Car Checklist for Teens

Summer is great time to work on life skills around the house.  Want to tackle car skills? Then this car checklist is a great start for you! You are welcome to download a copy for yourself too!

10 Things Every Teen Should Know About Their Car

Isn't it amazing how different our kids are?  My oldest DRUG HER FEET when it came to getting her driver's license and car.  Like we had to say, "Yo kid, you WILL start preparing for your drivers license exam today."  On the other hand, my youngest can HARDLY WAIT to start driver's ed and he turned 15 just a few weeks ago!

We think there are, quite frankly, a GAZILLION things teen should know when it comes to them having a driver’s license and car.  But a GAZILLION seems a bit overwhelming to me, so let’s focus it in a little bit.

CLICK HERE to get your *FREE* Car Checklist for Teens

 Here is our top 10 things every teen should know about their car before they leave home:

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Choosing To Be A Purpose Driven Family

Never underestimate the power of family time when raising teens.

The grace, the teaching, the love, the encouragement, the community, the safe place, the moments… all the things – ALL make up the fibers of who our teen becomes. Now you and I both know that the LORD really creates who our teen becomes, but He chose YOU to be their parents.

I don’t know about you but knowing that key factor causes me to pause.

Am I doing this right?

Are we screwing this all UP?

Have I sentenced my teen to life on the couch of a therapist?!

LOL, yes, I’ve had all those thoughts at least once!

Although we can’t stop all the bad or create all the good for our teens, as parents, we can lead with purpose.

Do you ever feel like you as a family are always on the defense? Trying to catch up and react as life happens to you?

If so, this post is for YOU!

Becoming a Purpose Driven Family

What are your family values?

Becoming a purpose-driven family doesn’t have to be some...

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7 Books Every Teen Should Read Before They Leave Home

7 Non-Fiction Books Every Teen Should Read Before They Leave Home

Our teens LOVE fiction books, but non-fiction books that they will read can be hard to find.  We have found 7 books we constantly are recommending every teen read before they leave home.  So, we thought we would share them with you as well.

Read to the end to see a neat twist on how we had our teens tell us about what they read. :)

A book about working with change as it comes

We started short and simple, Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson.  A quick read with profound wisdom.  The book is written in a parable format and a great story about making the most out of change.

We figure life is AMAZING at throwing curveballs, let’s help her be in a mindset that is prepared for such occasions.


A book about creating good habits for success

The next book we had her read was The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens, by  Sean Covey.  As we read this book, we found ourselves...

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Teach Your Teen How To Budget

We have talked about teaching our teens to GIVE, SAVE and SPEND the money they earn.  We have talked about helping our teens learn the concept of living below their means.  

John Maxwell said it best, “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”  Can you imagine heading into adulthood and already understanding this concept and how to use the tools to accomplish it?  That is what today's lesson is all about.

Teach Your Teen How to Create A Budget

If you want the FREE Workbook to take our series and create your own lesson plan for your teen - click here. :)

A budget makes sense once you are in adulthood.  You have rent, utilities, groceries…bills.  As a teen… they have very little to worry about.  So, to help our teens learn to budget, let’s play pretend.

Step One - Create the situation

You can PRINT THIS WORKSHEET with amounts on them if they will help.

Just fold them up, put each...

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A 3 Step Process To Help Your Teen Learn To Live Below Their Means

Teach Your Teen How to Budget – part 2

Last week our budgeting lesson for teens was all about teaching our teens to give, save and spend their money and be PURPOSEFUL with their money.  This week, it all about staying in CONTROL of their money.

"Live below your means" was a new concept we learned from taking Financial Peace University.  We decided those words equal - have more money than month! ;)

One of the best ways to do this is stick to your budget like it is in the LAW.  We found the best exercise for our teens to feel the weight of this idea was to put them in charge of the grocery money.

Want to make our Teaching your Teen how to Budget Series into your own lesson plans?  CLICK HERE TO GET OUR FREE WORKBOOK.

Living Below Your Means

Introducing the Envelope System

An envelope system is super simple.  Pull out the money you have allotted for categories you will be going somewhere to spend the money (example: groceries, clothing, eating out) and...

