How to Teach Your Kids to Cut Household Expenses and Save Money

Cutting down on household costs is a goal for many families. It’s where you live and relax, so your home is most likely eating off a big chunk of your budget every month – it’s how it should be. Still, wouldn’t it be nice to keep a bit more of your paycheck next month, live the way you’re used to, and even get your family to help pull the load? Here are some pieces of the best advice we have heard and found useful on how to cut household costs for the whole family.

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If your children are old enough, you should involve them in your finances by talking to them about it. It doesn’t quite cut it to simply say that times are tough or that you can’t afford something; they need the context that you already have.

Energy Savings

It is the most obvious one, so we better get it out of the way fast; a green household is a wealthy household, or at least a more frugal one. There are a lot of ways to saving money on your monthly energy bills without being too warm, cold or left in the dark. Now that it’s summer, you’re able to save a lot more than during winter, so you better get started.

First of all, keep the aircon off by keeping the heat out. A wide open window with curtains blowing in the wind seems perfect for summer, but it will only allow that cool inside air to disappear out into the humidity. Keep it closed when it’s at its warmest, even the shutters should be drawn, and any rooms you don’t use should also be closed off. You might spend your days walking around the house and closing windows after your family, so turn the aircon off, and you’ll see how easily those windows can stay closed on their own.

Give your oven a break; it deserves it. By focusing on cold dishes, you can involve your children more in the kitchen, too. Food full of colors, fruits peeled, cut and decoratively hanging out on a plate, is sure to get them interested.

When the bill arrives, show it to your children and give them an energy tour around the house. Point out the different expenses on the bill, what they mean, and what you can do as a family to make the household use less energy. Explain that there are more advantages to using less energy than financial ones; it will make the planet happier and give you all a better future.

A low energy bill means more money to spend on other things, as well as less financial worries. If the worries get the best of you, or if you have an unexpected and big amount to pay, it could be better to look at different ways of covering the debt initially. Get loan details here and make sure you read this article on questions you should ask before taking up a loan.

Grocery Savings

When you want to cut down on the amount you spend on groceries, you have an ocean of opportunities. Besides from using those coupons, and planning your weekly or monthly shopping ahead, you should also try to substitute your meat meals with beans and rice – at least for a day or two of the week.

Getting children onboard with this is usually not a problem, but if it is, a good advice is to bring them with you to the grocery shop. Not just to run around and be in the way of other shoppers; involve them in the grocery shopping, point out the prices on different products, and explain that you’re trying to save as much as possible.

If they are old enough, it’s a good idea to let them do a bit of the shopping once in awhile. Send your two oldest off together or make them bring a friend and a bicycle – just make sure to write a list and give them a limited amount of money. That way, they’ll be forced to manage the money when finding the right products and it will make them more aware of the prices, too.

Try to stick to the more budget-friendly grocery shops, by the way. The better you know a shop, the more likely it is that you’ll also know where their best sales are, how low you can go, as well as their in-store policies in general. The largest shopping of the month should be done when it’s relatively empty and when you’re not hungry or stressed – it seems obvious, but it’s a tough rule to follow.

Budgeting

A parent who manages his own budget is one thing, but that doesn’t mean your child is secretly watching and absorbing all of your knowledge. They need to learn these lessons too – and you should be the one teaching it to them. Giving them an allowance every week or month is something most parents find useful; it teaches their children the value of money as well as the skill of budgeting.

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Some choose to give allowances after certain chores are completed, which may work well for some, but not everyone. It might end up teaching your child the wrong type of lesson; specifically that if they don’t get an allowance, they don’t have to complete their chores either.

Unbelievable as it might sound to us hard-working grown-ups, this is a deal that could be worth it to them. The bed will still be warm and cozy at night, and there will be dinner on the table in the evening – so why do these tedious tasks when all they have to do give up is a couple of dollars per week? The lesson they learn is not what you had in mind at all.

If allowances based on completed chores works for you, then continue with this system. If not, on the other hand, you should consider giving them allowances for the sake of learning how to budget and expect them to keep helping out at home nonetheless. Nobody gives you money for making your bed, taking out the trash or walking the dog; it’s just something we need to do.

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