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At a time when just about everyone in the household who can work goes to their job every day, maybe it’s time to consider doing some of the tasks around the house that we have been paying someone else to do. Have a conversation with your family to see if you can all agree to pitch in to do these five things. If you do, you’ll be able to save more money each month which can be put towards your goals or elsewhere.


  1. Yard work – yes, it can be a good work out and even the kids can learn to mow the lawn, pick weeds and trim bushes. It may not look as manicured as when your gardened does it, but it just might get someone a new pair of shoes this month!
  2. House cleaning – keeping your home clean is a virtue, or something like that. And it costs a bundle if you pay someone to do it consistently. Consider having each family member adopt one room per week and then rotate responsibilities. You can do all of these chores together on the same day and maybe consider a reward by setting aside a special time to do something that’s fun for everyone – a movie, bowling, mini golf, you choose. Because now you’ll have some money left over to do that.
  3. Eating at home – mom and dad shouldn’t be the only ones responsible to provide the family a meal at night. Preparing several dishes for the week as a family activity on the weekend or assigning certain nights for everyone to try out their culinary skills not only prepares children for their future lives, but it is a healthier and much more cost effective way to eat. Many easy prep and slow cooker meals now make it fun to try new dishes – and, for younger children, frankly a sandwich, pickles and fresh veggies meal is easy to learn to prepare and serve for starters.
  4. Washing the car – children, especially, love playing in water. So, send them out with a bucket and hose and let them do the best they can at cleaning up the family car! Teach them the ropes the first few times and let them loose. While playing with water can be fun, also teach them the importance of conservation, after all the water bill can add up fast and we all should be doing our part to only use what we need.
  5. Walking the dog – many people with very busy lives and schedules now pay someone to walk the dog daily. Even though this is a nice perk when the poor pups are home alone many days and hours, the puppy will most likely love being with you or another family member more than anyone you might pay.

Maybe it just isn’t feasible for your household to accomplish all of this – in reality, mom and dad come home from work, kids have homework and after school activities and many other things get in the way. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing when you consider different choices that can impact your money. Why not try one or two of the items on this list for starters. Or, do a partial adjustment on one, like eating at home. If your family can determine and work together to cook at home even four or five nights a week, think of the benefits to health and finances. The lessons learned and the bonding gained from working as a team to instill new habits may pay off in ways never imagined.

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About Sharon Cabeen

Sharon is an award winning Accredited Financial Counselor, AFC® who has helped clients with budget counseling, debt repayment strategies, and financial education for over 35 years. Her passion is assisting people as they embark on life choices and transitions that involve their personal finances. Recently retired, Sharon is enjoying a successful transition to a slower and simpler pace, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, and the opportunity to try new kitchen creations.
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