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How do you differentiate being frugal and being stingy?
There are some mixed up ideas differentiating frugal from stingy. For me, frugal means purchasing or using something as it is needed with the best price so that we can save the money, energy, and time for something more, bigger or better. On the other hand, stingy means not willing to make any expense for things that are supposed to pay, get, or purchase. Frugal doesn't mean getting cheap things all of the time, but it is more on how effective and efficient we spend the money.
How do we teach frugal habits to children?
- The best way to teach kids to be frugal is by giving example. Being frugal is also a kind of self-discipline so that parents need to give example first to be frugal in the daily life.
- Discuss what it means having frugal life style, how different it is from being stingy.
- Discuss the cause and result of having frugal life styles.
- Reveal the how-to of being frugal. Doing mind mapping of what we can save to keep being frugal.
- Analyze the life style of others related with being frugal.
Some ways we try for children to have frugal habits
There are many ways of showing frugal life style in our daily life. They need practice and encouragement all of the time. I am writing this post in the middle of efforts encouraging my own children to be more frugal daily. Here are 10 frugal habits for kids
Saving money before spending
Many people will save their money from the left out amount after they spend it for other things. It will make saving not a priority in our life. Let's calculate the amount of money allocation and save or keep the reasonable planned amount of money before we start spending it to make sure that we prioritize savings.
It is great to discuss with kids how much percentage of the money the need to save rather than they spend their money first and save the left out.
Check for the faucets
Frugal is not only deal with money, but it is also related with the natural resources. Even when you have a lot of amount of money, once the supply of fresh water is finished, we still cannot get it in the end. The limited amount of fresh water supply is very crucial to pay attention. Here is one terrible habit that my children and myself need to improve as well. We often forget that not all people in the world can get access to fresh water easily. Therefore, the awareness of using the enough amount of water needs to be taught since kids are young.
Turn off the light whenever it is not used
Besides the money can be spent for other things, electricity power is very precious in this modern days. Being frugal in using electricity means:
- we are grateful for being able to access it and concerned for those who still cannot use it.
- we save the money for paying the electricity bill so that we can spend the money for other more meaningful things.
- we save the use of materials and expenses that generate electricity
We often forget turning off the light after not being used. We try to remind each other.
Limit eating out
There are a couple of reasons for me not to like eating out:
- It just make us addicted once we do it more than the scheduled time. We just become want to eat outside more and more. It makes us lazy to eat home made food.
- I just believe that MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate) is something not good for our health to be consumed frequently.
- It is the same reasons with other reasons that we can use the money for something more meaningful and useful.
Eating out is not something wrong if it is done in certain frequency and portion. We didn't have any schedule for eating out. The result was we spent a lot of “unexpected money”. Since then, we try to schedule the eating out time.
Keep counting price value
Being frugal cannot be separated from mathematics practical life skill. The monthly grocery shopping in the supermarket is the real time to teach kids about frugality maths. Comparing between two products in terms of quantity, quality, and price is the time to practice the way of being frugal. We ask them regularly about purchasing consideration by doing so.
- Purchasing in a bulk is not always the best way of being frugal.
- Shopping a lot in a sale is not also away to get the best price.
- Purchasing a cheaper and smaller product is not always being economical
Consume or Use things as needed
The principe of use as much as you can for something cheap should not be a wise habit of frugal life style. The ability to control yourself in using something will be part of being frugal. This can include how we control our eating portion, wearing cloths, etc. I just put the electricity and water out of this group to make them more specific. The main purpose of self controlling is really underlined here beside the effectivity of using money and resources.
Looking for the Right Purchasing Time and Place
It can includes the couponing introduction, sale events browsing, and market orientation. Giving kids some options and choice of where and when you can spend money will give them real experience of being frugal in spending money and use the things. It can be started since they are young according to their thinking level.
Be responsible to their stuffs
Not to loose things and taking care of their own stuffs can be a way to save more money. Rather than purchasing for something similar we have lost, it is better to purchase different things with the money. That is one way to consider.
Respect the Time
The ability to save the time by doing something more effectively will give them more value toward time. We also can give some special cases where the time is money. We sometimes are not aware how valuable time is. It is not always about money only, but it is also about the value of time that economically can be used to produce other useful things to make money. I would like to confess that our kids really need this thinking towards some extends. Our culture sometimes doesn't include this principle.
Save the human energy
Energy is something that needs fuel or power in many ways. It is like other forms of energy, human energy should also be used wisely. By doing something more efficiently, we can save our energy to do something more valuable.
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