Is Frugal Living Harming Your Kids?

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Does Frugal Living Harm or Deprive Your Kids?

Is Frugal Living Harming Your Kids?

A couple of weeks ago I hung up the phone after talking to Tawra and was going to post on the blog about the background noise at her house. I always get such a kick out of it. I didn’t get it posted but after a reporter interviewing Tawra about frugal living asked her if she thought her children were really happy living the frugal life, I decided to post what I intended to write before… or I will as soon as I get my laughter under control. 😉

If that poor reporter only knew how funny her question was… Why do I say that? Because I love calling my daughter just so I can listen her background noise. Usually one child is singing at the top of their lungs with all the gusto and joy of an opera singer, then child number two is whistling away with another happy song, number three is laughing hysterically at something and last but not least is the baby is saying either “Hi” or “uh oh” or laughing at big brother laughing.

There is absolutely nothing that a grandmother loves to hear more than the singing, whistling and laughing of her grandchildren. It does my heart good to know after many years of hard work and, at times, uncertainty that I have raised two well adjusted, happy responsible kids and the fruit of my labor is seeing them doing such a great job of raising and giving my grandkids a happy home. And guess what? They were raised in a frugal home, too.

What that poor reporter didn’t understand was that frugal living and being debt free is the happiest place for a family to be. The stress is removed because mom and dad aren’t always fighting over money or having to worry about keeping up with the Joneses.

Most families that practice realistic frugal living are happy because they are able to spend more time together as a family instead of away from each other trying to make more money so they will have more money to spend. People who don’t practice frugal living often find that when they have more money to spend, each person goes his own way, spending that money for more activities or on shopping sprees rather than spending time with the family. Boy I got confused just writing that, let alone living it.

The kids in a frugal family don’t feel the tension in the air that they might lose their house because mom and dad bought a house with a mortgage they couldn’t afford. They don’t even notice gas prices going up because living frugally has given mom and dad enough cushion and wiggle room in their budget to allow for these types of things.

They don’t have to depend on someone or something to give them happiness or to help them find joy. The kids get just as much pleasure and happiness from digging a mud hole in the backyard or watching the hummingbirds as they do from playing the latest computer game.

They have learned at an early age what it takes some adults a lifetime to learn (and many die never knowing)– that happiness is not related to how much money and stuff you have. If you are not happy without money, you won’t be happy with money either.

What that poor reporter didn’t understand and so many others can’t wrap their mind around is – Happiness is love and freedom and when you have debt free parents that love you, you have everything.


P.S. They also have a “Nana” that loves them very much too. :) :)



  1. Grandma Kitty says

    The common perception is that if you don’t have everything everyone else does, and you live ‘frugally’, you’re “doing without”, and that constitutes suffering. What you and your family are doing is “doing with”… with wisdom, with care, with intelligence, with talent, with inventive minds, with peace, with eagerness, with resolution, with laughter, with resourcefulness, with common sense… and, yes, with much love. That “background noise” is the music of contentment.

  2. flutemom says

    those are some very true thoughts. if only we all could realize how much happier we could be if we didn’t put such an emphasis on money, or what we think we need. people are so much more important! so glad you shared those thoughts with us, and so glad too that you are enjoying the “fruits” of your labors, even to the next generation.

  3. Anonymous says

    I liked this article so MUCH, Jill, that I printed it out to keep handy—for those days when I need a reminder for encouragement about all the important things we are doing….but that are NOT valued by much of our culture!

    Thank you so much!


  4. Anonymous says

    now that was the stupidest question I ever did hear…I’m surprized you didn’t fall down on the ground laughing when that was asked…

    some people….hmmmpppfff…what are they thinking??? guess their not…

    good post…no make that a great post…

  5. Dineen says

    Oh, I smiled to read this, thinking of my “background noise” when I call my family back “home.” As the now nearing-one-year old screeches, laughs and creates drums of various things… No, she isn’t doing “without” at all.

  6. says

    It is so sad to see children born into homes where the parents spend such needless energy worrying and arguing over their finances when they have BOTH made bad decisions with their money. Children need a loving, calm home with a clean warm place to sleep, food, clothing and a few toys. They don’t need to be relegated to the “end of the line” so to speak when mom and dad are spending their energy worrying, thinking and obsessing about material things. A relaxed kid is a happy kid.

