Tag Archives: kids

Tips on Raising Frugal Kids

One of the hardest challenges that we face in our life is raising children. Not only to feed and clothe them, but raising them to be good adults in the future by cultivating well-rounded values, and nurturing their abilities and talents.

Aside from ensuring your child’s safety, health and correct development, there are so many things to prioritize and inculcate as they grow up, and the challenges include outside factors that sometimes are too overwhelming. When you’re trying to raise a child to live a simple life and instill the value of saving, it’s not very helpful that today’s world is so focused on materialism, owning things, and pouring negative values to children’s impressionable minds.

Children can be very easily swayed, given that everywhere there’s a huge billboards, ads, posters, for toys, clothing, food, and other products. Media has barraged our children’s senses with advertising and promotions, designed to heighten materialism without our children understanding that that in itself is a bad thing. Here are several helpful tips to remember as you guide your child to the right path of money-smarts:

The most important is that you serve as a role model for your child. There’s nothing that will get a clearer message across than your own example. For example, talking to them about your savings goal, a clear explanation of the family finances, and the things you do to put more money into savings. Let them know their responsibility, without having to resort to nagging or scolding and instead use a firm but gentle tone when lecturing about money and spending.

Teach your children the practical aspects of money, where it comes from and why it is essential. Children need to realize than money doesn’t grow on trees or fall from the sky and the like, but that money is earned by working hard for it. This will help them realize that money is no little thing, but is an important tool to use for necessities like food, clothes and shelter, and as well as to get things that make life easier.

Pass down the significant values, especially to “be satisfied with what you have”. With this in mind, children will lessen their need to want more items that they see. Remind them that “the best things in life are free” and that having fun doesn’t mean to shopping or spending a cent. Teach your children to look beyond the superficial. Tell them that advertising is pretty to look at, but it is truly deceiving. Also, teach them the value that “its the thought that counts” when receiving gifts, to make them realize it’s not about the object inside the box but the thoughtfulness of the person giving it to you.

Help your child get started with saving, too! If your child is old enough to have his or her weekly allowance, start introducing savings option that lets them grow their money in a piggy bank, handing them over to you, or start up a junior savings account for them. Let them know how they can start saving no matter what the amount may be and how to grow their it! Money can be spent easily on unnecessary things, but saving them to get the things that is essential, or at least important for them (like finally getting a favorite toy or game), is more fulfilling.

Above all, provide your children your support, consistent attention, and love. Children learn more in an environment that is geared toward learning and good discipline. A strong relationship between their parents will help develop a sense of security and trust that children need during their childhood and teenage years.

Dave Stack is a huge fan of saving money and using coupons, coupon codes and promotional codes. He operates http://www.couponsaver.org which has been saving people money since 2007

Caring for the Babies in the Coldest Weather on the Homestead

We didn’t have electricity at our house on the farm until about 6 months after the third child was born. The two oldest children were 1 month to 6 weeks preemies. Thank goodness, they arrived in the spring. The third child arrived the end of November and she was a real challenge!

I would bathe the children about mid morning when the house was the warmest, wash their clothes in the bath water. I had the water in a canner on the coal cook stove overnight so it would be nice and warm when I was ready. My husband was very good about seeing to it that it was full before bedtime. We had cloth diapers and there was always a line of diapers in the winter in the “north room” ordinarily the dining room but which was “shut off” in the wintertime.

The baby’s bassinet was a baby buggy that my parents had bought for me when the first one came. I could then roll it to wherever it was the warmest, and also rolled it to next to the bed at night. I was a very light sleeper throughout this time, checking the babies a number of times in the night.

The accumulative stress was such that I never was able to breastfeed the babies beyond the first month. My mother came out with a homemade formula that she had used (developed by a Dr. Fargo of the St. Ann’s orphanage and Foundling home in Columbus, Ohio where she had worked the first five years she was a nurse) which I then made up a couple of days supply at a time using my pressure cooker saucepan. I never told the doctor what I had done, but he always made remarks on how well and healthy my babies were. He said I must have been feeding them Norwegian pancakes. I can’t remember the exact recipe now but it involved browning flour in a iron fry pan, melting butter until the foaming stopped, and then adding sugar and water. This was cooked together in the pressure cooker for one hour. I also cooked the cow’s milk and then mixed it together in a certain proportion when it was time to feed the little ones.

The boys were learning how to crawl right during the coldest months of the year. It was so cold at times in that old house, that the water would freeze on the floor near the door when I scrubbed the floors! I would put a large quilt down on the floor near the wood heater, fence it in with dining room chairs laid on their sides making a play pen. They loved to play with my pots and kettles, especially the oldest child. He quite quickly figured out that the different size lids and pans had a different sound! Just about drove me nuts some days, but it did sure keep him occupied.

Later as the children grew, they used the bed as their playpen. I had a large plywood on which we drew roads and fields and stuff which they then played farming, etc with their toy tractors and cars and animals, etc. They also would play a lot of “pretend” games, one of which I didn’t realize they were doing until the littlest one, the third child at the time about 2 1/2 years of age, came in and said she was no longer a “calf”. I went to look just what they were doing, and here they were playing “sales ring”, one perched on the headboard with a rolled up paper for a “cigar” being the auctioneer, and the other had a little whip that had been made out of a small stick and a shoestring! And then Naomi was the calf and was being “turned around” in the “pen”.

We also did a lot of reading to them, one of their favorites for their Dad to read them was the “little Joey” stories out of the Saturday Evening Post, about these two children living on a ranch with their father and an old hired man, who was also the cook.

At the time I was wondering how I would live through it, and then all of a sudden it seemed, they were ready for school and on their way to being grown up!

 By GrannGen, a member of our Frugal-Families forums.