5 Easy steps kids can take to save mom’s money starting today! Let’s face it. Kids cost money, A lot of money. As parents we are constantly trying to find ways to save money, just to spend it on things more worthwhile.
Many times those extra funds always seem to disappear into kids activities, clothes, and other child needs. Parents are used to compromising for the benefit of the children. Why not have the children do a little compromising of their own? Parents shouldn’t always feel they should be the ones to sacrifice the good stuff.
Below I have listed 5 easy steps kids could take to help Mom (and Dad) save money. Money that can be transferred into fun things like extracurricular activities, weekend adventures and so forth.
Step 1: Drink Water
Make it a plan that your child drinks one cup of milk a day and water the rest. Sound impossible? It can be a tough transition for some children. Most parents wonder about juice. Stick an apple in your child’s lunch or dinner as a substitute.
There are very few juices that are actually healthy (most are sugar water with a hint of fruit) and the ones which are pure juice are so costly. Drinking water is free AND healthy!
A younger child should transition easily. Older children who are used to ordering drinks at a restaurant and helping themselves to the fridge might be harder to convert. Explain to your child the importance of drinking water.
Did you know a child 5-8 years old should be drinking around 7 glasses of water a day? Give your child a choice. Would the child rather drink soda/juice or play soccer? Both cost the parent money, so the child will have to compromise.
Step 2: Unplug!
In today’s world of technology, kids are used to having some form of advanced entertainment at their disposal. Video games, cable TV, movies on demand, and the internet. Kids have mastered this art and beg, whine, and plead for it.
Are the kids even aware of the electricity and power usage for all these gadgets? Make a plan for each child to limit their technology usage to 30 minutes every day. Plan “blackouts” where kids (and parents) can’t use any form of technology.
A simpler and easier to follow rule is to unplug the cords that are not in use. All the game boy, phone, tablet, laptop, etc cords that are just hanging out of outlets cost money. Set up a basket for these cords and plugs so it will be easy to find. Teach your children that when the game/phone is unplugged so is the cord from the outlet.
By unplugging, kids will help save electricity… and might even spend more time with you or outside in the sun!
Step 3: Turn off that light
I can’t even count the number of times I would rush around the house, on the way out, turning off lights. Don’t just nag anymore about the lights, set up an action plan. Put a mason jar on the kitchen counter and charge for electricity wasted.
If your kids don’t have much access to money, put chores in the jar and have the child draw out a job to “pay” for the money wasted. It only took my kids about a week to remember that lights should be off when not in use.
You could also add lights to your “blackout” days… tell stories by solar-powered flashlight. Go outside. Read by the window. ENJOY the sunlight and each other!
Step 4: Learning to Borrow
It is so tempting to dig through those $5 movie bins at Wal-Mart and pick up a new movie for the night. Teach your children the art of trading and borrowing! Instead of purchasing, go to the library and borrow for free.
Go to a half-priced book store and trade in old movies for a newer selection. Ask friends to trade/borrow movies.
This also works with DS games, Wii games, PlayStation, etc.
Step 5: Reduce Waste in the bathroom
As a mother of 3, I have unclogged toilets, cleaned toothpaste out of the sink (and off mirrors, walls, floors), replaced soap dispensers and gone to take a shower only to realize the new shampoo bottle had somehow run out. Many of these could have been prevented if the child had been conscientiously thinking about reducing waste.
Below is a list that each child should be familiar with. I have it posted on the back of my bathroom door as reading material for those using the toilet.
Rules to Reduce Waste!
1. Toothpaste, hand soap, and body soap should be used in pea-sized amounts.
2. If your hair is above your ears use soap. If it is below use a dime sized amount of shampoo.
3. Toilet paper should never be used in more than 3 squares. If more wiping is required use wipes. **Ours are reusable cloth**
4. Conditioner should only be used 1 time per week.
5. Rehang your towel. Use it all week!
6. Think twice before using- Are you being wasteful?
Guest Post by Sarah Campbell
©Canstock Photo AndreyPopov