  7. says

    Back in about 2003 we live in a very wealthy town. Mill and mining workers bring home big pay cheques.
    Well I was making wooden toys, and puzzles for children but a few items for the household. paper towel holders napkin rings stuff like that. I took them to the craft fair to sell so I could go out and buy more wood for the toy drive in a few months. I prefer to give away my children creations.
    Anyway one little boy picked up the truck and was really looking it over. I asked him if he liked it. “sure do but how does it work? I told him it was a special invention and it was called Imagination. He put it down and said “guess I can’t buy it since we don’t have any in our house.”
    I picked up the truck and asked him where he would like to go. Then I started the car rolling telling him what I was seeing out the truck window as we drove by. I sold him the truck for about .50 and he went away happy.
    But why would I have to explain to a 6 year old what imagination was?
    that is a sad state of affairs. Frugal to a point teaches children things they will never learn in this day and age.

    • Deb says

      It’s really sad having to teach a 6 year old about using their imagination. It reminded me of the time my daughter was a third grader (she is an eighth grader now). She had a big cardboard box in our family room that she would use as a fort, a cave, a ship, or just a hide-out. Most of her friends would walk into the room, get a funny look on their face, and ask why there was a box in our family room. When my daughter would climb into it and say that it was whatever-she-wanted-it-to-be at the moment, the friends would give her an even funnier look and would walk away shaking their heads. However, one of her friends, upon walking into the room and seeing the box, completely lit up and quickly asked if the box was a fort. Those two had fun for several hours.

    • Andrea says

      Yes, it is sad now days but it has become normal. Television has become the babysitter. And children are expected to grow up too fast.

    • Judi Dymond says

      My granddaughter was like that little boy one year, I gave her a doll. She asked, ‘Where do you put the batteries to make it talk?’ Poor child!!! I had to explain to her the same thing, you pretend.

  8. Grizzly Bear Mom says

    So much for objective reporting on the part of the reporter! She didn’t even try to understand what you were doing.

    • says

      Yes, after hundreds of interviews by radio, tv, newspapers and magazine I can tell you first hand that about 1% of what they are reporting is “objective”. :-)

  9. Sandra says

    I grew on on a subsistance farm where everyone worked and worked hard including the children but we were not unhappy and deprived. I can assure you that we had more fun with our homemade stilts, tire swings, swimming in the creek, and made over tricycles and wagons than my grandchildren will ever get out of their Playstation 3. I could play house for hours with nothing but some string between trees to mark my walls and acorn caps for teacups. My fondest memories are of laying in the big double bed with my sister, with my brother in another and my parents in a third on cold winters nights where we moved all the beds into one room so we would only have to use the one wood heater, and all of us taking turns telling stories, singing our favorite songs, or seeing who could name the most animals. The loser was the one that could not think of another one when it came their turn and the winner was the last one to name one. There was no TV blaring, no overstimulated kids kept awake with adrenalin from video games and horror movies, just drifting to sleep feeling warm and safe with mama and daddy in the next bed. The things that really matter to kids can’t be bought with a credit card.

  10. Jen says

    This is a very reassuring blog post. I have 2 children under five and it is my mother who doesn’t understand why I accept hand me down clothes and don’t buy every toy under the sun for them. She thinks it’s terrible they share a room and we don’t go all out for birthday parties. I love my kids, and I want them to find joy in everyday life without feeling like they have to spend money or have the latest gadget to feel happy.


  11. patty says

    Living frugal has nothing to do with how much money you have–it’s what you choose to do with the money that you have. My six grown and nearly grown children feel sorry for their friends who cannot be happy without “things”. Living frugally means enjoying what you have and having something to share with others less fortunate or that you would just like to bless in some way. Keep up the good work. As I learned early in my 39 year marriage — “Less is More!”

  12. Karen says

    I am the mother of 2 teens who were raised with both aspects of the have/have not. 5 years ago we lived in a huge house, 4 bathrooms and plenty of money. We sold the entire lifestyle, downsized into an old house with 2 bathrooms and have half the stuff. You are expecting me to say that this is so much better, but really, it was the surroundings that changed not the people. My kids played in the mud, wandered around outside for hours, made flower bouquets for the fairies and fell asleep happy and content when they lived in the big house. Now they are still the same only now they write songs, play the multitude of instruments that we purchased (mostly 2nd hand)to fill our house and they love going for walks with their parents. We downsized for financial reasons, but we parent the same way we did when we had more money. Remember that your core values need to be established with the mindset that that no matter where you live nor how much you have you still honor each others spirits. Making changes that seem like a move towards a better place that are not essential to who you are will become a frustration and a point of anger for anyone not used to living a simple life. I know parents who decide that their teens need a “lesson” on being independent so they whip the rug out from under them and take their i-pods/games/car privilages etc away after they have been a push over in the past about giving in. Nobody complains when those things are viewed as privilages from the start. I love my teens and they love us and it is because they have had their priorities set for them since the beginning.

