Recently both Simple Dollar and Man vs Debt has articles on stopping kids from being crass consumers or keeping children frugal, both wonderful articles for those parents who are looking for inspiration in this media driven, advertiser soaked world around us. Of course I don't have children and I kinda wondered aloud, "what about me?" And then I realized I am still a child in some ways. Though I don't toss myself on the ground and bang my fists onto the carpet because I didn't get to go on vacation since all the money went to fixing the car - but the feeling are similar!
So let's combine the two and take a look at how we can make the child in us more consumer-proof:
Turn Off or Limit Media
After reading through a variety of blogs where people talked about cutting out tv totally or limiting the amount of tv watched, they have spoken about the desire to buy, buy, buy had lessened as well and this led to an increase in their free time to get other things done around the house.
☺Baker said from Man vs Debt - "Your kids won’t crave the latest gadget"
Focus on People Not Stuff
Making yourself and others around you aware of the qualities you notice about someone and not the car they drive helps to emphasize to yourself and others that there is more to life than fluff but a substance that is deeper and lasts longer.
☺Trent stated in Simple Dollar - "I usually make it a point to identify – and usually try to point out – a good quality about a person when that person comes up in a family conversation."
Reinforce Quality of Life with Like Minds
I am not a carp trying to swim up hill, so why would I want to swim uphill by being around people who dwell on a materialistic view of the world around me? Instead I want to be around people who will add positively to a quality of life that is deeper than the clothes we wear.
☺Baker said from Man vs Debt - "You will find that your child has more fun playing with other kids who understand their type of play and can engage in it fully."
The Hard Work of Having Fun
Sometimes being frugal isn't so much fun for us, we just want to sit in the corner and sulk about all the belt tightening we have to do. There are ways to make a game out of saving money, whether it is a challenge with rewards or locating all the free stuff you can do in a 50 mile radius and start checking them off as you go through the summer.
☺Trent stated in Simple Dollar -"I don’t praise everything they do, but I strongly praise their effort in a positive direction, especially when that effort is producing a good result (like my son’s ongoing journey towards reading)"
Returning Gratitude and Value to Others
The things that we learn can be passed along to others who are searching by sharing our time or materials or by bringing attention to a way others can save based on our experience.
☺Baker said from Man vs Debt - "A great mind-shift can happen when we stop thinking about what we don’t have and begin thinking about how we can help others."
☺Trent stated in Simple Dollar - "It is nice to share, but you shouldn’t expect someone to always share what they have, and it’s a good idea to set a sharing example first."