This past Saturday, my love and I had Family Meeting. May not sound fun to you, but we love it every single time. We discussed our calendars, upcoming commitments, our budget, items we’re saving for, business plans for my self-employment, and potential travel. It is absolutely necessary for us to hold an official Family Meeting at least once each month, mostly so that we keep track of our schedules and our money. Some friends of ours call theirs the “Coin and Calendar” meeting. 

Here are some essential elements to a good family meeting:

  • A great location. We have ours at the best donut shop in north Georgia, which would get me excited about Family Meeting even if I weren’t excited about Family Meeting. And as a corollary: great coffee. You’d be amazed at what the Holy Spirit can do in conjunction with caffeine.
  • An agenda. We begin talking (and e-mailing during the workday) the week before a meeting on Saturday about items we’d each like to discuss. Some things are the same each time, like scheduling upcoming events and looking at the budget, but several things change month-to-month.
  • Fun things to discuss. If you only talk about the boring stuff, you’ll get tired of them really quickly. Incorporate conversations on places you want to visit, fun items to save up to buy (as in not a new refrigerator, but more like a Wii or an iPhone), date night ideas, and birthday/Christmas hints.
  • All parties are involved. We don’t have children yet, so “all parties” is pretty easy. But later, we’ll bring our kids in for age-appropriate parts of the meeting. We’ll talk about allowances, school events, sports practices, family vacations, and other things that won’t make them want to pull their hair out. As they grow up, this will be the perfect avenue for teaching them about effective budgeting.