  13. Leona says

    Husband and I are in the middle of renovating his mother’s home. She’s currently living in a nursing home and we are watching her life’s savings dwindle daily. Our solution: to renovate her home, sell ours and then live together. One mortgage, 3 incomes, 0 car payments, and grandma will have plenty of investment money left to help twin grandkids through college.

    Yes it’s a lot of work and there is and will continue to be much sacrifice, but it’s what needs to be done. I’m sure everyone will benefit far more from this arrangement than the previous one. Grandma gets to see the her son and grandchildren everyday, gets a newly remodeled home, gets to have her pet returned, still has the help with daily care, medicine etc… and my husband get to dispose of a mortgage, taxes, HOA dues, and utilities on a second property.

    Taking better care of my husband’s mother than she’s getting in the nursing home and having her life’s savings remain in tact for her grandchildren is what’s in her best interest and will benefit us all far more than allowing some corporate entity fleece her for every penny she busted her back for.

    After having worked in several nursing homes and seeing what goes on first hand, I will never allow anyone that I love to be subjected to such carelessness. Caring for ailing family at home can be one of the most rewarding and frugal things any family can do.

    • Jan C says

      I was so happy to read your post. Our family (actually my husband’s family) went through the same thing, but mom doesn’t have any money and the children and grandchildren that she raised couldn’t have the stress of having a mother in their home who couldn’t remember how to do things any longer. So, she’s in a nursing home. I cannot bring myself to sign up (the family has sign-up sheets for when you can visit)to go and visit her. I am still working full-time and the nursing home is an hour from me both from work and home. Of course, it’s close to them, All 10 of them! She lived with one daughter while her 3 kids were little and then moved to another daughter when she had the 3 little kids. Now all the kids are grown and mom got sent to a nursing home. So sad it makes me cry. PS My husband and I wanted to take her, but he was sick also with COPD and the daughters didn’t want her to come to us.

  14. gina says

    I grew up on a farm in rural ALabama and to say we lived frugal was an understament. We were poor, yes but we were also safe, warm, dry, fed and loved. My upbringing is an ingrained thing. I fell in love and married a man wo was very much above the finacial level that I had grown up with, but I still proceeded to raise our children as I had been raised. On a farm working and doing for themselves and being responsible for the things they do and want. They were nearly in their teens before someone else informed them of their finacial status (which still irks me by the way). It harmed them not one bit to be brought up in a frugal household, they know how to read, work, laugh, cook, recycle & take care of themselves and other creatures, with an appreciation & respect for nature. My fondest memories of my childhood are the laughter and the love, not the things I did without.

  15. says

    I raised my four children on a shoestring budget. They wore homemade or secondhand clothes. My oldest raised her two by shopping thrift stores, which has passed to her oldest daughter and her two children. She and my son are two of the most frugal people I know. My oldest granddaughter loves saving money with coupons, but isn’t a crazy couponer.

    I don’t feel a child misses much because they don’t have the latest toys or gadgets. I didn’t have them and I grew up just fine, my children did too. Very smart shoppers.

  16. says

    I grew up in Germany after the war. Everybody around us HAD to live frugal, and I am most grateful for that experience. It taught me not only a lot of ways not to waste, but most important, that – as long as one is fed and clothed and has a place to sleep – everything else we possess is a blessing, not a “must-have”. My parents would always have time to listen to me, may it be my mother while we did the dishes or my father while we were sawing a tree to size for the oven. I passed-on this experience to my children as well, teaching them the joys of using their imagination instead of “buying” their love with gifts. Today I am very proud of them and of my grandchildren, too. I love all of them from the bottom of my heart…

    • Tracy says

      I would love to hear more about these frugal ways! We all might learn something! :) Maybe as a guest writer? (HINT! HINT!)

  17. Sheri says

    Frugal takes imagination. Something that is lacking in those who are constantly being entertained. Understanding the difference between needs and wants helps too. Most of the space in our homes is for our stuff anyway … Otherwise, we could live in a tent, except in winter…

    When it comes to things, my children are quite content. I don’t have to explain that we can’t afford something. I probably wouldn’t get it for them if I could afford it either! It’s not what I want for my children.

