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Why I'm Not As Frugal When It Comes To Raising My Kids

Trying To Frugally Raising Kids

I consider myself a frugally balanced guy!  If there is a way that I can save a buck, without too much hassle, you can bet I’ll try it.  So I don’t wear expensive clothes.  If you were to see me working around my house, you’d think I didn’t have much money and was just scraping by.  I’m the type of guy that will try to make my things last as long as possible.  Even at the expense of the aesthetics of the possession.

So, you’d think that I’d be just as cheap with my family, trying to get my kids to wear there shoes and clothes as long as possible, but this is not so…  I try to get my kids involved in as many sports or extra activities as possible.  I also like to buy them new shoes whenever theirs gets old or too dirty looking.  I try to encourage my wife to make my kids the most healthy meals as possible too (I may have to start cooking a bit more, for this to happen).  I do make my kids buy their own stuff, since they get an allowance.  If it wasn’t for our kids, we wouldn’t have gone to Disney last year…

So what are the Reasons that I’m “less frugal” when it comes to my kids?

  • They only get to be a kid once!  So I try to make it the best I can for them.
  • My son and daughter’s health is very important to me, so I get new shoes when they need them, and try to make sure they get good nutrition.
  • My kids are exceptionally good kids.  They are both a joy to be around, so I try to cut them some slack.
  • My wife is the hard one on them, so I try to buffer out the strictness, life should be fun.
  • I want my kids to have the opportunities I didn’t have as a kid.
  • It’s a different world then when I was a kid, now kids just have more things…

 This is a very tempting area to let “lifestyle creep” get out of control.  I know as my kids get older they will get more expensive.  I’m already starting to think about starting to save money for a car for each of them.  Not to mention the cost of insurance each car will add.  This will be a battle that I will be fighting with myself on.

 I do know if you plan early (I did this with their college saving accounts; it can become a more manageable task).  The trick is to treat future kid expenses as any regular expense early.  If you are young and just starting your family, sock away money in a fund for child expenses now.  Trusts me, it will come in handy later down the road!

I’m trying to achieve the best balance as possible when it comes to being frugal with my kid’s activies and needs.  Luckily, my kids don’t ask for much 🙂

-D

12 Responses to Why I'm Not As Frugal When It Comes To Raising My Kids

  1. The car and the insurance is going to hurt for sure! One way to lessen the impact would be to get a used car so you don’t have to get full coverage and have both your children share the car. When the eldest child goes to college s/he probably won’t need it because everything is available on campus. It’s good that you are thinking ahead!

    • I like your car idea, I’ll probably go that route… What really scares me is the insurance for my son… I heard that can get pricey, especially for boys.

  2. I remember washing my shoes with an old toothbrush when I was a kid. They looked pretty nifty again once they were cleaned! Don’t know if that would be considered ‘uncool’ these days…

    • @Thriftygal

      Good idea! I try to clean my kids shoes, but the playground where my kids go to school is filled with old shredded tire rubber. We’ve given up on white shoes entirely 🙂

      I’ve been trying papertowels and soap… I like your method better! when I do it my way, the kids shoes get all soaked and never get totally clean…

  3. @thriftgal
    I used to go that too! I would take an old toothbrush and would dip it in some soapy water and brush away the dirt. Worked like a charm.

  4. Just wait until they start driving. My kids all worked and bought their own beaters but just having them in the home as licensed drivers drove our insurance rates sky high.

    • @Daddy Paul,

      Hmmm, beaters would be cool too, then the kids wouldn’t have to worry abut keeping them looking mint all the time.

      Yeah, the insurance part is what is having me sweat about it…

  5. Being frugal is setting a great example for your kids… but with all due respect do you think “cutting them slack” will help them grow up with the right perspective?

    Personally, I’ve been challenged with just the opposite, we can afford to do much more for our kids but I am afraid they would grow up with a lack of respect for money that I did. I learned too late, I don’t want them to.

    • @LeanLifeCoach

      Yes, I have this internal struggle constantly going on. I don’t want them to develop a sense of entitlement, so I keep their allowance money on the low side ($1.00 per child age). This way they get to learn about money and hopefully budgeting at a young age. I’m hoping my kids learn that money is just a complex tool that they can control the movement of. I’ve started teaching them (at least my son) about investing, but at nine, it’s still slow going…

      I have to admit though, I understand and see your point too.

  6. Honestly? I think it’s awesome that you’re willing to spend money on your kids and you want them to have great memories, and you recognize that they are good kids.

    I’ve read posts that seem espouse a sentiment that says, “when I was young my parents made me walk up the hill (both ways!) in the snow in my bare feet and that made me a stronger person and now I will make my kids suffer the same because I love them.”

    I grew up in a very frugal household, but I grew up always knowing that my parents are willing and happy to spend for the important things (education, personal development, etc.), and that they appreciate the fact that I was a pretty frugal kid growing up.

  7. Yep, it true! I want my kids to have a great childhood. You’re only young once, so live the age that you are to the very fullest that’s possible while still being financially responsible.

    I live a lower lifestyle so that my kids can have a fuller one. They are in sports (great social lessons learned here…), get nice vacation (Hilton, Disney, Water parks, etc), and if I had it my way nice toys (I’d like to buy my son a minibike or motorcycle, but my wife won’t have any of that!).

    Both of my kids have been to the golf driving range (yes even my 6 year old), and my son has already played a few rounds of golf. I didn’t play golf until after I was out of college.

    I realize I’m cutting against the grain on this one versus the regular frugal blog community, but I don’t go to hog wild… I still maintain a balance.