Category Archives: Family

Teaching children to save money

Years ago, I purchased a book called, “The Parenting Breakthrough: Real-Life Plan to Teach Kids to Work, Save Money, and Be Truly Independent” by Merrilee Boyack.  From that book (which I LOVE by the way), I created a plan to help teach our children the importance of earning and saving money.

We first purchased a posterboard for each child.  Each posterboard had enough space for six paper printouts on each side.  Each paper you see taped to the posterboard represents a one year period.  Each month is listed along with what the child needs to put towards their savings.  Below that are two squares — one for the child and one for the parents (we match what they save).
When the child reaches their monthly amount and puts it into savings, they get to put a sticker on that month.  When mom and dad match the amount they deposited, we put a sticker on our box.  The amount they owe each month was determined by my husband and I in advance.  We made a plan of how much we wanted them to save over the years to have for a mission, marriage, school, etc. and made a plan accordingly.

Each time their birthdays roll around, the amount they owe increases.  In the beginning, when they were small, they only owed $1 a month.  They would help do extra work around the house or for grandparents and would get soooo excited when they could put their money into their account.  As time went on and they started owing $5 a month or more, they really had to get creative and figure out how they were going to make that happen.

How have my children earned their money?  Babysitting, shoveling snow, mowing lawns, cleaning out cars, soccer refereeing, dog sitting and more.  One summer we temporarily had a cotton candy machine and made up a whole bunch of cotton candy and sold it throughout the day.  We divided the earnings between the children that helped and it helped get them ahead.

Do they ever fall behind?  Yes.  Sometimes with school work and life, they fall behind, but they understand that when an opportunity comes for them to make money, it will go into their savings first.  When they are caught up, they can choose to get ahead or have some extra spending money.

Not only that, there have been a couple of occasions where we have had to remove some of the stickers.  One of my sons was almost a year ahead of schedule and was doing wonderful!!  However, at church they did a fundraiser and sold some coupon books.  My son was given three books to sell and unfortunately he lost them all.  He had to take money out of his savings to cover the lost books, leaving him barely on schedule (savings-wise) and no longer ahead.  He learned his lesson and has never had money taken out of his account since.

Find what works for your family.  We’ve adapted the original idea into something that has worked for us.  Saving money is much easier in bite size pieces than trying to come up with a huge amount all at once.  It’s an important lesson for our children to learn in responsibility, self-reliance and budgeting.  How do you teach your children to save money?





MeckMom’s Teaching Tips: How to incorporate games into your lesson

Keeping teens and primary kids engaged in a lesson can be tricky. My favorite go-to-tool is to work in a simple game. This short video will give you some great tips on how to use games effectively in class as well as show you a few of my favorite grab-n-go games that can easily be incorporated into any lesson. I hope you enjoy it!


I like to pick games that are easy to explain, fast to play and involve almost no set up. I also love games that have a bit of drama (like a tower that tips over or a balloon that might burst). The games I mentioned in the video are Boom Boom Balloon, Wonky, Jenga, and Tin Can Alley. I’m also a big fan of Bucket Blast, Bounce Off and Pie Face.

Sometimes I do a short game at the end of class and sometimes I like to have a full class of games to review everything we’ve learned in a unit or at the end of the year. Either way, I’ve always found that incorporating games into my lessons is a sure-fire way to keep students engaged and excited to participate.

Happy teaching everyone! I’ll be back next week with more tips.


Our favorite summer tradition

I thought I would share one of my favorite summer traditions with you today.  Some traditions are passed down from one generation to the next.  Other traditions can be started with you and your family.

Our tradition is very simple and yet has become very meaningful to our family.  What is this tradition you ask?  Well, a couple of years ago it started by packing up some food, board/card game, soccer ball, frisbee, etc. and taking our meal outside once a week.

We choose a different location each time (mountains, park, swimming pool, concert, etc.), and we choose different activities each time but the most important thing is it has become dedicated time for us to eat, talk and play together.

One of our favorite games right now is Tapple….(pictured here):

It has been fun to get out of the house, enjoy different parks/scenery and spend some one-on-one time together. We all look forward to our meal outside…without electronics and daily distractions.

Our family traditions are important, because they help our children see the value and priority we place on family, particularly OUR family.  What are some traditions you’ve started with your family?


A Fast Order of Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Fathers Day Coloring Page Coupons Printable-01

Free Father’s Day printables for kids to color

Fathers Day Printable Coupons-01Don’t forget dear Dad this weekend.  It’s his one weekend he gets to shine and be noticed!  I did some heavy research and found out a few things your dad and/or husband told me they/he wanted.  I’m sharing a free printable with some of these great coupons that came from my excellent sleuthing.  Have the kids color or paint them, then cut them out and slip them in his wallet or scriptures to surprise him this Sunday morning.  Or maybe send him on a treasure hunt to collect them!  He might prefer to just sit on the couch and have the kids run around to collect them.  Whichever way, they will be a great gift that he is sure to redeem in the near future!   Find all the downloads available HERE!


Image taken from and her post with a line-up of great last minute Father’s Day gifts and family night’s that focus on dear dad.



I also found several great ideas from the Paging Supermom website.  I love the game and the cookie prize award!  These would go great paired with the above handmade coupons.  And the best part?  The kids can be a part of the creating!  Wrap you arms around Dad’s neck and give him a book of coupons, a prize cookie and a great big kiss!


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AimeeFerre profile

This guest post was submitted by Aimee Ferre. She grew up in the desert of East Mesa in Arizona, but married a mountain loving Utah boy. She currently lives in Sandy, Utah and is a mom to 3 daughters. She owns a small crafting business where she creates holiday decor and specializes in hand-lettering. You can always find her creating new projects or planning gatherings for friends and family. Follow her on Instagram to see what is currently on her desk or find her blog at

Our Family Printable



For family night, think about gathering your family together and create a list of family guidelines you want to strive to live by. I say strive, as they are goals to reach for and we all know that on any given day, someone in the family is out of whack or the day just doesn’t go well. Chin up… tomorrow is a new beginning. (Note: Hence the Fight and Forgive on the list). Family life can be messy, but we are in this together and there is no place we would rather be. Think of this as a living, breathing document and as you hold family councils, look at the list you have created and add or subtract items, depending upon your needs. Every family is different with our own unique set of strengths and weaknesses…  print out your list and have everyone in the family sign and frame it ! Find it here

Have a wonderful day! Brenda