The Frugal Parent, this could be the toughest to become in our quest to live frugality defined. From clothing to toys, from ice cream and friends, and from sports to needing a car, our kids put a lot of pressure on us and our purse strings.
One way to make it easier on both you and your kids is to begin setting an example of frugality while they're young. Doing so will help your kids get away from the materialistic mentallity. While young, kids are prompted into materialism by television adds and the examples that they see around them. It should be part of the parents job to protect their kids from suffering from the dreaded and expensive "I want it and need it now" syndrome. This is a learned behavior, however it can be inherited.
Here are a couple of ideas that might help you on your path of living frugal defined while parenting.
-Shop for kids clothes at the second hand store. Start doing this early in your childs life. You might be able to get away with not having to purchase new, name brand until the kid hits 10 or 12 years old. The money that you save by shopping at the second hand store while they're young will help subsidize the financing of the name brand clothes when their older!
-Put a little money away every payday for college. It doesn't have to be a lot, just so long as you set aside something. $15 per week, every week will amount to nearly $18,000 (depending on interest earned, the type of account, etc.) by the time they turn 18 years old. Certainly a good start!
-Buy pre-owned electronics like the gameboy, ps2, etc., whenever you possibly can! Sure, the kids will want the latest and greatest, but let their friends parents buy it, and let the kid visit the friends house! I know its not quite the same as having your own, but the idea is to live within our means, not to keep up with the neighbors. If it is a MUST HAVE item, let the kid(s) work, save and EARN it.
-Minimize TV time. This does a couple of things. First, it keeps the advertisers away from your children. Second, it reduces your electric bill. Third, you won't need to subscribe to an expensive cable package. Fourth, and most importantly, it give you and your kids some time to really be together. Whether your doing household chores or just sitting next to each other while each of you read a book, having this time to interact is very important and missing in a lot of kids routines.
-Go on family outings that don't cost anything! A trip to the amusement park sure is fun, but it is expensive too! Instead, for the cost of a few gallons of gas, take a ride into the country and go on a hike. Find a pond or stream someplace and look for frogs or salamanders. Pack a lunch, food always taste better when you eat outside. Kids love to do this, especially looking for frogs and things around ponds and streams! Very low on the cost scale, and very high on the doing something special scale!
-Read and apply what you've learned from the Series Frugal posted this week on Money and Credit:
-Regularly Visit the following blogs to learn more about frugal living;
Thanks for reading and please comment if you found something that helped you