5 Ways to teach your kids the importance of a frugal lifestyle

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By: Kedy
on 14th Jul,2015

The hardest challenge that many parents face these days is raising children frugally, teaching them the value of money, and spending wisely.
5 Ways to teach your kids the importance of a frugal lifestyle

The hardest challenge that many parents face these days is raising children frugally, teaching them the value of money, and spending wisely. It is not enough to simply feed them foods that are nutritious and ensuring they have warm clothing, but raising them to grow up as respectable adults is a big part, as well. Families that live a frugal lifestyle understand the advantages of saving money, the impact frugal living can have on the environment, and the importance of not focusing on material things but, rather, concentrating on people. Below are five tips for teaching kids about money.

Teaching the Value of Money

It is important to educate your children on the difference between wanting something and needing something. Help them to understand that they do not always have to get or have everything they desire. Things they want need to be earned. Being a parent, it's your job to teach this specific rule. If you do not, your children might end up thinking they can have anything they want.

Teaching Proper Habits

Financial literacy for kids begins with talking about spending habits. Have them question whether they really need a certain toy, for example, or if they simply desire it. Reusing and recycling things rather than throwing them away is another important lesson you can teach your children. Educate them on the advantages of living in an eco-friendly manner. Money management is a big skill and should be taught as well. You have probably heard the saying, "Money doesn't grow on trees;" your kids should learn the value of this, as well. Helping them to understand that there is value in money and working hard to earn what they want should be respected. Showing our kids how to resist impulse purchases and how to save for things is a valuable lesson.

Communicate About Money

Many people were raised to not talk about money, even with their own family. Your household is, indeed, the place where you should be talking about money. Much like other important topics, your children should be learning about money from you. If you start at an early age discussing the subject of money in a comfortable manner, your children will feel more comfortable asking questions and gaining knowledge, and this will give you a better opportunity to teach essential financial lessons.

Keep Teachings Age Appropriate

As soon as your children can read, they are at the proper age to begin learning about money. Every time you buy your child a backpack for school or give them money for lunch, they are learning about the value of money. Simple things like this can be turned into teachable moments. Keep it age appropriate, however. You do not want to be talking with your six year old about stocks, bonds, taxes, or retirement accounts. Your job is to set the initial foundation, so your children can better understand the lessons you are teaching.

Lead by example

Keep in mind that your children are always watching you. This is something parents hear often, since it is almost always true. Leading by example is one of the most concrete ways to deliver a message to your kids. Practice ways to be frugal and teach your children as you go along. Allow your mistakes to be a learning tool.

There are too many advertising agencies and marketing companies out there today that are targeting children for their own interests. Commercials, billboards, and Internet advertisements are all over promoting food, clothing, toys and various other items with the intent of increasing materialism. This is why it is so important to teach your kids the financial implications that go along with materialism.

It can be frustrating in today's world to teach your children how to be frugal and show them the value in it since the main focus today is status, materialism and owning things. However, teaching kids about money is the job of the parent, so they can grow up to understand the value of money and learn good financial habits. Show them how you monitor your credit report regularly and explain why it is necessary to know your credit history since it affects future financial situations.

Living frugally does not mean you have to live in boredom, or deprive yourself. You can live frugally and still have fun while teaching your children at the same time about this lifestyle. There are many activities you can enjoy with your family and still live the frugal lifestyle. For example, a fun day at the park, camping, hiking, baking cookies, or anything that does not require spending a load of money will do the trick.

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