While your kids are young, it’s best to teach them the difference between needs and wants. Doing this will not only help you in budgeting the household expenses. Instead, this will also ensure that your kids would grow up practicing frugality. So how do you do this?
To do this, you have to teach by example. Clearly explain to your kid that although it is NOT wrong to buy what they want, they should only do so AFTER they are sure that they’ve got what they need. Take them grocery shopping. When buying things, make sure you first buy all the things needed in the house. Once you are all done with what’s on your grocery list, tell your kid that only then can you buy what he or she wants.
Also, make your kid realize that even when you need things, it doesn’t mean that you need the most expensive things. For example, if your kid needs a new pair of shoes, it doesn’t mean that she has to buy the most expensive pair.
To do this, you have to make her realize that high quality and fancy styling doesn’t only come from expensive things. Help her look for a cheaper but top quality alternative. Again, practice what you preach. For example, when looking for acne remedy, tell her that instead of having surgical treatments, you’ll try home remedies or over-the-counter medications first.
Last but not the least; you have to differentiate wants and needs. Tell them that needs are those that they cannot live without like food, clothing, shelter, schooling, and health care. However, be specific. They need food – food that is healthy like vegetables and fruits, and bread, meat, and beans. They don’t need pizza, ice cream, and hamburgers but most people want it and it is OKAY to eat those once in a while.
Also, they will need clothes – not necessarily the most stylish and the most expensive branded ones – but those comfortable clothes that would make them look appropriately dressed. However, if there’s an important occasion or during their birthdays, you can treat them and let them get what they want. Again, teach this to your kids and be their role model. Don’t just preach and then do otherwise.
photo from: http://tiki.oneworld.net
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