It so very important that children be children, and be allowed to think like children for as long as they are young and playful. The freedom of your childhood can affect the way you think and live during your adult life.
At the same time, children should learn to accept the word “NO” when it comes to things financial. Children need to learn that money doesn’t grow on trees or that it doesn’t come from a bottomless pit that magically pays off the credit card each month. I know that it sounds tough, but sometimes your explanation sends a negative message, such as: “I have no money”, “We can’t afford it”, and “I am broke.”
I admire the answer Will Smith (actor) gave to his children when the subject came up about how rich they were when they were wanting something. His answer to them was ” I am rich, you are not”.
Your, financial burden should not be on your children’s shoulders at a young age. On saying that they need to know the value of money. Children need to learn that it is about the need not the want.
It is unfortunate that the generation of youth has become accustomed to the adult generation living on credit, living in debt, and buying at will. This habit has to stop, because the economy at this present moment does not accommodate such spending. Jobs are being lost, businesses are going bankrupt and the houses have decreased in value in many of the States.
Families need to decide to work together. When times are tough the children need to learn that the family is a team and to succeed they need to cooperate. If both parents are working, the children need to help prepare part of the evening meal and/or do chores so that when everyone is together you can all enjoy some quality family time. It is so important and gives everyone a feeling that they are working together and toward common goals and objectives.
Your children need to be aware of the value of being financially conservative no matter what age they are. I don’t believe in telling children the words, “We can’t afford it.”, this sends the wrong message. It is disempowering to the children hearing it, and it puts a negative thought in the subconscious mind of the person who says it.
They need to know the value of:
a. Saving rather than borrowing.
c. They need to learn that borrowing costs. (If I needed to borrow money from my Dad I had to pay 10% interest).
b. Forgoing a purchase because it is not necessary.
c. Extravagance doesn’t always bring happiness or popularity, or beauty or acceptance.
d. They need to learn to accept, who they are, being comfortable within themselves. Possessions does’t make their life happier.
These ideas can be of some help when your children are young.
1. Don’t give in to the children at the supermarkets when they are demanding candy or anything else. Even if they are screaming for it. Don’t do it, they will get used to the “No.”
2. Stop buying toys. Most families have way too many of them. Sell the toys the children no longer play with. E-Bay or some other online shopping store, garage sale or just give them to a charity.
3. Make special time for giving toys, that being birthdays and Christmas.
4. Clothing: children don’t need to have the up to date fashion clothes at their young age. It is important for them to learn that being a happy child comes first. They don’t have to be the best dressed to be popular.
If you really want to look for some bargain clothing for them, once again, consignment shops are a fine option. When my children were young I used them all the time.
Children’s clothes can be cute and gorgeous and in some cases reasonably priced. If you have to put them on the credit card then they become expensive. Don’t be tempted.
5. Hand me downs: When you buy clothes for the children, buy neutral colors because they can be handed down to either gender. You can save a great deal on hand me downs, either from relatives or neighbors. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, as young children really don’t mind wearing second-hand clothes. They are new to them!
6. Make the children’s lunch at home. It is much healthier and cheaper.
7. Make sure they have a good breakfast before they leave for school. You will save on them wanting snacks from the vending machine.
8. Have your children walk to school. If you are a stay at home mom you could walk them to school rather than drive them. That can be your exercise for the day and another chance to bond with your children.