Raising Frugal Kids
Children are rarely involved in the day to day decisions of their family’s financial picture but constantly want things that cost money. There should be a better step by step guide to raising frugal kids but here are some tips. Why shouldn’t kids learn the value of money by helping the family budget their money or pay bills? Wouldn’t teaching financial responsibility early in life help children grow up to be financially independent and capable of managing money? When my children were younger they would always ask if they could use my ATM card to go buy toys. They didn’t fully understand what money was or how I got it, all they knew and recognized about money was that when mom needed it she used a card to draw it out of a machine. When children get into their teens their needs and wants increase immensely and some of their demands and things they think they are entitled to can be quite insane. Here’s a few ways to teach children and teens about the value of money and how using it frugally will stretch its worth.
Younger children can be taught the value of money by earning it through performing chores and through helping mom pay the grocery bill at checkout. Even a toddler will recognize that when you go the grocery store and put items into the cart that those items aren’t free. Younger children can also help clip coupons, they might not understand what a coupon is yet but as they grow up they will remember clipping coupons and know that it helped their family save money.
Adolescent children can be further educated about money by earning it through extra chores around the home, mowing the neighbors yard or babysitting their cat or dog. This is also a great age to introduce an allowance. When they fail to do a requested chore parents have a great opportunity to teach what happens when we miss a day of work by deducting that chore value from their money and using it to pay their sibling to do the missed chore. Another great way to teach the value of a dollar to adolescent children is to have them research prices of toys and electronics online, wait for the requested item to go on sale and then purchase it.
With teens money is a bit different. Many child psychologists and human development experts suggest an allowance be given with no chore requirements attached. Allowances are given because the teen is part of the family and as such they are given certain privileges, money and a cell phone being a few of them, but there are certain stipulations attached to this. Chores should still be a regular part of a teenager’s life because they are part of the family but allowance should not be indicative of how many chores they got through that week. As a chore replacement you can assign bill paying and grocery shopping. This is a great way to teach a teen about the value of money and how quickly it can be used up. In the process you are teaching them important life skills they will need once they leave home.
As you can see I have a range of ages in my house so I am working on helping all my children grow up knowing the value of money. What tips have you used in your household?