Lesley’s email to our friends, the post on margin, and a late night video chat date with some dear friends about a month ago have collectively stirred some thoughts which has led me to a series I found myself writing called “paddle the boat”. The “boat” being the all-encompassing “family life”. and the “paddle the” would be Intentionality and Initiative with the “boat”. Powerful image in my mind… more on that later.
There’s a plethora of good resources and “life-hacks” for busy families. To some degree my mind tells me I am probably posting this next handful of blog entries into an already saturated online archive of family tips. Additionally, I don’t presume this series will be anything new or earth shattering – but I’m of the persuasions that we can always learn and glean from what others are doing.. so I submit these in that heart – maybe someone over the intraweb will glean a parenting nugget.
“The Budget Sync” – is a weekly meeting we have to talk about time and money, specifically how we are (or are not) spending it.
Although it is one of the most beneficial pursuits we have taken on, it is also one of the hardest to keep calendared in a busy family. Makes sense.. most beneficial is the hardest do.
Now, life happens and we aren’t always able to get this weekly meeting in, but when we are able get to the Budget Sync more than not, we find the ins and outs of the week flow much better, not perfectly, but better. The over arching goal is that we schedule time to talk and reflect on the most valuable commodities (time and money).
Discussion regularly includes these points:
- (Re)establishing our default week (variation every season).
- Changes in the Default week (for this week and next).
- Events the kids have coming up
- Commitments we have together and individually.
- Schedule and plan for “Days Off”
- Home School Adjustments / Plans
- Are we over-spending anywhere?
- Can we pay off more debt, or faster?
- Giving opportunities.
- House project priorities for the next season.
Time and money are the main points of the meeting but there are times we talk about:
- parenting strategies
- our communication (I felt unloved / disrespected when..)
- Child(ren)s Behavior
- What’s been taking your attention (good or bad)
- What are you reading (bible / book)
- Dreams Vision
I can’t think of a time we sat down to have our budget sync meeting and we were not interrupted (either by an outside source or our own internal thoughts / desire)
Challenges we face in scheduling this time:
- Paper vs Electronic (how do we work through this)
- Children not sleeping at the scheduled time
- We are tired
It is important to document your meetings.. who’s the secretary? Take minutes. I may be a little over zealous with my organization with this, but it helps us to look back on what we have talked about. We’ve used Google Docs in the past. Recently Evernote works great in the season we’re in – we are able to link, share, collaborate, and compile articles and documents. And normally we start the current meeting by scanning through the previous meeting and “our notebook” in Evernote.
Deep breath. Start Budgeting!