Whew, what a HOT month! But that is not the complete reason for our highest electric bill ever. We have 5 extra family members living with us, the two DVD players are on almost all day (it is too hot to play outside except for early a.m.), we all are using room fans to help camouflage the baby’s middle of the night crying (which is getting so much better), and we have had to use our office AC a lot (the construction business has thankfully picked up).
As a family that is home all day, our utilities and our messes will be so much more than those families who go somewhere else during the day. As we learn to budget for the upcoming school year, this is one expense that should be factored. However, we can certainly save money on our grocery bill. Since we are home, we should take advantage of simple home-cooked meals, garden produce, and wisely using leftovers. I have actually learned to gauge when we have been “living life” a little too much in the car with all our fast food expenses.
Speaking of summer and budgeting, this is the time that I order most of my curricula on-line. For beginners, it may be important to physically handle your books, but for those of us who are already familiar with our publishers, we can save by ordering online. One important tip: you do not have to order everything now! Give yourself time to see if a certain series ‘fits” with you and your children. Be willing to make the calls and send back those helps which are not in fact helpful to you. And unless it makes more financial sense, don’t buy second semester material until Christmas break–you may have finished early, you may go another direction, or you may have enough material to last throughout the second semester already.
Begin a new self-discipline to start this new school year: meditating on and putting God’s word in your heart. If you start now, in the beginning of August, by September it will be a habit. Then when you have your Bible time with your kiddoes, they will see that you have already been memorizing verses, and it will encourage and inspire them. (Read Chapter 4 in my book Go Fly A Kite).
And speaking of seeing something, before school starts, make a point to watch Denzel Washington in The Book of Eli. This is definitely a grown-up movie, and as you watch it, you will understand how we as parents need the underlying lesson told in the tale as we train our children.