There are many, many benefits of living frugally. Whether it’s building a nest egg, saving up for something we want, or simply because it’s the only way to make end meet.
But for me, there’s one reason that stands out above all the rest.
Y’all, this is something I’ve thought about a lot. It’s not lost on me the huge responsibility that is being a parent. It’s scary, it’s sobering, and it’s my most important duty to prayerfully raise them the best way I can.
I’m certainly not saying that living more extravagantly will ruin your kids, but I believe that teaching and modeling frugality will benefit them in ways that they could never learn otherwise.
1. It teaches them responsibility. I want my children to learn responsibility in all areas of life, and I think we can all agree that finances are a huge area for all of us, no matter what our values may be. My frugal lifestyle models financial responsibility to them. As a Christian, I believe that we are called to be good stewards of everything God blesses us with, and passing that skill down to our children is super important. I love seeing the kids earn money for doing chores, and then saving it up for something they want.
2. It discourages materialism. Have you ever seen those children shirts that say “saw it, wanted it, had a fit, got it”? That’s not cute in real life, and it sets your kids up with a materialistic mindset, which will not serve them well as they grow. Our kids need to know that they don’t get everything they see. That’s just the way life is.
3. It teaches them to get creative, and make do with what they have. This is almost the same as number two, but not quite. As our kids see us model making do with what they have, they learn to do the same thing. They learn the skill of resourcefulness in their play, which will carry over into adult life. Yesterday, Garrett had one of those blank credit cards that come in the mail, and was trying to find a way to attach it to his bike so the tire would catch it and make noise so he could pretend he was riding a motorcycle. I love that! And while I do love to provide them with good toys, I wouldn’t see them deprived of imaginative play for the world!
4. It teaches them to be givers. If we don’t spend as much on ourselves, we have more to give. I want my kids to grow up to be generous givers, but if we don’t live frugally – below our means – how will we have anything to give?
Again, I’m not saying that you have to live on the bottom of the barrel for your kids to learn these qualities, but if you yourself aren’t wise with your money, and intentionally living below your means (which, by the way, is the essence of living frugally), how else will they learn?