It seems that these days, talking about budgets, debt, benefits, and money in general has become an everyday occurrence. And while these topics can seem overwhelming and maybe even a little bit depressing, it’s important that children learn the importance of money from an early age. In fact, the Brigham Young University School of Family Life says it’s the responsibility of parents to prepare their children to be financially independent adults. And part of these skills needs to be about how to save money and to live frugally.
If you aren’t sure where to start in teaching your children to be frugal, these tips are a good starting point.
- Be an Example
The best way a parent can influence their children to be more frugal is to lead by example. If parents are financially responsible on a daily basis, their children will learn and be influenced by this lifestyle. Without giving a single lecture, parents can influence their children for the better.
- Teach Simplicity
In today’s world, it seems like children are inundated with things. There are new games, electronics, clothes, and toys that come out every day and advertising very specifically targets young people. Try to instill a level of simplicity in your home. Focus on events and experiences instead of things. This will teach your children that ‘stuff’ isn’t all that important.
- Show Value of Things
It’s easy to throw old or used things away without giving them a second look. However, you can use these items to teach your children the true value of things. Instead of throwing away or donating books, turn them in for money at one of the many websites that provides this service. You can do the same for old clothes and electronics.
- Shop Smartly
When you take your children shopping, show them that you pay attention to prices. Show them that items like cellphones, games, and toys can be purchased for better prices if you do a little research. Allow them to purchase things with their allowance and show them how much they can save by buying second hand or using coupons.
- Set Goals
Sit down as a family and decide on a financial goal you can all work towards together. Maybe it can be a trip or something that the whole family wants. Then decide what you can do to reach this goal, whether it’s putting aside change or cutting a few habits until you reach the goal.
- Make It a Game
When you go shopping with your children, see who can find the best priced items. This will teach your children to take packaging, price per unit, and weight into account. Thankfully, most stores have this information clearly marked on the shelves, so it’s not as complicated as it sounds. And this will make learning about finances and shopping into something fun.
- Clearly Note Progress
Saving as a child won’t make as big an impact if there isn’t a reward at the end. Clearly mark how well your children are doing at saving, how much they’ve saved, and how close you’ve gotten to certain goals. This will make the little sacrifices more bearable.