  health insurance, renter or home insurance and life insurance for those who depend on you.
This includes health insurance, renter’s insurance, disability insurance, and even life insurance if you have people who depend on you. Don’t take this lightly, you are at a pivotal moment in your life and the decisions you make today will have a direct effect on you tomorrow. – See more at:
  •  Build up a food storage. Why?
  1. You never know if, or when, there will be a natural catastrophe or disaster in your area and you may not be able to get to a store.
  2. If your employer has to cut back your hours, you will have food for your family/yourself
  3. If a job loss, or major bills such as medical happen, you will have food
  • What is food storage?
  1. Have a storage of water to last you several days (part of this can be your water heater) if there were a disruption in your water supply
  2. Start SMALL and build to a week of food that you normally eat on hand that is NOT part of your menu plans to use. 
  3. After you are able to have a weeks worth of menu items, such as cereal, meat, canned goods, and such, then work for 2 weeks.
  4. Eventually you will want to have 3 months worth of food on hand.
  5. Now start to get a few items such as boxed milk and things that can last without refrigeration
  6. Work on 6 months of storage now of food items
  7. A cooking source that can be used if the power was out.  Such as a mini-gas grill to cook on.
  8. Extra blankets if you live in a cold climate.

What if you happen to have an adult child, who is able bodied, but still ‘living off’ of you? 

Here are a few ideas:

1st – If you haven’t taught them, or given them the tools to be independent, NOW is the time.  Not tomorrow, but start TODAY.  Do not let them guilt you into taking care of them any longer; whether it be from a broken home, not teaching them, it’s too hard, you owe them, etc., etc., etc.,  None of that matters.  Helping them become responsible, independent and worth their ‘salt’ is your utmost concern and obligation at this point.

2nd – Give a time frame, of say 2 months, to move out and be independent.  Stick to IT!  Do NOT give in.  If you do, it is NOT doing them a favor, but enabling and creating an entitled and dependent person and generation.  That’s truly a disservice to your child, your family and society.

3rd – Enroll them in a Dave Ramsey program, or buy them the book so they can understand how to manage money.  Get someone else to walk them through the steps if you are not able to.

4th – Not employed?  There are almost always jobs available, though maybe not up to their expectation.  However, menial labor leads one to want to gain an education/training to expand their horizons, and that is not a bad thing.

5th – The comforts of home may not be available when they move out, but that is what will help provide the motivation to do more, be more and move forward in life.

6th – This WILL BE HARD!  I can guarantee it.   However, I can also promise you, that if you do not take the difficult stance, they will resent you.  Why?           

-a.  Because not forcing an adult child to stand on their own actually tells them that you do not trust them to be independent.

-b.  You do not care enough to force them to grow and mature. Think about it.  We learn from our trials and hardships.  Without learning and growing opportunities, how able to flourish and develop their ability to go beyond the substandard you are expecting.        

-c.  You feel the need to have them depend on you for whatever reason; such as control or the feeling that you are needed – when this really is the opposite motive.  You actually have a greater influence for good and will gain more respect and admiration from your child(ren) when you help/force them to stand on their own and to be independent. 

7th – Be STRONG.  Pray for strength and DO what is RIGHT for your adult child.  Do NOT give in when it is for their own good.  You CAN do this, I believe in YOU and your family!

All of these suggestions addressed, will allow a person who is free to accomplish all that they are here to do, have the ability to help others, and feel great joy in their independence and freedom from bondage. 

This includes health insurance, renter’s insurance, disability insurance, and even life insurance if you have people who depend on you. Don’t take this lightly, you are at a pivotal moment in your life and the decisions you make today will have a direct effect on you tomorrow. –

See more at:

Part 1 Click HERE for Teaching the Value of Money

Part 2 Click HERE for Teaching the Value of Money

Part 3 Click HERE for Teaching the Value of Money,

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Holiday Budgeting

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Amazing how quickly Christmas and the Holidays come; the shopping and preparing anyway.

When I was young, one of my most memorable Christmas gifts was the year my mom gave my two sisters and me our favorite box of cereal and soda pop. They were real treats to us, as that was a huge splurge and we were thrilled.

Funny, that I never felt that we had less, or cheated, or ashamed. I think it was because I realized, even though young, that I was more important than ‘stuff’. When I say that I mean that I understood how critical it was to not over spend, especially on things that won’t last long, much less a lifetime anyway.

