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Family Looking Up

Sep 18, 2018

Overwhelmed.  Too busy. Too much stuff.  Who else is feeling this? I don’t know about your family, but my family is constantly running from one activity to another.  Quality family time seems to be a precious commodity now. This week we are talking to Jillian Johnsrud of the popular website, “Montana Money Adventures.”  Jillian coaches people to live an intentional life. Her popular website provides resources to reduce spending and increase freedom. Jillian and her husband were forced to live a minimalist lifestyle when they adopted three foster kids and had a child of their own in one year.  With the foster kids came numerous state appointments and challenges forcing them to simplify their life. At one point Jillian even removed all colored clothing from her wardrobe to reduce the choices she had to make every day. As their family has grown they have become really good at evaluating their family life and eliminating those “good” activities in order to make room for the “great” activities.  The lessons in minimalism Jillian has learned are applicable to all of us who are running around, like chickens with our heads chopped off, trying to keep up with the many activities our children are involved in. If you’re looking to reduce stress and increase time with your family you are going to want to listen to this one! Here is what we talked about:

  1. Big family minimalism and why Jillian’s family found the need to implement it.
  2. Jillian’s year of “easier not harder.”
  3. Taking out the extras in family time.
  4. Learning to let go of the unnecessary things in family life.
  5. Making a “quit list.”
  6. How to get kids to agree to cut out activities.
  7. Evaluating the cost of a busy life.
  8. Evaluating family priorities.
  9. Cross training your life (doing something that is intentionally difficult.)
  10. Teaching kids to do hard things.
  11. Helping kids exercise their “struggle muscle.”
  12. Having the courage to take out good things to be replaced with GREAT things.
  13. Creating time for connection.
  14. Investing in the learning curve of living together.  Learning to enjoy time together.
  15. Minimizing your STUFF.
  16. Labeling THINGS as hard working or lazy.
  17. Teaching your kids to reduce their possessions.
  18. Where to begin living more of a minimalist lifestyle.

Mom Squad Challenge:  Try to opt out of all your family activities for two weeks and see what really is adding value and enriching your life.  Add those enriching things back in and hopefully have more confidence to cancel all the other stuff.


To find out more about Jillian, get all her resources and join her email list visit her website:

Favorite Parenting Book: The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman

Favorite Book: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown