Being frugal is a frame of mind – it means that you try to find the most value about everything. However, just being frugal yourself is not enough, you need to get your family involved. After all, it is fruitless to spend your time scrimping and saving if your husband or teenager is simply throwing the money out the window.
So how do you get your family to embrace frugality? For one, you need to have some sort of goal, a saving milestone. This could be a weekend skiing, a game console or a new TV. This will give you and your family something to strive for, and ease some of the growing pains of learning to save. You can even start small, like saving $20 per week for pizza.
Next try to identify areas where your family can save. Look at your grocery bill, cellular phone charges, television, and entertainment. Decide what you can live without and what you can cut back on. Show your kids how they can find ways to save. For example, if you all have cell phones you may be better off pooling in for a family cell phone plan instead of individual plans. Tally up the money you can save by making small changes, and show your family how this can add up over a month, or a year.
Here are a few suggestions on cutting back on expenses and saving in your family:
– Consider killing your cable over the summer, there’s nothing good on anyways and it will encourage your kids to get outside
– Organize a garage sale and ask all family members to contribute
– Put a change jar by the front door so everyone can empty their pockets
– Learn the joy of thrift shopping
– See if you can manage giving up one of the family cars
– Stock up on sweaters and turn the thermostat down
– Cut down on the amount of detergents and soaps your family uses – most of the time we used far too much anyways
– Hang up a clothesline and reduce your dryer usage
– Analyze your grocery bill and cut back on prepared items. Instead you and your family can learn to make the same things from scratch
Together you and your family can become a lean, mean, money saving machine. You can buff up your emergency fund and put aside some cash for important events. Once you all get the hang of living frugally it won’t seem like you are giving anything up, rather you are getting more out of your dollar.
With your family on board you will all soon be able to find even more ways to save. Perhaps your kids will find new ways to stretch their dollar, or they’ll decide that they want to contribute to the family finances with a paper route or part-time job. In the meantime keep up the good work and join the ranks frugal families everywhere.
To learn more about frugal living, click here.