Greetings dear readers,
Blue Jason here and today I’d like to talk about being thrifty. We recently had a post about earning, and while earning money is really important for creating a bright financial future, earning more and more money isn’t always achievable. I’m sure you’ve heard of celebrity figures and lottery winners who manage to quickly blow through what some earn in a lifetime. You don’t need a large income to meet your goals if you start early, save regularly, and manage your money wisely.
You can make your hard-earned dollars go farther by being thrifty.
Your thrifty behavior will leave a beneficial impression on your children. Here are a few tips you can follow to help your kids understand thriftiness:
- Use coupons and let your children be a part of it. Let them help you clip coupons and talk about how online coupons save you money.
- Shop with a list and stick to a budget. Spend your own money carefully and deliberately. It takes extra time to make plans for your money, but a few minutes of planning can pay off greatly in the long run. It is okay to say no to items that aren’t on your list.
- Use opportunities to discuss money as they arise. An ice cream from the neighborhood ice cream truck or a specialty drink from a restaurant can be a great treat once in a while, but show your children the cost of such items. Would you rather have an ice cream or two from the truck or buy a whole box at the market to share with your friends?
- Distinguish between wants and needs and prioritize the wants. Make sure you and your children know your priorities. Does your family really need that automatic sliding glass door for your house?
- Teach children about advertising. The goal of advertising products is to make you want to buy them. Teach children this fact so when they see an advertisement they realize the goal of advertising is to make you want to buy the product. Be creative! What kind of strange things can you make appealing by advertising? Design a product of your own and make a print ad or commercial for it for a fun activity.
- Reconsider the “convenience items” you purchase. A busy schedule and other factors can make it seem impossible to forfeit things like bottled water, disposable tableware, and individually wrapped snacks. If you have the time, you can often save money by opting for the route of less convenience.
- Try not to sacrifice quality for the cheapest price. It’s always good to try to find the best deals, but make sure you aren’t giving up a substantial difference in quality for a few dollars off, especially on things that are important. We wouldn’t recommend that you skimp on tires, smoke detectors, and other items that if poorly made could pose a threat to your family’s health and safety. The same idea applies to things like cheap trash bags and paper towels that would need to be replaced more often at added expense.
- Make a big deal about your savings and use that savings for meaningful things. Because we saved $5 on ice cream, we have some to put away for the future, some to help someone else, and some for something special. You can use our blank labels here to design a place to hold your “savings” for special purposes. Be sure to set some aside for important future goals like college and retirement. Every little bit can add up to something significant over time. Add the magic of compound interest to funds set aside for the future and the results can really be meaningful. (We’ll have more to say about compound interest in our books and you can read about it here, too.)
Start setting aside some of the money saved from being thrifty… in our next post we’ll talk about something fun to do with it!