Spending your budget on the things that will last.

January 2009

Just because the holidays are over, doesn't mean it has to be the end of family time. In fact, during this economic downturn spending time at home may become a necessity for you and your family. So the next time your teenager asks for twenty bucks to go to the movie (remember when five bucks would have been plenty), try taking advantage and spending time at home as a family. Here are a few ideas that wont cost you anything:

Play a Board Game: Yes a board game. Our world is so full of hyperactive equipment and gadgets sometimes taking out your blue tooth and sitting down to a relaxing game that doesn't have any buttons or sound effects is really nice. Here is a hint: pick a game that everyone can play and enjoys. Don't let a little dispute about the rules or game play ruin your night. Plan ahead and most of all just relax.

Play a Nintendo Game: Remember the hundreds of dollars you spent on that special gaming system with all the games and accessories to match? Well its time the whole family started to enjoy it. By stepping into your child's game world you might find out a thing or two about what they are really up to. Who knows, you just might end up enjoying yourself.

Make Dinner: The truth is you have to make dinner anyway right? Making dinner at home instead of dining out will not only save your wallet, but it might just end up saving your family. Pick your favorite recipe and have the whole family help. Try to choose something that everyone can help with and isn't going to be stressful to make (with the whole family in the kitchen, let's be honest, you need to eliminate all the stress you can). Pizza is a good example. You make the dough and everyone makes their own personal pizzas. To really cut down the hassle buy pre-made pizza dough and toppings and viola: dinner the whole family can help you make.

Watch a Movie: Set yourself up for a good time. Pick a good movie the whole family can enjoy. That means if you have little ones and teenagers you might have to be creative. Make some treats, and kick your feet back for some quality time together. As simple as it may sound, it really isn't the activity that you do with your kids, its the time you spend with them that they will really remember. So even if you have to sit down to a cheesy full length cartoon for an hour and a half, it is going to be worth it in the end.

Spending time with your family should be a high priority on your list of to do's everyday. By spending just a couple of moments everyday with your kids, not to mention your husband or wife, having real conversations will not only increase your own happiness and state of mind, but will also help keep your kids out of drugs and other risky behaviors.

This message was sponsered by Gravity Matters, a one of a kind parent training course. For more tips visit: www.1on1parenting.com.

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