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How do you teach your child to be frugal?

For me and my kids, getting gifts, clothes and household items at second hand stores is a way of life. My son also is beginning to understand that he needs to use his allowance to buy toys that he is interested in rather than him receiving a toy whenever he asks for one.

What are some of the things you do with your children to help teach them the value of a dollar?

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Asked by bloomsr at 9:24 PM on Apr. 15, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 21 (10,231 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • I haven't really pushed the value of a dollar too much, he's only 5 and honestly I'll admit spoiled. But recently we have started making him use his piggy bank money to buy his own toys when it's something he really doesn't need. Like I just bought him bubbles, chalk, and a kite for easter, but he went and left the chalk outside and it stormed, so it ruined all the chalk. He had to use his own money to replace it because he's old enough to put his own chalk away. He knows the value of coins, and that 20 is bigger then 1, but honestly that buying concept is no where near grasped yet. When something at the store cost 2 dollars to him that's the same as 200, unless I take about 10 minutes to explain the difference. I still buy any clothing he needs/wants, and usually he gets some special food item after shopping for good behavior. We do more with earning privileges then frugal spending.

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 9:29 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • I think the best way to do it is to model it for them, and whenever they ask for things, tell them it will have to be worked into the budget and maybe even saved up for.

    Answer by NannyB. at 9:34 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • My daughter is 3yo & has a piggy bank. We often times take the piggy bank to the thrift store & if she wants something I have her dump out her coins & we count out how much she needs. This I think is a good start. I also have always given her choices like you could get this book or the stuffed animal but not both, a concept that took her a little bit to get but at 3 & a fwe months she more then understands this & will pick one easily. I think we are off to a good start so far.

    At some point she will get an allowence too but for now the coins in her piggy bank she gets from the washer/dryer (anything found I always give her & she helps with the wash often too) or from our pockets etc. There is so far no set amount or way of giving it to her just here & there as we feel.

    Answer by Mel30248 at 9:34 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • By being frugal myself and letting the kids see that and also by teaching them about money in the first place. My kids are 6 and 4 years old and have a small allowance and if they want something they have to pay for it. They work for that allowance by doing "extra" chores. they have chores that they have to do no matter what and then extra chores they can do for money. The non payment for some chores is to teach them that everyone needs to contribute in a household without expectation of monetary gain (though there are definitely other godo things that come from contributing).

    Answer by aeneva at 9:36 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • frugal I make enough right now to put food on the table we only have cell phones because of my ex and internet because we both need it for school. There are no other luxuries

    Answer by pinkdragon36 at 10:03 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

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