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Teach Your Teen To Give, Save and Spend

Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing Money Management and Budgeting Tips for Teens.  (The same ones we taught our own teens.)

I also have a *FREE* Teach Your Teen How To Budget Workbook that you can get HERE.

PART ONE: Teaching Your Teen To Give, Save and Spend

Do you remember learning the meaning of “having more month than money”?

I do.  In fact for the first 12 years of our marriage we lived paycheck to paycheck with *almost enough to pay the bills.  It was rough. 

I still remember the first time our power got turned off.  The first time we got a call from a collection agency because we hadn't paid our car payment on time.  We spent those first 12 years stealing from Peter to pay Paul.

We wanted better for our kids, so we decided to learn better ways to manage money.


Breaking the System

Our life really started to turn around once we learned how to handle our money.  What helped us the most was going through Dave...

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A Sweet 16 Birthday Idea

Our youngest, Mateo, turned 16 this week, so I thought it might be fun to share something we don’t tell many people… well until now. I would love to share, how we celebrate our teen’s 16th birthday.

How We Celebrate Sweet 16 Birthdays

There are so many great ideas when it comes to celebrating the 16th birthday.  Hop on Pinterest searching the term "sweet 16 ideas" and your screen is instantly filled with pink balloons, memories to capture and sweet anticipation to the big day.

We realized a long time ago we could not begin to afford a big birthday every year. 

It was a real blessing that we couldn’t even pretend to compete with the Jones because it required us to get creative.

We decided we would be strategic with which years got some kind of party and which years would get a sheet cake, an off-tune happy birthday sung and a small $10 gift.

YEARS 5, 10, 13 and 18 would get a bigger affair.  Examples: Hannah chose a sleepover every...

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Ready for a reality check?

As your teen gets ready to leave home, one of the questions that your teen will wonder is, "how much do I need to leave home?" 

Inside LIFE 101 PRO we unpack that question. 

We have your teen research housing options that are affordable for them, they create meal plans and much more.  In that scenario, we tell the teens how much they make per month and they have to make that budget work. 

However, a great next step is to find out what kind of jobs will make it possible for your teen to make it on their own. 

A company called Jump Start Financial Literacy has a great tool to help you unpack the next question. They call it a reality check and I couldn't agree more!

The questions take only a few minutes and the answers are GREAT!

After your teen fills in the questions and presses reality check they will know:

  • how much the need to make to live the lifestyle they hope to live.
  • how much education is needed to obtain a job making that kind of money.
  • what kind of...
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Senior Pictures: 9 Tips to Make Them Stress-Free

 Senior pictures can be such a fun moment in high school senior’s life and as a former high school senior photographer, I LOVED helping make this day special.  Over the years, we saw a trend of things that help a senior picture day go well and want to pass them on to all you amazing homeschool moms of teens for when it is your time.  

Senior Pictures: 9 Tips to Make Them Stress-Free

So, print this, pin this, save it for when it is your time, but I totally recommend EVERY one of these tips!

Decide your budget ahead of time.

You will get rid of a lot of the overwhelm if you stay in budget.  Senior pictures represent such a pivotal moment in your child’s life.  They are about to cross the threshold of adulthood.  Sure, you want to capture it all and give them the moon, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to show them you care and think they are amazing.  The best thing you can do to show you care is just there.  Take them to...

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The Best Way To File Taxes For Teenagers

The best way to file taxes for teenagers... is to make them do it themselves.  We have a 15 year old and a 19 year old and we are helping a 21 year old.  This is how each teen filed their taxes.


I don't know about yall, but I didn't file my own taxes until I was married and we were on our own.  We had a MILLION W-2's and mileage deduction and car depreciation.  It's amazing how we really did live on both of us working $8 an hour almost full-time jobs, but we definitely couldn't afford the luxuries, like Wal-Mart tax professionals.  So that became my part time job at home - as it took WEEKS to get our taxes filed the first time.

Thankfully, years of practice has made this much easier to handle.  We want that same confidence for our teens, so as soon as they start getting a W-2 we have them start filing their taxes.


We knew Mateo, our almost 16 year old (*gulp*) didn't need to file his taxes, as he...

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