Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year and New Goals

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. As we leave the Christmas season, we journey into a new year. A new year with new hopes, new possibilities and a new determination to be better stewards. Perhaps now is the time to set new goals for 2013 and follow through. No matter how small the goal, just get started. Here is a simple 3 step plan of action. Think, write and post. First take some time to sit down and really think about things you want to change or improve in terms of your finances, write them down and then post them where you can read them daily.  
Here are a few examples of what I mean. Pick a bill to pay off this year by paying a little extra each month. Can this be done? Sure, pick the bill that you owe the least amount. Why not hold a "purge and pay yard sale" this spring? Purge your home of all unwanted and unused items via garage/yard sale and use the money to pay off or pay down a bill. This venture can be fun and easy with a little help and prior planning.

You can make a goal to read a financial book this year or subscribe to a reputable financial magazine? When was the last time you checked your credit report and score? The New Year might be a good time to do both. Doing this can also ensure that your information is current and correct.

One of my 2013 goals is to incorporate more giving with my children. Right now they understand it on a small scale and it's a good start. My 5 year old who could not dream of giving her money away ( read the post) now puts change into the Miracle Network jar every time we go to our local grocery store. In fact every time I take my three children to the store they ask for money to put into the jar. This teaching lesson started when they saw me put money into the jar and asked why. I explained to them that some children are very sick and don't get to live with their parents and have to stay in the hospital until they get better and the money helps them. My 5 year old had lots of questions but now her only question is "can I have money to put in the jar?". When asked about the money they will tell you "it's for the sick children at the hospital".

Above are just a few examples of goals to set for the new year. No goal is too small and can yield BIG impact if followed through. Getting started is key.

Happy New Year and finish strong!

Remember. "True empowerment comes through stewardship!"

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Children and Christmas

With Christmas less than a week away, I sat down and talked to my children again about Christmas giving. Grant it, my children are 4 and 5 and very much into "I want". We talked about the usual topics of toys and all of the other things they felt they had to have. I asked them what they planned to give for Christmas. Not much conversation there. I decided to help them out at this point.

I told them that there are many ways to give other than buying things with money. I explained that we could make our own gifts and it would be lots of fun. As well as we can give gifts from the heart and of our own free will. We'll see how this goes over...

So the fun began, we made place mats, ornaments and other crafts. Imagine three kids 5yrs old and under with glue and glitter. What was I thinking? They really enjoyed making ornaments. We went outside and picked pine cones (free), put glue all over them and then sprinkled with, you guessed it, tons of glitter. WHY? They loved making these ornaments. We then used pretty ribbons to tie around the end of the glittery, shimmering pine cones, of course they had to dry first. These can also be used to add sparkle to any wreath or place into a bowl for Christmas/winter decor. Take a look! 

The next idea went over better than I thought it would. I cut out colored card stock paper into box sized pieces. We then named all of the gifts they could give from the heart, love, lots of hugs, kind words, clean our room, and my personal favorite, "take my nap".  They were on a roll: put books away, be kind, pray for others, obey mom and dad, help others, were also gifts they could give.

On the pre-cut boxes we tied bows, wrote their gift down, and then used the dreaded "glitter". What is this fixation with children and glitter?? Gotta love it! Their gifts turned out very nice and were placed under our tree. They were very excited and I hope a seed has been planted in their hearts about giving. Kids are never too young to learn this principle. Here is a picture of a few of the completed gifts they made, enjoy. Hope you can read the writing.

Hope these inspire gift givng ideas for your children or the children in your life.

Merry Christmas!

Remember. "True empowerment comes through stewardship!"