How to Integrate Frugal Living Habits with Your Children
In today’s world of “buy now, pay later,” it can be difficult at best to integrate frugal living habits into our everyday lives. We are constantly bombarded with advertisements and promotions that practically beg us to make purchases – essentially making some items that we’ve never even heard of difficult to live without.
Unfortunately, kids today are also highly impacted by the constant chatter about products. This can be even more evident in some instances such as with ads during Saturday morning cartoons and messages online.
Just like anything else, though, teaching children how to integrate frugal living habits into their daily routine should begin at a young age. This way, kids will learn that being frugal is just another regular part of life.
Being Frugal Doesn’t Mean Living Without
Living a frugal lifestyle can in some ways be compared to losing weight. Here, shedding those extra pounds doesn’t have to mean starving yourself – it just entails eating more of the right foods and avoiding the rest.
Likewise, by simply having a good understanding of purchase needs and purchase wants, you will be much better equipped with the knowledge of what constitutes a necessary item and which items to back away from.
One way to ease into the habit of spending more wisely by avoiding impulse purchases is by passing on the purchase of an item initially. Give yourself 24 to 48 hours to “think about” the item. If, after that time, you still feel that the item is a “need,” then start to find ways of working the purchase into your budget.
The truth is, though, that by using this strategy, it is highly likely that you won’t give the item a second thought – therefore saving you money on an item that would likely end up sitting in a corner collecting dust.
One way to take this frugal living strategy even further, is to take the amount of money that would have been spent on an impulse purchase and placing it into a savings or investment account. You will be happily surprised at how much money you will be able to save over time.
Teaching Kids Early Helps to Create Healthy Financial Habits
Children learn a lot from their parents. So, in addition to teaching your kids the basics of life, it is important to add in education about money. Most habits are ingrained early – so by introducing frugal living information, it is likely that your kids will not just pick up on the information, but will also start using the habits regularly.
Some key steps in ensuring that your children both understand and comply with such habits can include the following:
- Teaching them how money works in the real world. Having a good understanding of how money really works can help to integrate good financial habits over time. For example, children who understand that in order to purchase a particular toy it will be necessary to part with a certain amount of dollars, they will begin to see the financial give-and-take that the real world presents.
- Helping them to appreciate the more simple things in life. While we would all love to give our kids the world, the truth is that it is essential to help your children to appreciate life’s more simple things. This can entail teaching your children that a walk in the park can be just as much fun as doing other activities that require spending money.
- Showing them how to be less wasteful. As our world seeks to become more “green,” showing your children how to be less wasteful can actually obtain numerous results. Examples here include recycling cans, bottles, and newspapers, as well as making the best use of leftover food for future meals.
- Letting them see that work is a necessary part of life. While having the winning lottery ticket would be a dream come true, the reality is that most of us need to work for our income. By showing kids how working a certain amount of hours translates into having a certain amount of pay, they will better understand the importance of hard work in relation to paying their daily expenses.
Creating a Financially Secure Future
Although frugal living habits are an essential part of life in terms of being less wasteful and saving money on unneeded items, one of the absolute best results of living a frugal life can be a financially secure future.
While there is no guarantee that you or your kids will become millionaires, there is a very good chance that by maintaining a regular habit of saving and investing the funds that are saved, your and your children’s financial futures will be bright.