Being frugal is a lifestyle and one that is hard for many people. I have been frugal all my life, so it comes naturally. My husband is not. He has had to learn how to spend less and save for what he wants rather than racking up credit card debt. When we began to have children, we planned out how we would teach them to be frugal as well, from a very early age. We want our children to be smart with money so they can be productive and successful adults, never worrying about debt or paying their bills. Below are a few of our tips to help you start teaching your children how to be frugal.
You must start your kids on the right path early. As soon as they begin to walk, teach them to clean and do minimal chores. Once they are older, you can begin to throw in a monetary value for these chores. This can be in a variety of ways but by adding a money value, your children will be able to earn their own money. You can then teach them about spending the money by going shopping. I have found that children tend to be more frugal when they have their own money when it comes to shopping and this can then provide you with a teaching moment in regards to children wanting to spend your money as well.
Lead by Example
As the adult, you must lead by example. Do not buy any and everything you see or want. If you make a big purchase, explain to your child how long you had to work to be able to afford the item. Explain how money and earning works, even comparing your work to chores. The kids will be able to see how hard work pays off and how by being frugal, you are able to purchase what you like, without owing money.
As my children have grown older, I have explained how credit cards work. My children are astounded that people would purchase items on credit and end up paying more than what the item actually costs. I explain to my kids that a credit card should only be used in emergencies and it is best to save for items you want, so you do not owe anything and can enjoy the item without having to worry about making payments.
Consider your own lifestyle and what you could do to make changes to become more frugal. Use what you learn to teach your children, creating adults who will save rather than spend!