Budget Template!!

Our budget template has been several months in the works now, what with my Twin Sis traveling all over Africa and me just trying to managing a family and a new blog venture. You likely aren’t quite as excited as us, but I know that a few of you have been eagerly awaiting our new budget template.(hosted by Media Fire)

First, I must give the bulk of the kudos to my better half, since she’s the Excel genius who really crafted the template’s stellar formatting. I’ll only give myself credit for tailoring it to meet family budget needs.

I’ve used various budget templates over the years, originally simple self-made ones and then a few found online. Yet, none of them quite did the trick for me, and one of my biggest frustrations was not being able to see each month at a time and how the months blur together visually. This budget template helps draw your attention to important things, like when you are over-budget the font turns to red . The final page also shows you your averages, which is really key to understanding and changing your financial priorities.

Despite the bell and whistles, the template has been created with you our user in mind. You really don’t need to know Excel to be able to plug in your family budget info and watch it do the tallying for you!

Please post comment if you download, we’d love to know that our time and effort is helping you meet your family finance needs! We’d also like to continue to improve the template, so your feedback is important to us!

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Great & Grand Green Mamas

Happy Almost Mama’s Day!

I’ve shared inspiring Green Mama stories all week, but I’ve been saving the best for last. My own Grand-Mama and Mama inspire me daily, and help shape my green ethics and family values.

When I was a kid I remember thinking that our Grandma was a bit extreme in her frugality, and I bet that I rolled my eyes back in junior high when she insisted that I patch the holes in the knees of my jeans.  

Despite having a prosperous nursery business, she’s never been frivolous in her spending.  While influenced in part by her experience as a young woman during the Great Depression, frugality often contributes greatly to reducing ones footprint even if that’s not your primary intent.

Our Mama has quite the green roots .  She lived in the most sustainable of ways, by moving off the electrical grid for a decade, where I was fortunate enough to spend my youth.  She knows what it is like to live off the harvest and lightly on the earth. She was even a Green Mompreneur in her hippie days, and actually had a small business where she sold handmade leather garments – think moccasins, buckskin jackets.

Decades later, she now teaches home economics at a small school, where she’s led an effort to become a certified Oregon Green School . She’s not only a very Green Mama , but a leader in her community.

Aside from my own Green Grands and Greats in my life, there are many other that inspire as well. I was thrilled to find a Hippy Grandma Eco Love blog! Check out the Green Grandma’s blog for a taste of how to Live Green & Live Smart. 

Was your Grandma Green?  Has she taught you how to live more lightly on the earth?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Global Green Mamas

Oxfam is helping unite “Sister on the Planet” who are working together prepare for climate change. They’ve posted four stories of Global Green Mamas who are shining beacons of hope in the face of intense environmental challenges.

Sahena’s story:

Martina’s story:

Muriel’s story:

Ursala’s story:

It may have become cliche, but I still believe in the mantra “Think Globally. Act Locally.”  Thinking globally reminds us that we are all connected, as humanity and with Mama Earth. 

Do these Green Mama story move you to act?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Green Mompreneurs

I’ve been really inspired by a few Green Mama friends who have launched their own eco-friendly businesses. 

My friend Amanda used her maternity leave (and subsequent lay off) to dream up a green business plan that could help her family create its own brand of sustainable abundance.  Scoop now serves up organic handmade ice cream from a rehabbed delivery truck  (find on FB). Food carts are all the rage in Portland, and have become a force in the local economy. The flavors are creative and delicious…I’ve tried the “chocolate peanut butter” and “strawberry champagne sorbet”, both scrumptious!  

Another friend of mine has used her skills as a horticulturist to grow Sprig & Sprout (also found on FB). Sprig & Sprout specializes in growing sustainable culinary herbs, which are sold to restaurants and at local farmer’s markets. She started the business somewhat as a hobby business initially, and just wanted a have a way to use her skills and stay at home to raise her kiddos. After a few years on the market she’s managed to pay off her initial capital investments and turn a profit, plus she’s growing her dream!  

I recently met yet another  Green Mama  at an urbanMamas lunch. Hedgehog Hiker  designs and creates hiking pants for children, which are both adorable and practical. She found a niche when she searched high and low for a pair of sturdy pants for her son, so she decided to sew them herself! She takes sustainability seriously and it took her about two years to find an eco-friendly cloth for her products. She also employs her talents as a seamstress.

While I met the “Queen Bee” herself, I was very excited to find a new Green Mama owned business in my neighborhood. Queen Bee Creations & Chickpea Baby designs truly unique purses and diaper bags with colorful silhouettes to suit any Green Mama’s personal style. I actually asked Hubby for a purse for Mama’s Day…I hate to admit it, but I don’t have a purse and am always using random reusable grocery bags!

Lastly, I feel the need to give a shout out to Earth Mama Angel Baby Organics, located just outside Portland. They have amazing products, and I can’t say enough about their postpartum products they really help heal you. A great baby shower gift for new Green Mamas!

Which Green Mompreneurs inspire you? Are you one?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Celebrity Green Mamas

In an “ Ode to Green Mamas ,” I’ve discovered a remarkable collage of celebrity Green Mamas . The trend is obvious, but I was still pleasantly surprised to find such an eclectic variety of superstars growing green roots.

Like all Green Mamas , these women express their green talents in diverse ways:

Soleil Moon Frye is a grown Mama now, best known as “Punky Brewster” who she played as a childhood actress (pictured right). Soleil’s sharing her love of being a Green Mama in her shop, The Little Seed , a specialty boutique that carries eco-friendly and organic products. Soleil has two children, Poet – 4, Jagger – 2.

Julia Roberts has taken her Green Mama superstar status to the tops, by showing Oprah’s worldwide audience how to eat organically. Her house is decked with solar panels. Julia Roberts is a spokeswoman for Earth Biofuels, and she took her passion to the California legislature to push for laws to require biodiesel school buses. Julia has three children, Phinnaeus and Hazel – 5, and Henry – 3.

Cindy Crawford is not only a supermodel, but now a super Green Mama . Her eco-awakening came after her children were born, both home births. Cindy Crawford campaigns for tap water to benefit Children’s Safe Drinking Water, and curb the waste of disposable plastic bottles. Cindy has two children, Presley – 10, and Kaia – 8.

Sheryl Crow, eco-famous singer-songwriter, takes her Green Mama  mission on every road trip. Sheryl is a Green Advocate for NRDC and helped organize college campus tours in biodiesel bus to bring awareness to the need for climate action. Sheryl Crow has her own eco-friendly clothing line, Bootheel Trading Co. Sheryl is mother of Wyatt – 3.

Who is your favorite celebrity Green Mama?

Sustainable Family Finances 
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.