When Stan and I started our own family, we made the decision to not spend more than we had set aside for Christmas. And if we had an excess of money, it was better put toward a savings account or other ‘real’ needs and bills.

One Christmas many, many years ago, we had about ten dollars for the four kids Christmas gifts and that was it.  It had been a particularly difficult year with job situations, health issues, a brand new baby and other unplanned circumstances.  What to do with our small amount of money? We decided to get a cat, the food and litter box. Stan brought the cat home early Christmas Eve, but it ran away and we could not find it! Now we had nothing, and there wasn’t the shelters, internet, etc., to get a new cat, plus we didn’t have any money to replace it anyway. Blessedly, Stan’s parents felt impressed to call to check on us, Stan told of our predicament and trying to find the cat.  His parents made sure each of our children had something to open from Santa Christmas morning.

So that we can stay on track and be wise lets look at a few issues on money and the Holidays

Why do we overspend? A few possible reasons are:

  1. We want to impress our kids, family, friends, co-workers
  2. We feel it’s a social status maker/breaker
  3. Buys friendship or approval
  4. Fixes relationships or makes up for poor behavior

Ideas for making and staying within a BUDGET:

  • DO not, do NOT, DO NOT get caught up in the hype, hoopla and frenzy of the ads, sales and push to shop Thanksgiving Day until Christmas Day.
  • Make a list of the priority people you need to gift to
  • How much you can/will/want to spend on each gift
  • Only use a credit card, if you will stay within your pre-set budget and can/will pay it off before interest incurs
  • Another option is to use the envelope method of cash, just be careful not to lose it or let others see the cash; keeps temptation away. The envelope method is when cash is divided into envelopes of a certain amount set to spend in each category/envelope. When it’s gone, it’s gone.
  • Make a family agreement for a limit to spend and stick to it. Families grow quickly and there are so many people to purchase gifts for that it can quickly take up all of your budget, just on extended family, leaving little or none for your own.
  • For kids, how much do you really need to give them?  Kids respect a parent who is responsible and will do the hard/right thing.
  • Have a potluck dinner or lunch for extended family, co-workers and friends to celebrate the season instead of buying for each.

Dave Ramsey has a phenomenal NEW website that not only helps us track a Christmas budget, but sets us up for the entire year of making a budget, sticking to a budget, having and keeping a Christmas budget, and guess what?  It’s FREE and you can find it HERE The site is called EVERY DOLLAR, Meet Every Dollar Budgeting just got easy. 

There is an upgrade for a nominal fee, but the basic service that provides what you need to be successful in getting/staying our of debt is FREE

More ways to save:

1. Make gifts – homemade are the best anyway. There are so many ideas, such as calendars with family pictures, a family favorite recipe made with the recipe to go with it, a favorite treat, the list is endless.

2. Scale down.  Do people really like you better depending on the gift you give them? If that is the case, do yourself a favor and get new friends. Going into debt to impress, or compete is not worth it, and just makes you resent them in the long run.

3. Watch for sales and specials, shop on the internet to compare prices, and before making purchases, look at the rating of that particular product.

4. Kids do not need everything or expensive items. Letting them know that Santa/parents have a budget they need to stick to. This teaches them how to budget when they are older, the importance of correct priorities and especially puts a stop to the ‘entitled attitude’ and ‘deserving’ whatever they want just because they breathe. Keep in mind, we are not in a popularity contest to be our kids ‘bff’, but a parent to be relied on, trusted and to show an example to follow, that is a great parent.

5. A friend told me about this practice of what each of her children are given – that’s one in each category.  Our kids don’t need to open gifts for an hour straight, much less hours on end to have a great holiday.

  • Something to wear
  • Something to read
  • Something they want
  • Something they need

 6. Vouchers for a nice meal, babysitting, etc. The key here is to follow up so the gift is actually used and appreciated.

Looking ahead to next year to save money ahead:

  • Purchase after Christmas sales of wrapping paper, cards, ribbons, etc.
  •  Sales during the year to put away for Christmas, such as overstock items
  • Buy gifts that will last and be appropriate for the next year. For example, if mom likes to garden, then watch in the fall for the gardening tools and supplies to go on clearance, purchase those in your budget (envelope method) and put it away for Christmas.

 Most important, above all else, remember the reason for the season.  If you do, then all falls into place and your heart will be filled with sweet peace and love.Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.