I've read here and there on the blogosphere thoughts on social capital, which seems to be a fancy way of saying do unto your community, so your community will do unto you. There's not as much of this around as in days of yore: we each seem to be living in our households, every kid with a full library of identical toys and Disney tapes.
Recently, I've been thinking of family capital. This probably means trust funds for those who have them! I'm thinking of my own more humble family version.
Miss Em, for instance, has been cutting my hair for several years. After witnessing my misery with professional cuts, she said, "I can do better." Even aside from the psychological benefits, I save, perhaps, $150/year. I can't remember when she started, but I suppose she has at least $600.00 in her family bank account. She cuts Frugal Son's hair too.
Meanwhile, I'm cooking up some freezer meals to bring her.
i suppose I'm the one who benefits, since when she saves money, I save money, and Miss Em remains under parental support at the moment. Still, we had the money to fund her course in Italy last summer.
I don't know how to transform the virtual family savings account into something "real." Mr. FS says that it is good to promote the idea that we are all in this together: that what benefits one family member, benefits all.
That is why Mr. FS and I fantasize about babysitting for our (at present imaginary) grandchildren. We could be adding at least $10/hour to our children's virtual bank accounts. Tax free for both worker and employer!
Does your family engage in similar money-saving activities?