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Looking for a few good ways to teach children how to spend and save wisely? Children can be taught gradually without too much trouble and make it a part of their lives.
It’s hard to teach a toddler that they can’t always have what they want when they want it, but it is possible. We started by taking our child down the candy or toy section of a store without buying anything. We wouldn’t do it just to teach them delayed gratification. We just didn’t avoid those parts of the store if they were the shortest distance to where we were going.
Having a schedule also helps a child between the ages of one and four to wait for something they want. It doesn’t matter if it’s a snack or story time. When there is a set time for a certain activity children learn to wait for what they want while still knowing that it will happen. This will cross over into their financial life when they are older. They will learn they may have an item later but it doesn’t have to be now.
Elementary School Age Kids
At this age children are old enough to learn that money doesn’t fall from trees. Prepare a set list of activities that they can do to earn money. Do you want them to study? Are there chores that need to be done? Let your children learn that earning money comes before spending money. It may also teach them that what they want is not always worth the work or money.
There are two important parts to this process. First a parent must be clear about the standard of job expected. Don’t tell your child they must get good grades. Tell them they must get at least a B in their classes to earn their pay. Second, if the child does the job, be prepared to follow through on your part of the bargain. This instills in children that work pays off, rather than adults don’t keep their end of the bargain.
Teens and Preteens
The bank of mom has closed. Yes as parents we will feed them, make sure they get medical attention and provide a free bed. Because we love them there will give Christmas and Birthday presents and we will celebrate their accomplishments. We will even pay for all the field trips they go on for band. When it comes to that over priced pair of jeans, however, it’s time to go out and cut the neighbor’s grass. Or go babysitting. No more family generated work. It’s time to make an effort outside the home. We’ll see if those jeans are really worth twenty hours of babysitting.
This is also a good time to start preparing these soon to be adult children for financial independence by letting them see your financial situation. Explain how to set up utilities. Let them learn what a standard electric bill costs. Teach them about late fees, credit and interest. This will prepare them for getting started on their own financially.
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One of the main reasons we don’t go out to eat very much is that it can be very expensive. Things add up quickly, even with the little ones ordering from the Little People menu. It ends up feeling more expensive if they don’t eat what they ordered from their Little People menu. Yes, that happens. So, it just ends up being easier, less expensive and healthier to eat at home. However, that also means that it’s more work for…yours truly. So, the list below is one that I will be sure to pin onto a board over on Pinterest because I want to have this reference around at all times…especially on the weekends! I’m sure you will, too. Where your children can eat free. (Of course, be sure to check with your local restaurant to make sure that it’s not just a regional offer.)
Baja Fresh: Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal and beverage.
Firehouse Subs: Kids 12 and under eat free from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. with each adult purchase.
Jason’s Deli: Kids eat free all day.
Maggiano’s: All day Sunday.
Souper! Salad!: Kids 4 and under eat free. Kids 5-12 eat for just $2.49.
Applebee’s: Kids eat free on Monday and Tuesday nights at select restaurants. One free child entree per visit; however, it’s only $1.00 for additional kids’ meals.
Chili’s: 2 children’s entrees per adult meal purchase.
Fuddruckers: Kids 12 and under can choose anything from the kids’ menu for just $.99 on Mondays and Tuesdays. Their meal includes a drink.
Golden Corral: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, kids under 10 eat free with adult meal purchase.
IHOP: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., kids under 12 eat free with adult meal purchase.
Denny’s: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Texas Roadhouse: Kids 12 and under eat free.
Chevy’s Fresh Mex: Kids eat free with an adult meal purchase.
Chick-fil-A: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., get a free kid’s meal with each adult purchase.
Coco’s Restaurant & Bakery: After 4 p.m., kids 10 and under eat free.
Famous Dave’s: All day Tuesday.
Ikea: All day Tuesday and during special promotions.
Ruby’s Diner: After 4 p.m., kids 12 and under eat free.
Buffalo Wild Wings: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. kids 12 and under eat for $.99.
Islands: All day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Rainforest Cafe: Kids eat for $1.99 in the evenings.
Qdoba Mexican Grill: All day Wednesday.
Marie Callender’s: One free kids’ meal with each adult purchase.
Shari’s Restaurant: Kids eat free from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Kids eat free every day
Cafe Rio: Free kids’ quesadilla when you dine in.
Ci Ci’s Pizza: Kids under 3 eat free.
Country Buffet: Kids eat free with adult meal purchase.
Culver’s: Children receive a free custard with their meal.
Hometown Buffet: Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult buffet ticket.
On the Border: Free sundae with kid’s meal purchase.
Tucanos Brazilian Grill: Free child’s entree with the purchase of an adult meal.
Quiznos: Free kid’s entree with the purchase of an adult meal.
Anyone else going out to eat with their children this weekend?
It’s an issue I hear lots of parents talking about. How to get your children to eat vegetables. Broccoli, spinach, beets are on the forefront of my mind when I ask the question. We have some success with steamed broccoli and one of my children will eat beets in a salad I make. But, I have discovered the easiest way to feed them those green veggies…
This is the problem. How to eat these?
Step 1: Toss a bunch of fruit into a blender. I use frozen berries. Sometimes, I’ll have frozen mango or cherries. Add in a banana and milk or yogurt.
Step 2: Add your steamed green veggie. In this case, it’s broccoli. But, sometimes it’s spinach or beet greens (or some combination).
Step 3: Add in any other food that you want to sneak in. I like to add ground flax for a little Omega 3 in the mix. You may also need a little honey, depending on the sweetness of your fruit.
Step 4: Blend!
Step 5: Pour into an ice tray and add popsicle sticks. I have little helpers for this part (Please excuse the messy counter. Making coleslaw was next on my list.)
Step 6: Enjoy!!!
How do you get your children to eat veggies?
At the end of the baby years we have quite a bit of little furniture laying around. There’s chairs, playpens, strollers, and car seats. We could get rid of it. Some of it will even save someone else a good deal of money. Some of these items no one will want, but we have found a way to reuse them.
It could be dog furniture as well depending on the size of the furniture or the dog. Furniture, like that little chair we got our toddler, make great pet beds. They are usually less expensive than a brand name pet bed. They also seem to be more comfortable for the pet. Our cats have never slept in their beds, but love the old baby furniture.
An old playpen can be made into a toy box. Little futons or chairs can be turned into a stuffed animal display. Even the tray of an old high chair can be reused as a movable table when I have paperwork or a craft I want to move with me from room to room.
Play Room Material
Playpens turned on their sides make great forts. Old furniture give lift to tent building efforts. Old car seats or bouncers with the right amount of toys help weigh down those things that need to stay put during playtime building efforts. If you have a particularly curious child a baby bounce can even be assembled and taken down with an adults help. At least until it can find its way into the home of a new baby.
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