4 Kiddie Lessons in Frugality
As a parent, it is important to teach our kids the basics of financial concepts like saving and spending. Our persistence in teaching them while they are still young could pay-off, making them wise consumers, savers, and a financially savvy generation.
In my own personal life, I always teach my kids to save money and learn how to wait for the proper occasion or opportunity to spend. In addition, I always remind them to give to the LORD a certain portion of any monetary blessing they received from us. This early, I want them to develop their own deep convictions on giving back to the LORD.
IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT, DON’T BUY IT
No other lesson is perhaps more difficult to teach than this one. And it’s not just for kids. Even adults have trouble adapting it. Proof is the staggering default mortgage payments and bad credits.
Teaching our kids to save money for that toy for Christmas will also teach them a valuable lesson in self-control and in delaying gratification.
CONSTANTLY LOOK FOR BARGAINS AND SALES
Teaching our kids how to save is one thing. Teaching them how to spend it wisely is another. Looking for bargains and discounts may not be pleasant at times. However, by teaching our kids to shop at discounted rates is not only practical but also economical.
The important thing is we can instill in their young minds the practical concept of “value for money”. By paying at a lesser cost for the same item of value will definitely give our kids the advantage of having extra cash they can save or use for other purposes.
ALLOCATING MONEY FOR EACH GOAL
It has been said so many times that it becomes cliché, “No one in his right mind plans to fail, but the problem for many is they fail to plan”. It is always good to help out our kids set realistic goals – whether to buy an MP3 player or a bike – and then developing a plan how to achieve them.
According to realsimple.com in 4 Tips in Teaching Kids About Money, “parents can set the dollars amount or percentage towards each goal. For example, a rule could be to donate 10%, save 20% and have the remaining 70% to spend[i]”.
An alternate rule could be to give 10% for Tithes, 20% for Savings, and spend only 70% of the remaining money on what is truly essential.
“The important thing is that kids get acquainted with the notion that every penny earned can’t be spent (think: taxes)”[ii].
AVOID IMPULSIVE BUYING
Educating our kids on the danger of impulsive buying (which we as adults are not immune to) could help them learn at a young age how to differentiate needs from wants.
Our kids require our guidance to understand the fact that it takes a lot of effort to make money. And squandering those hard-earned money through unplanned, spur-of-the-moment, buying is a formula for disaster.
Buying things that are not urgently needed is a waste of money – which could have been used to buy more important necessities. Letting our kids realize and understand these concepts will serve them better in life.