Yeah, I'm thrifty. I sometimes consider reusing things like zippie bags, and stuff. I'll admit it. I keep way too much stuff and I really, really have come to dislike having to spend money on stuff I can find used. It's kind of like a sickness. But a sickness I'm not really interested in curing. It's like mommy's little quirk that everyone has to live with.
Not only that, but I'm constantly thrifting, too. And as a mother of two, my kids are inevitably dragged along to a LOT of estate sales, thrift stores, and all that. In fact, as a two-year-old, my son would sit on the little car at our local McDonald's and say "Hey, mama, I'm going to the thrift store!" Slightly embarrasing? Nah!
Here are my tips on raising a family that values thrift and also loves to thrift!
My son's latest estate sale "find" -- a glittery nutcracker. Hmm...
Raising Thrifty Kids Top 10 List:
- Be a good example by not wasting stuff and not being a shopaholic.
- Let them pick stuff out sometimes (you buy, or better yet, have them use their allowance).
- Set the rules; my kids know that they may not find anything at every thrift store we go to.
- Figure out fun ways to repurpose the stuff you find into cool kid projects -- how about a robot out of old metalware from the kitchen aisle?
- Know when to take their cues and change gears, because kids can only take so much "don't touch that."
- Set limits and budgets for things, like "Hey, you can pick out XYZ for your birthday party, but it has to be under $15" or whatever.
- Set up an allowance system. We give our older kiddo $2 (he's almost 5). He can spend half and he has to save the other half.
- Make them learn to pay for their stuff themselves; this is just a good practice for being polite, dealing with strangers, and learning how to count out proper change.
- Show them that you can often find the same stuff in a thrift store/garage sale/whatever that you can find in a regular store, but for much less.
- Let them make mistakes. They will make dumb choices with their money and buy poor-quality plastic junk. BUT, that in itself is a lesson. When you make them use their own money, maybe they'll feel a little of the hurt and make a better decision next time.
What are your tips for raising thrifty kids who like to thrift?