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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • The Frugal Family: Teaching your children a frugal lifestyle

  • I am a firm believer in teaching your children about living the frugal lifestyle.
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  • I am a firm believer in teaching your children about living the frugal lifestyle. I think it is important to teach children to save and plan.
    We also have taught my children about living simply. We have instilled in them for every new toy that comes into the house an old toy leaves the house.
    By ridding our home of toys that are not played with, my children have learned to make a few dollars. When my children sell their toys at yard sales or internet sites, we typically allow them to keep the money they make from their sales.
    We, as parents, also do not purchase toys to simply purchase toys. While we will purchase toys for holidays, we do not purchase toys just because our children want them. We have taught our children that if they want a toy, they must plan and save for it.
    My daughter is still too young to babysit, but she is not too young to work. We have instilled in her that we will purchase the items that she needs, but she must buy the frivolous items that she wants.
    This summer my daughter began a little side business. She babysits neighborhood dogs and waters neighbors' yards. This allows her to earn a few dollars to purchase toys and other items that her parents aren't willing to purchase. Because we have instilled in her the importance of saving money, she isn't quick to spend and always is looking for a good deal.
    I think this is a win/win situation on two folds. First, having a job teaches our daughter the importance of responsibility, and secondly, because she has worked hard for the money it typically makes her think hard before she purchases an item at the store. When she does purchase an item, we find that she appreciates the item more because she has paid for it herself.
    We have taught them for every item they sell; they are able to keep the money to purchase a new toy.
    It is also extremely important to lead by example. Your children typically follow in their parents footsteps. If your children see you living the frugal lifestyle and having fun with it, hopefully they will follow suit.
    I would encourage parents to make children earn their money. Have them do chores or work jobs outside the home. By doing this, you are teaching your children responsibility and helping children appreciate what they have.
    Do you have a frugal saving tip? E-mail them to localnews2005@yahoo.com.
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