You've heard me talk about The Barefoot Investor book in a previous post well last month Scott Pape launched his "The Barefoot Investor for Families" which I ordered.
It talks about spending 3 minutes at family meal time once a week to teach your kids about finances, savings, spending, giving, cooking. Like the original book refers to "Date Nights" this book is done at the "Family Dinner" table. Each section focuses on a topic just like the original book. This book is read by the parents and then discussing and implementing a topic at the weekly dinner table. At the end of each chapter it summarizes actions for you to focus on.
My kids both have a money box with all their money in so we got our old fashioned "jam jars" as suggested [these ones are the raspberry jam jars from Aldi I have saved and they stack nicely on top of one another too]. The idea behind the jam jars is like the grown up version of buckets when the kids are older and get bank accounts they can get 3 bank accounts to replace their jam jars and they are used to splitting and managing their finances.
Both my kids are really good at cooking breakfast, morning and afternoon tea and pizza for dinner however my next step was for them to make an actual meal for the family. Starting off with spaghetti bolognese, stir fry etc. In the book it suggests that the kids pick a menu, write a shopping list and actually do the shopping and then cook the meal. Scott has provided a couple of his families favourite recipes for the kids to start with in the book. This extra was step was one I hadn't ever thought of before and it's brilliant. My kids have been to the supermarket with me 1,000 over the years but are always walking behind me as I get the things on my shopping list. Apart from fruit and veg, deli, bakery, lolly and milk isles I doubt my kids would know which isles have which ingredients. eg sesame oil for instance.
Scott suggests you invite the Grandparents over and have the kids cook dinner. I invited some family over for a dinner party with the kids in charge. I gave them a budget of $60 to feed 7 people and they had to plan the menu, check the fridge and pantry for ingredients first and then write up their shopping list. They had to go a step further and go online to check the prices and write these next to their shopping list to make sure they could afford to stay within budget. James decided he would cook the main dish and Sienna would make the dessert. This is the menu they picked.
Chicken Thigh Fillets with Honey & Ginger
Stir fry veggies with Oyster Sauce
Sticky Date Pudding, Caramel Sauce & Home Made Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Their shopping list came in under budget so off we went to the supermarket and I walked behind them and kept my mouth shut and the two of them had to find and buy all the ingredients. They also had to go back to the car to get the shopping bags when we got our trolley as we all know that's part of shopping too these days...a good lesson. When we got out of the car I could have said you'll need shopping bags but I let it go so they could learn that lesson. Our car is close to the entrance of the shops so its not as if it's a long way to go back and get them. They got all their items on their separate lists and came in under budget. When we got home James cut up all the chicken and prepared the marinade, mixed that together and then put that in the fridge. Sienna then made her Sticky Date Puddings in the muffin trays and while they cooked she made the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and put that in the freezer.
They then had to make sure the house was clean for guests, James put together a three hour playlist of music for us oldies to enjoy. Later in the afternoon he washed and cut up all the vegetables and put them into the fridge and then Sienna ironed the linen table cloth. She had a scratch on her leg so she was just about finished ironing and then I saw blood on the cloth so I had to put that in the wash and give her the other linen cloth to start ironing again. She set the table and then we were ready for guests. We even used to good china.
They had to get the cheese platter ready, greet guests and fill up our drinks all night and they had an absolute ball doing it. The meal was amazing and I've given them a budget of $30 for next time so think home made Quiche, Zucchini Slice or home made pizza. We just went a bit fancy on the first night. I told the kids that you wouldn't spend $60 on a weekday meal and that it was a "Dinner Party" so it was a bit special. Both the kids loved doing it and required very little help from me only if they had a question. It's my job to make sure my kids are fully capable of looking after themselves when they are young adults and as a family we all loved this. Technically my eldest could leave home at 18 like the olden days...however most kids are still home when they are 23-25 these days however regardless of that, it gives them a lot of confidence in lots of areas. The meal was delicious, presentation was great, music was good and Sienna even did a magic trick for the guest. I can highly recommend implementing this with your kids. Such great confidence building skills and a night off cooking was even better. I loved the extra step of them working out the shopping list and going to the supermarket because we all know it's easy to cook dinner with all the ingredients in the house and we all know they don't get in the house by magic...you have to work out what you need, do the list and shop before you even start preparing a meal. Here's a few pics of our evening.