Raising a Cost-Conscious Kid in a “Gimme” World

If you teach your kids about financial wisdom, they will practice that wisdom when they are consumers someday.

If you teach your kids about financial wisdom, they will practice that wisdom when they are consumers someday.

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

“He is just a chip off the old block.”

Phrases like this suggest it is not news that children start acting like their parents already from a young age. This continues into adulthood as well (yes, we all will turn into our mothers!) If your children see you spending as if money grows on trees, they will spend the same. If you treat money as the root of all evil, your kids will be turned off to money at all. But if you live a life of frugal spending, they will observe that and imitate it. Try some of these tips to help both you and your children escape from our consumer society.

Make it fun: No kid will want to spend wisely if they feel deprived of everything they want. Rather than focusing on all the things they can’t have, show them ways they can have fun without spending. Get books and movies from the library, explore nature, and encourage them to use their imagination. Remind your kids that having lots of stuff does not necessarily make for a happy life.

Limit advertising: While it is impossible to hide all advertising from your kids, limiting the amount of time they spend in front of a screen can help them avoid junk food and toy commercials. For older kids, try to help them understand that the purpose of an advertisement is to trick you into thinking that a certain product will make you happy. Talk about why this is misleading and often a clever marketing trick.

Teach DIY: Being frugal also means breaking away from the “buy, buy, buy” mentality we live with. Show your children how to make things rather than buying them. Let them help you fix things around the house, make holiday gifts, and use leftovers.

Living a lifestyle of saving will illustrate for your kids what it means to be a cost-conscious consumer. Raccoon Valley Bank cares about your family and we want to help you teach them about financial wisdom. For more information or answers to your questions, contact us today!

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