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The Money Messenger, Issue #002 -- Spring Babysitting Themes
March 17, 2008

Welcome to The Money Messenger!

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Babysitting Themes: It's Almost Spring!
The calendar says spring is coming but around here we have yet to see the first sign! No matter - it will be here before you know it, and now is the time to plan for your babysitting theme days or nights for this new season.

If you are new to babysitting themes, they are a way to either structure or expand your babysitting business. For example, you can save your Friday or Saturday nights for standard babysitting jobs (where you babysit for one or two families in their homes). But then you can also have one or two babysitting theme afternoons during the month where you devote two or three hours to a specific theme and have 5-10 kids attend. If you need more information on this type of babysitting activity, see the Babysitting Activities page. With that little bit of background, here are some ideas for your babysitting themes:

  • Earth Day. In 2008, Earth Day falls on Tuesday, April 22nd. Plan your event an afternoon or evening a week or two in advance of this day. And, since the focus of Earth Day is saving or helping the planet, consider activities, crafts and snacks with that focus.
  • Arbor Day. Arbor Day is on April 25th (although some states may celebrate it on different days) - landing very close to Earth Day this year. And they can have similar themes since there is an environmental focus for both of them. But that doesn't mean that you can't do both! For Arbor Day, the focus is more on trees and not the broader environment.
  • May Day. May 1st is a less of a formal holiday than it is a great sign of spring. But it is another idea for a theme day - and gives you a focus for your theme: May Day flowers and baskets!
  • Cinco de Mayo. The May 5th celebration of Mexico's independence has become a holiday of its own in the US. It falls on a Monday in 2008, and you might want to consider a kids' event on that night if parents in your area celebrate that night as well.
  • Mother's Day. Mother's Day is on May 11th. The focus here is likely going to be on making a craft and card to take home to Mom.

Or consider your own theme - especially if there are events in your community. Make it your own and advertise creatively!

Chore Contracts
In one of our newest sections, we have added information as well as a free downloadable chore contract. This is a great option for families where a chore chart doesn't seem to be working.

A chore contract looks a little more formal than a chart that gets posted to the fridge. And it may be more effective for tweens or teens that are ready for a more mature way to commit to household responsibilities. But it can be used for any age.

Some unique ideas for using your chore contract include:

  • Having a contract for each season. This could be tied to the actual seasons of the year or to the sport seasons if you have an active teen. They may be able to do less in spring because of school, soccer and baseball - but more in the summer when school is out.
  • Adapting the chore contract for other things besides chores. What about homework or practicing the piano? Maybe they already made the list of responsibilities, or maybe not.
  • Use it on the parents. What?! Really. A great way to show your kids that you are as committed as you want them to be is to have a contract of your own. It may feel odd since parents tend to do what needs to be done, but it can help build the family commitment.

To check out more information on chore contracts, click here.

Fun money fact
How much does $1 million weigh?
That would depend on the denomination of the bills you use. Since there are 490 notes in a pound, if you used $1 bills it would weigh 2,040.8 pounds, but if you used $100 bills it would weigh only 20.4 pounds.

Latest on the site
Besides the chore contract talked about above, a new page on teen website business has been added. Check it out here.

Over the next month, be sure to look for pages that give more details on spring babysitting themes talked about above. Plus, I will be adding a do-it-yourself version of the Allowance Coach.

If there are resources or products you'd like to see us offer, fill out the Contact form and let me know!

Coming soon...the next issue of The Money Messenger
Next month's issue will include new articles on:
  • preparing for teen summer jobs
  • the nuts and bolts of starting a savings program for kids
  • more fun money facts, and
  • the latest site updates

Comments or suggestions?
If you have any comments or suggestions for future newsletters, please let me know. I want to be sure that this newsletter meets your needs. Feel free to provide your comments using our contact form.

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