Many things have changed in our society since I was younger, but other things continue to be important. One of them is the value of learning a proper work ethic and the value of a service rendered. It’s important to teach these values to the next generation, and where better than in our own homes?
Payment For Service Rendered
Once your children have learned to do their own chores there will be times they will not want to. A fake money system may be required. Just go to the dollar store and pick up some toy money or use the money in the Monopoly board game (providing that you got the game and now never play it). Set up an amount paid for services such as chores or laundry. Next, set up the responsibility schedule. Let every person in the household know what their responsibility is and the time period they have to complete it in. After this amount of time the chore or service is up for grabs for others to earn and the person responsible has to pay those that complete the service. This will not only teach kids about managing money, but the value of a good work ethic.
There are fines for everything in the world, from overdraft fees to parking tickets to places to smoke or use the phone. Many fines are avoidable, and one of the best financial lessons that we can teach our children is to avoid them. Do this by having a fine system in your home. Leaving toys out will cost a certain amount of money or a service to be completed. Not keeping your room clean will result in a fine. In the long run this will teach children to try to avoid the action that produces the fine and in adult life could save them some money.
It is just as important to teach children the consequences of not managing money, or trying to work the system. At times the party responsible may feel that the service is not worth doing and will be willing to pay someone to do it. This is okay as long as they have the “money” to do so. Should they cease adhering to the plan by not earning or paying, then it’s time to give them a nice orange vest and let them do community service until their debt to your society is paid. Continued failure to comply can result in more traditional consequences (you could ground them).
As things become financially better for a young couple or family, sometimes the virtue of thrift goes the way of the baby bottles and car seats. We grow out of it, forgetting how many times it has saved us from financial disaster. Here are a few reasons to continue being frugal, even when the immediate need to has disappeared.
Improves Quality Of Life
Believe it or not thrift improves the quality of life for a family when used properly. There are some things that are worth spending money on. We need safe cars, nice homes, and the companionship of pets. We need hobbies that fulfill us and skills that help us make our way through life. But that doesn’t mean you have to have it all, all at once. It’s best to prioritize. Not only does this help you spend more wisely, but it helps you truly enjoy the things and experiences you choose to spend your money on.
A Rainy Day
It’s true that when living a frugal life when hard times hit there isn’t much to cut out of your budget. You have a storage of food and know how to cook from scratch. You know how to use coupons, look for sales, and find discounted items. You know which items you can buy used and which items you just can’t. You most likely even have a little money saved up and are ahead on you expenses. Frugality also puts you in a preparatory state of mind. You may also be better prepared for natural disasters, have a full tank of gas, and know your evacuation plan during a hurricane.
Obviously the whole point of being frugal is to save money, and children learn from example. This will come in handy in their college and young adult years as they try to eat healthy, see medical professionals, and keep the car running on a low income. It will also help them to have skills such as sewing and cooking that keep them from spending money they don’t have on such services. Of course there will be trial and error for them, just like there was for us, but they will be better prepared than their less frugal peers.
So even when you are earning more money, it’s wise to keep a Thrifty Diva lifestyle!
We all go through periods of trial and error when trying to save money. Some of them are odd. Some only work in our head. Others are just funny. Here are a few of mine.
My poor child currently is bald, and I’m to blame. It started out with me thinking that I could cut hair if only using a set of clippers. It would save us about ten dollars. I began to notice that his hair wasn’t even. After a few frustrating attempts to even it out I took the attachment off the clippers and shaved his head. In spite of now being bald, my poor son still has spots that don’t quite conform to baldness. The good news in all of this is that his hair will grow back and I do need a few pointers before attempting this again.
While making pumpkin pie bars I noticed we were out of eggs. Not wanting to run out to the store I decided to use oil instead of eggs. My reasoning was that oil worked just fine in brownies. I was right. The pumpkin bars turned out with the consistency of brownies. Pumpkin brownies with a gingerbread crust. They hardened just like brownies a little while later and I had to pry what was left off of the pan even after soaking them. On the plus side my son liked them, so we may have a new dessert option.
The Baby Carrier
I decided to make a baby carrier this past week. I went to the fabric store and picked out a nice fabric. When I got home I discovered it wasn’t long enough, so I cut it in half lengthwise and sewed the two pieces together to make it longer. I later learned that this isn’t safe for the baby, which didn’t matter anyway because it still wasn’t long enough. Luckily I found our old baby carrier and now we have a new three foot burp cloth.
What bumps have you hit attempting to save money?
One of the hardest parts of keeping a marriage flavorful is adding a little spice to it. It doesn’t take expensive (and sometimes questionable) contraptions or even a yoga class to achieve this marital seasoning. In fact it takes less than most people would think.
The Marital Fun Map
Keep a map of your state or your country in your bedroom over your bed. If you are world travelers, keep a map of the world over your bed instead. Using pins mark all the places you have celebrated your union in a physical manner. Neither the map nor the pins will be very expensive. Every time you look at the map it will bring back good memories and perhaps inspire you to make a few more. Plan family vacations in a way to add more pins to your map. It doesn’t matter if you are driving three hours. Every new place counts.
