How to Raise Your Kids to Be Frugal

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Who doesn’t want their children to do well in life? Let’s face it. Doing well in life involves the use of resources, especially finances! This is where being frugal comes in.

Frugality is a “lifestyle trait reflecting disciplined acquisition and resourcefulness in product and service use,” according to Lastovicka, et al (1999, p. 96). Raising your kids to be frugal might save them from living an unpleasant life when they grow up.

As a responsible parent, you want so much to be the primary teacher of your kids on this radical life-changing lesson of frugality. Here are four practical ways to raise your kids to be frugal.

teach kids to be frugal

1. Be an Exemplar

Social learning theory is the interaction of environmental and cognitive factors to influence human learning and behavior.

In a simpler sense, kids learn from what they observe in the environment, then copy and integrate them into their own values system.

So be careful of what you do as a parent because your kids are watching. You want to be the best example of values for your kids, especially frugality.

It would be best that your kids know how you and your partner manage your resources and finances as a family. This way, they learn by examples and can easily replicate this value in their life.

It might be good if your kids are surrounded by frugal people. Besides, it takes a frugal village to raise a frugal child.

.2. Talk about “wants vs. needs” and family values with your kids

You wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to talk to your child about money and finances, unlike nearly half of parents in T. Rowe Price’s 11th Annual Parents, Kids & Money Survey, would you? So teach them, and lay a strong foundation of frugality on your kids as early in their formative years.

You might begin with the discussion of wants vs. needs with your children. This way, they can differentiate wants from needs and prioritize necessities.

In the long run, your kids can practice the essence of discipline or delayed gratification–the postponement of immediate satisfaction for a greater benefit later.

Talking with your kids about wants vs. needs and family values needs consistency. This might seem strenuous, but the results to your kids are satisfying.

3. Provide Them Opportunities to Earn and Manage Their Own Money

This is where you will become an excellent parent. You may find activities that provide your kids with opportunities to earn their own money and how to manage it. Some parents do the following for their kids to practice.·        

Offer allowance in exchange for chores.

This allows kids to earn their own money and enables them to manage it.

Others may treat this as corruption when children won’t do chores without payment. But this just needs a good talk, goal setting, and agreement between you and your child to start.·        

Teach them how to use coupons or buy groceries.

As early, ask your kids to be with you when you buy groceries on-site or online. Show them how you use discount coupons or weekly ads to save when buying the needs of the family.·

Set saving goals with your kids, and provide them a place to save.

Constant conversation with your kids is healthy for the parent-child relationship.

Explaining the reasons for saving and what they do it for is one way to nurture this relationship.

With this, you can help them calculate how long to reach the goal with the kids’ savings rate.

You must also provide a piggy bank or encourage your kids to open a bank account to keep track of their savings.

4. Allot Room for Mistakes.

Part of money management is spending it. Let your kids make choices and be in control of their own money.

Your kids might do purchases at times and might make costly mistakes. Be their guide, and use that learning moment for your kids to make better financial decisions in the future.

Experience indeed is a good teacher.


It is quite a challenge to take the role of parents, especially in raising responsible children. Teaching your kids to be frugal will save them from living an unpleasant life when they grow up.

As parents, you will be confident that your children will have peace of mind to live their life with convenience and responsibility toward others, the environment, and themselves with less financial stress.

Be a guide on their side. Help them build healthy financial habits and lay a strong foundation for your kids’ bright future.

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