If you designed your New Year’s resolutions to benefit your family, would you keep them? In the past, my resolutions were made to be broken, but that all changed when I started making them with my husband and children. The feeling that I am making great decisions for the people I love is a great motivator. As a bonus, most of the items on this list are beneficial for families on a budget and will help you to save money. Here are a few ideas to inspire your own list of resolutions that will make your family closer and happier.
Compliment each other.
Do you like it when a stranger admires your hair or shoes? The compliment probably feels pretty good. Admiration and praise are nicer, however, when given by someone special. Make a pact with your partner and kids to compliment each other more. The effects on your children may especially surprise you in a positive way. Here are 10 compliments from iMom (@iMOMTweets) that every child can benefit from hearing on a regular basis.
Shave dollars off each grocery bill.
There are always ways to cut back on grocery bills. I live in a city, so it’s easy to jump from one store to another for the deals that exist at each location. My way takes an entire afternoon to complete, which isn’t for everyone. Whether you use coupons, buy store brand foods or try my way is up to you. The trick is to find the shopping method that works best for your family. Here are a few Quick And Dirty Tips (@quickdirtytips) to help you cut your grocery bills in half.
Smiling, even when you’re not particularly happy, can boost your mood in a positive way. According to Psychology Today, smiling can help trick your brain into thinking you’re happier than you actually feel at that moment. Also, people like to be around others who make them feel better, so share that smile with everyone in the vicinity.
Schedule one evening each week as “family time.”
My favorite time of the week is Family Fun Time (our chosen name for Thursday evenings). Unless someone has a major school project on Friday (or work project, for that matter), my family comes together between 5-8:30 for dinner and games. Everyone participates and I even choose kid-friendly dinners so they can help cook (there’s no ordering take-out in our house). Here are some family fun night ideas from SheKnows.com (@SheKnows) to help get you started.
Clean the house as a family.
The family that cleans together stays together. Ok, maybe that’s not true, but the process is easier for everyone when we all pitch in. Try assigning a chore to each person so everyone remembers what’s expected of them every week. Do you need a little extra help? About (@aboutdotcom) offers ways to create chore charts that will streamline your cleaning routine.
Simplify your daily routine.
Aside from work, school, meals and sleep, what do you really need time for during the day? Instead of having 5 hobbies or activities to bounce between, choose 1 or 2. The point is to leave breathing room. Zen Habits (@Zen_Moments) offers 72 ideas for helping you to simplify your life. Not only will living simply help cut stress, but it can also help cut spending.
Pick a few ways to get in shape.
This does not mean “Get a gym membership.” You can definitely get in shape without shelling out money on expensive annual fees or equipment. A surefire way is to walk daily through the neighborhood or in a nearby park. Play games with your kids, or better yet, use them as weights. My baby used to love it when I would lie flat on the floor and lift her high up in the air for several seconds. And Then We Saved (@AndThenWeSaved) offers plenty of “staying fit” ideas from shoveling snow to playing with your kids and running stairs.
Eliminate unnecessary spending.
Do you really need the cable TV? Should the heater be cranked to 70 at all times? Reassess your spending habits and see which can be eliminated. Cutting corners can be as simple as unplugging devices when they’re not in use. Here are almost a hundred frugal ideas to motivate you. You can even involve kids in managing the household budget, depending on their ages.
Did you like this list, and would you incorporate any of these ideas into your own set of New Year’s resolutions? My favorite items here are #4, #5 and #7 since they promote spending quality time with the family and working together as a unit. Any decision that helps me save money is a keeper in my book, too. Where does your family cut corners? I’d love to hear extra ideas, so feel free to leave them in the comments section. Also, share this list with anyone you know on a budget or anyone looking for money-saving suggestions.