The New Home Tradition
It’s important to make a new home your own and one of the best ways to do that is to create good memories in it. Make lots of good memories in every room, the garage, and the backyard. You could even create good memories in every closet, the basement, and the attic. The object of this marital tradition is to create many, many good memories in your new home, in as many places as possible.
The Innuendo Game
This is a simple game really and only works well if you have no children or small children who have no clue there could be another meaning to what your saying. Most days at home with our children (though we love them dearly) are mood killers. On those days we try to speak only in innuendo. It’s fun to think up new and creative innuendos. It’s also a good way to relieve stress as a couple because it can get downright funny. By the end of the day you’ll either be in the mood or in a good mood from laughing so much.
How do you keep the spice in your marriage without spending much money?
Most apartment dwellers would like to move into a nicer apartment at one time or another. The question is can they afford to do so. Here are a few facts and tips that could make your transition into a nicer home easier and more affordable.
How Much Do You Have To Earn?
Most apartment places have a minimum amount of money that you need to earn monthly in order to move in. This is to ensure that you can afford to pay them and your bills at the same time. Sometimes you need to earn twice what the rent is. In other cases you need to earn three times the cost of your rent. Before emotionally investing in a particular property make sure you make enough money to live there.
There are usually three types of fees that are connected with getting an apartment. These are the security deposit, the application fee, and pet fees if applicable. First check to see if there are any specials at your apartment complex of choice. Some places may have a $200 deposit, but may be running a move-in special of a $99 deposit. Next, check to see how your payments can be broken up. For example some places will allow you to pay the pet deposit in two monthly installments. Third, the application fee is usually per adult. The usual fee is about $35. That’ doesn’t seem like much, but doubled it’s $70. It’s best to plan accordingly.
Some apartments run rent specials. If you bring in a certain ad or list a certain website as the place you heard about the apartment complex you could get a discount on your first month’s rent. Another special that some apartments offer is a referral special. You get a discount on your rent when someone moving into the apartment complex let’s the management know you referred them.
The most important thing in finances is saving money. A close second is managing and budgeting it wisely. A few tweaks in how we spend money will keep us on track when it comes to achieving our financial goals.
Plan in Detail
We all know we need to create a meal plan, make a grocery list, and take a calculator with us to the grocery store. We all know that we need to plan and research buying expensive items like a home or a new car. It’s the little things that give us budget problems. We go to the vending machines, buy a candy bar or a pack of gum or don’t factor in the Netflix bill because it’s less than ten dollars. The little things need to be budgeted in as well. If you buy a vending machine soda everyday and the cost is $1.25 per soda, a month’s worth of soda is about $35-$40! This cuts into your budget more than you think.
Shop Inexpensive First
You know what’s on your shopping list, but do you know where you are going to buy each item? Deep down you know that dollar store cleaners are just as effective as name brand cleaners, but when you stroll by that cleaning supply shelf at the grocery store you go crazy with the latest and greatest cleaners anyway. I used to do the same thing, but now I just go to the dollar store first. After I make my list I go to the dollar store and walk down each lane to see what they have in regards to my list and make as many smart purchases as I can there. Then I go next door and cross off the rest of my list while shopping at the grocery store.
Spend on Productive Items
Many people will tell you to cut back on hobbies and entertainment. I have found that this line of thinking doesn’t work in my home. We do well for about six weeks and then (like a starving horde on a bad diet) we binge. So instead we now spend only on productive hobbies and entertainment. I crochet and produce blankets. My husband works on the car and produces a better functioning vehicle. This line of thinking also helps us manage our time better.
Learning how to be self sufficient is one of the best ways to save money. Self sufficiency can be covered by a number of talents. Here are a few that I have found handy.
One of the most useful things to teach a child to do that will help save money is to craft. They can make their own clothes if you teach them to sew. They can make their own blankets if you teach them to crochet. Even crafting gifts such as painting or woodworking can help save money around the home. Teach them where to find materials at a low price (such as yarn or fabric at thrift stores). Teach them the best way to create their project without wasting resources. Teach them to take their time so they can create it right the first time.
Have a garden, whether it’s a balcony garden or a little spot in the backyard. Set up a little kitchen herb garden. This will give you fresh vegetables and herbs. Though it will take a bit of time, this will teach your kids both the value of work and that fresh vegetables taste better than canned. In fact, they may not even make it from the vine to the kitchen.
Learn the basics of plumbing. Know at the very least how to turn the water off so that if a tap breaks you can keep it from getting all over. Know how to plunge a toilet and how your flusher works. Know the basics of car maintenance. Knowing even these very few basics can help a young adult save money on home repairs. Learn the parts of your computer and what they do. Look for free computer help software. The more you know how to fix on your own, the better.
You never know when something will come in handy. Old computer parts may help the new computer work until payday. Old tires are great for bordering flower gardens. Have a place to store these items. You never know when they will help you out of a jam.
I know quite a few Thrifty Divas are quite crafty too.
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