Over the last two years, my husband and I have been working on getting our finances in order. We’ve always considered ourselves as “frugal” and we do love to save money and invest in our future. However, we knew that we could do an even better job of saving, especially now that we have three children. Looking into the future, there will be cars to save for, college, and weddings! If we don’t start saving now, we won’t have the finances we need to pay for these hefty experiences. The last thing we want to do is go into debt.
I’ve had a lot of confidence during this time to make several lifestyle changes so that we can get back on track financially. With kids at home, I’ve been very creative in finding ways to save money. It has taken a lot of hard work and dedication to get to where we are today, but I do want to share our family tips with you that have helped us save more for our family’s future. If you are a mom or a parent, you can apply these tips if you want to start saving more, too!
How to Teach Kids to Save Money
1. Purge excess toys.
We donated a lot of toys. Our goal was to simplify and minimize the toys and control our spending on future purchases. Our children seem happier with fewer toys and our bank accounts are happier, too! We see our children using their imaginations more during play time.
2. Check out books at your local library.
We stopped paying for books at the book fair and book stores. Instead, we visit our local children’s library every two weeks and check out new books. My girls look forward to checking out new books. This also teaches our children responsibility because they have to keep up with their books and gather them all before we turn them in.
3. Save gift money.
When our children receive money for gifts, we invest it and match it. Each child has a college account that we make regular investments into. We do allow them to keep some of their money to spend.
Shop piggy banks to help you get started!
4. Encourage smart purchasing decisions.
If you give a child money and take them shopping, chances are they will pick out something that will be tossed aside shortly after they bring it home. When I’m out shopping with my girls and they are using their own money to pay for things, I ask them a series of questions to make them think before buying something.
– Is this something you need or want?
– Do you want to save your money for something else?
– Is this something you really love?
– How long do you plan to use this item?
– How useful is this item you want to buy?
5. Shop smart during the holidays.
During the holidays, we shop smart by buying things that are still considered fun and awesome to our kids, but things they need, too. This can include items like new toothbrushes, shoes, clothes, accessories, sports equipment, art supplies, etc. We no longer buy items that end up as clutter in our home. Gifts are useful instead.
6. Pack a picnic.
To avoid high food costs, we pack picnic lunches for our family and head out to the nearest parks to enjoy time together. This helps us save money on eating out at restaurants and provides more memorable experiences for our family.
7. Shop at thrift stores.
I take my children with me to thrift stores to find clothes and other items like books. We rarely shop at retail stores and pay full price for anything. I love getting more for less. When looking for clothing, we do look for items that are free from stains, holes, rips and tears, etc. I can find new to almost new clothing for all three of my children at thrift stores.
There are many other ways we save for our family’s future, but these are the top ways we save. These savings add up over time!