Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Raising Thrifty Kids

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:
  1. Be a good example by not wasting stuff and not being a shopaholic.
  2. Let them pick stuff out sometimes (you buy, or better yet, have them use their allowance).
  3. Set the rules; my kids know that they may not find anything at every thrift store we go to.
  4. 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?
  5. Know when to take their cues and change gears, because kids can only take so much "don't touch that."
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?

1 comment:

  1. I love this! I have such fond memories of garage saling with you kids. Did not do much thrift store back then but sure hit the garage sales! Thanks for the meories. Good values you are giving the kidlets!


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