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So back in mid-November, James and I attended a fireside on Parenting.  The guest speakers were staying next door with our neighbours (who happen to be the Stake President and his wife).  I ran into them on campus while walking home from lunch with James.  “Hello, we’re the Eyres we’ve heard so much about you.”  “Oh no” I thought, and then I said something witty – I don’t recall what.  I smiled, and we all laughed and went our separate ways.  I didn’t think another moment about it, except that they seemed nice.

Richard and Linda Eyre gave an amazing fireside meeting on Parenting.  They shared their teaching experiences and stories from their time raising their 9 children.

@Cold Stone Creamery with the Eyres

It was entertaining, informative, and enlightening.  I didn’t feel weighed down by a thousand tons of guilt, and though the intended 90 min fireside went over an hour I was hungry for more.  I felt truly edified by the end of the night.  Imagine my excitement when we decided to stop for Cold Stone Creamery Icecream before heading home.  It was close to midnight before we finally settled in for the night.
Dubai evening skyline from the car.

Excited to share the new friendships we had made I updated my Facebook status.  Boy was I confused with the responses.  Something like, “So, jealous you actually got to meet them!”.  Wow!  My friends back in Canada know the Eyres, small world.  So I did what any other librarians wife would do, I googled them.  What did I find out?  They’re famous!  What!  I hung out with famous people.  Check out this link.  I can laugh now because after the fireside I actually said to Linda, “Oh hey I have one of your books!” and at the time I still hadn’t realized it wasn’t the only one.

The-Entitlement-TrapThe fireside was based on their book, “The Entitlement Trap” in which they discuss the concept of a “Family Economy” and how parents can use it as a tool to teach important values to our children.  I’m not going to discuss it in detail but instead tell you that it is an interesting topic worth whatever price the book is going for.  What I want to share with you here is how we have interpreted and implemented the idea of the “Family Economy” into our family.

Jaron's made bed.We have struggled with keeping the kids motivated to do chores, and participate in keeping the house tidy.  So we broke the house down into 3 zones, so that each of our children would be responsible for a zone for the length of one week.  Each zone is broken down further into 5 parts.  At the end of the day they earn a point for each part of their zone that they have completed the chores for.

At the end of the week, the amount of points they earned coordinates to how much they will get paid.  No chores, no pay – just like a real job.  The real hard lesson comes when the one person who slacked off all week and didn’t do their chores gets to watch the others spend the money they worked hard to earn.   Click here for our Family Economy example.

The kids have learned quickly that they can’t have what they don’t have money for, as well as what it is they are willing to spend their hard earned cash on.  As a parent it is hard to let go of some of that control, and let them decipher for themselves what objects are worth their …dirhams.  Without sales tax this has been an incredibly easy transition for them.  They don’t have to figure out the percentage of extra money they have to pay, they can just take the number right off the item and add it up next to all the rest, then fork out their dough.  Easy peasy.

YNABWhat the family economy has inspired us to do is to actually start a budget.  I like my apps.  So I was looking for something I could use along side my phone.  I came across a desktop app called “You Need A Budget“.  It’s laid out really nicely and even comes with some great tutorials to build you up and guide you to taking control of your money.  We have tried to start a budget in the past but it always turned into more of a confessional, guilt session where we would point out to each other who spent more.  Setting this up was not like that at all.  We planned ahead where each dollar … dirham was going to go.  It also syncs with an app on my phone so I can input debits immediately before I forget, and check on the fly whether we can afford to do something spontaneously.  We only have 10 days left on our 30 day trial, but I was in love with this program from the get go and we’ll likely bite the $60 bullet, we even  worked it into our budget.  Click here for a discount, I know you’ll love it too!

I hope you will take the time to check out the links in this post.  I promise they are all worthwhile!