Teaching kids to be frugal might not be the easiest task in the world, but this is just because children don’t have a good comprehension of money, not necessarily because they are selfish. Teaching frugality involves engaging talks with kids as well as including them in your shopping trips and allowing them to think about saving money themselves.
Explain what money actually is
Children don’t really know where the money comes from, and how difficult it is to earn it. Therefore, it is up to you to explain them how the world works. Take them to work with you so that they can see what your obligations and responsibilities are in order to earn enough for a living. What’s more, talk about numbers. Children might not fully understand the math, but they can easily understand the relationship between the money you earn as a family, and the cost of living expenses. Don’t be afraid to tell them about all the things that cost money, including food and paying bills.
Take them shopping with you
Show the kids how much money you have for the next shopping trip and take them with you to the store. When you’re at the store, urge your kids to look for sale items on your shopping list. Make sure to show them the difference in prices between the full-price and sale items. Once you have your shopping cart full, add some tasty treat the kids would absolutely love and explain them that if you didn’t look for sales you wouldn’t be able to afford them the treat. It might seem pretty insignificant to you, but kids will learn what frugality means on examples such as this one.
Give them example of saving
In the beginning of the month, tell your kids that you’re going to try to save some money. When you talk to them every day, make sure to mention the success of your saving project just so they don’t forget about what you’re trying to do. If you have a specific goal for your savings, that’s even better. Something nice for the home that children would enjoy, perhaps a garden swing or a new TV would come in handy for their realization of what savings can achieve. Even if you don’t have a specific goal, you can take the kids to amusement parks or get them a nice toy, something that you don’t do often, and persuade them that it’s all made possible thanks to your efforts in saving money for the past month.
Introduce second-hand clothing
By allowing the kids to compare your great find in a second-hand store and a completely new piece of clothing you can make the kids realize that second-hand, even cheaper, can be of excellent quality and as pretty as a completely new garment. Also, shopping online can be a really fun experience for kids. You can show them some of the great affordable clothing websites such as https://www.swap.com/shop/baby-apparel/ and let them pick some of their own outfits. This will encourage kids to think frugal, and they will also feel responsible for creating their own style.
Money doesn’t buy happiness
Take the time and effort to play with your kids, and take them outdoors to experience the wonders of nature and free fun. If you take the trouble to explain them the endless possibilities of having a great time without the intervention of money, they won’t hold it in high regard or feel necessary to use money in order to have fun and engage in some of the most enjoyable activities for them.
You probably don’t want to burden your kids with the notion of money and make them worry about finances when they still don’t need to. However, it is a lot better and more effective to teach frugality if you show kids the respect and trust in their understanding of dealing with money.