It is so hard to tell our children no. Especially when we have a child who is excelling in school, respectful, and very active in sports. It is very hard as a parent to say to our children, “I am so sorry but we cannot afford it right now”.
These are some hard conversations that you have to have. However, if you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck these conversations must happen.
Our children want us to be happy, stress-free, wealthy, and successful. They also want to be a part of the financial journey, and contribute to the financial goals you have. A great way to get your family on one accord is having monthly family meetings. Some may say having weekly meetings, in the beginning, will help your family adjust to the new lifestyle of communicating. Believe it or not, we have been having family meetings for years.
Our family meetings go a little something like this:
First Step To Having A Successful Meeting
A discussion is made between my husband and I. So that we can be on one accord during the family meetings. This is a great time for you to discuss some of the goals you may want to work on in the future. Or even discuss how you may need to address a problem in the family. We also discuss our financial status, we set financial goals and a spending plan for each child.
Rules and Simple Guidelines
Each child is able to discuss their feelings. Family Meetings is a “safe place”, meaning this is their place to exhale respectfully without judgement. They should discuss their accomplishments and pain points. They may also discuss their upcoming events such as sports activities or dates to hang out with friends.
We ALWAYS open and end each meeting with prayer. A schedule and outline is created before each meeting so we can assign task and activities if needed. Make your family meetings fun and interactive.
We also try to keep the meeting short, usually under an hour. We are a family of five so having a meeting in less than 30 minutes would not work well for our family.
Consistency and Clarity
Pick a place, set a consistent schedule, and duration for your family meeting. Create a binder to take notes. Write down your vacation, financial, communication, and faith goals. Set goals that you can work on together as a family. More importantly, create an action plan for each person to work on. You must hold each other accountable.
Take the time to work on some family issues and concerns. Oh, most importantly...set rules and boundaries. Be clear and consistent about the rules and exceptions. If you have to discipline a child, discipline in private. Remember, the atmosphere must be safe, loving, and peaceful!
Our family meetings have allowed us to get out of debt, build wealth, and communicate better as a family. It will not be easy in the beginning but change is hard. We have to change in order to grow, to grow as a family!