By sowing frugality we reap liberty, a golden harvest.
Frugality is a wonderful trait, along with prudence. In fact frugality, prudence and discipline can hold you in good stead with whatever endeavours you are trying to accomplish.
This blog is all about living lightly but abundantly but not solely with respect to minimalism. And the way I try to do that is through using principles and practices of frugality and discipline. Life can be lived large on a dime. You don’t need a ton of cash and bling to suck the very marrow out of life.
Sometimes being frugal is seen as miserly but that is being unkind to the word. Frugality really is about being economical, environmental and thrifty with what you have. Making the most of what you’ve got.
And today is about raising frugal kids or how to teach your kids to be frugal. It’s easy really.
The way to teach your kids to be frugal is the way you teach them anything. By being an example. This is the key. You can’t expect your children to be happy in Levi jeans when all you wear is True Religion.
If you think about it, and this is definitely true for me, I have been most affected and influenced by people in my life who walked the talk.
My grandmother taught me lots about frugality and she lived it. She always “set something aside for a rainy day”. If you take a moment to think about the folks you most admire, you will likely be reminded that it is often because of their character or honour. The way they treat people and things. The way their walk resonates with their talk, or their gait matching their trait.
If we want our children to grow up as frugal, intrepid and respectful adults then these are the traits that we must mirror for them in ourselves.
As it has been said, change starts at home and the home is a hierarchy or at least it should be. The folks in charge and guiding the good ship “Family” are mom and dad. As such they should set the examples of the kind of society and world they want to live in and especially the world they would like to have their children live in.
And frugality is a wonderful trait to start with, to set as a foundation for yourself, because it gathers around it many other useful and wonderful characteristics.
In embracing frugality you are beckoning to your aid the virtues of discipline and prudence, of perseverance and also of honesty. A frugal person lives within their means and values handwork and dedication. It is easy to buy that new gadget on debt. It is harder but yet more rewarding to save over time and pay for it in cash.
If you understand frugality properly you understand that it is not about deprivation or asceticism but rather about enjoying and embracing the journey of life and its many blessings.
So start with yourself. Use things up, repair them and buy new when you need. But make your dollars count, make your vote count. A pair of Levis or non-branded jeans are as valuable as a pair of $300 True Religion jeans. Do your friends really care about the jeans you wear? They do, then they aren’t true friends. I can promise you this, they’ll not be hanging around if your social status or income takes a dive.
The other thing with teaching kids to live frugally is that they naturally embrace that type of lifestyle.
Young children aren’t asking for brand name clothing or turning their noses up when you have to schlep them around in a minivan rather than a porsche. As such the easiest time to start is as soon as they are born. But you have to be the example.
Explaining things to children can help them understand. Too often we don’t offer them reasons or well considered philosophies because we think they are just kids. But kids are surprisingly aware and understanding. Don’t be fooled because you think they won’t understand. They are just like us. They want to be understood and respected and loved.
Which brings me to the last point. Love has nothing to do with showering gifts on others. But it has everything to do with how you treat them and how much of your time you offer them.
Frugality allows us to live more cheaply and as such we can find more time to spend with our loved ones and our children. Spending more time with them not only allows them to feel our love for them but also allows us to be the biggest influence in their lives. After all, time is our greatest wealthy but also our most precious resource.
Frugality allows us to take back the most time for ourselves and our loved ones. Your kids will embrace it too, naturally as your values imbue into them easily and osmotically. The benefits are bountiful.