    My children are happy! My teens still like to play in the backyard! One likes to find his perch in the tree for some time alone. No TV, no video games, more time to think…

  18. Carol says

    My mother was widowed at the age of 48 and never remarried. I was 5 when my dad was killed and my mother still had 4 kids at home and she was a housewife and mother who had to go to work outside the home for the first time. We lived very frugally, she baked bread every Saturday morning, planted a huge garden every year and canned everything she grew. I didn’t have anyone except my brother and sisters to play with until I was in third grade when we finally got a neighbor next door who was my age. Until that time we used our imagination and played outdoors most of the time. We stomped thru the woods and discovered new and exciting things. I remember loving horses and since my sister had to sell the one she had, I would put her saddle on our big propane tank and tie a rope on the handle of it and pretend I was horseback riding. We had fun. We didn’t watch much TV except on Friday or Saturday nights when for a treat we actually got one pepsi each and we popped corn. It was a simpler but and much calmer lifestyle than kids have today. Everyone now has their noses stuck in their Iphones texting to whomever and never noticing who or what is going on next to them. This electronic age is making us a generation who no longer know how to use their minds for fun or for conversation. What a shame. I brought up my children who are in their early 40’s and 30’s now, to enjoy their childhood and learn to play outside. Because my grandchildren (ages 7 and 3) are in school or daycare all day, when they come to visit we play outside weather permitting. That way they aren’t stuck in front of the TV or the computer. Our children of today need to get dirty and run and jump and have fun. Who says being frugal is boring….no way.

  19. Marcia says

    I love reading things like this! My 14yo darling daughter asked once if we were poor because she didn’t have an IPOD or iphone? Instead of answering her, I asked what she thought. She had a very grown up answer ~ that maybe those kids didn’t spend much time with their families or their parents were divorced. And then she said, but we have a home and cars and her sibs are in college, so we are ok right mom? I told we were great with no car payments (even though they are a little rusty) we have food on the table and hot water and heat or A/C whichever we want at the time. We are absolutely not poor! She was very happy with our prognosis if you want to call it that! Love and stable environments make kids happy not THINGS!

  20. Tracy says

    Amen, sister!!!! I teach 2nd grade and in my experience, its the children with loving homes that are the happiest, regardless of their finances. Often, students with the “latest and greatest” are also the unhappiest because they are never satisfied.

  21. Elaine says

    I was raised in a home with limited income and we did without so many things. It made me want MORE things as I grew up and wanted more for my children. I have been a single mum since 1998 and one has to cut corners here and there. I shopped retail stores, but shopped their clearance racks, but I was not truly frugal until the end of last year when I was robbed and had to start completely over. I realized that eventhough so much was stolen, I still had a lot of things, but I still needed big items to replace that was stolen. I used/use craigslist, discount stores, thrift stores and off season shopping as my main way of replacing and getting items. I also have a new grandbaby living with me and I have scored big, by buying second hand and researching the safety of it to make sure it is still safe. I won’t compromise quality, but I still love a bargain. My 3 children always knew about being thrifty when they were little, but as they are much older now, they enjoy it so much more and find it more rewarding when they can get something for so much less than expected.
    I remember the days when my school mates used to brag how much their parents paid for this, or that, but I think it is the trend now to say how little one pays for something.

  22. Betty Harrison says

    Didn’t you recently have an issue with a sermon from Calvary Chapel in it? The topic was Pursuing God and somehow I have lost it. I really want to hear that sermon – because that is what I want to do – pursue God. Can you get it to me again? I would appreciate it so much.

  23. Doris says

    This is a wonderful post. It brings back so many memories of life during the depression when I grew up. My brother and I lived with our parents in a rented house for the first thirteen years of my life. We were fourteen months apart. I remember how we used to play in the sand driveway, playing “cars” and making the sounds of the cars revving up. We also had a huge vegetable garden and had to help with weeding and getting rid of potato and tomato bugs, both in our garden and on my grandfather’s small farm that was a mile away. We enjoyed visiting aunts and uncles and grandparents who, at that time, all lived close by. The art of visitation has been lost in so many homes today what with all this technology. TV has interfered with the art of conversation. How many times have you heard someone say “Shh!” if you needed to say something to him or her when the TV was on! People use TV to babysit their children. Children don’t talk to each other anymore – they text each other. I have seen grown children with their older parents at restaurants and instead of having conversation with the parents, the children are on the cell phone. I do have a cell phone, but it is used for emergencies unless I have to make a necessary call. Then that call is made privately so as not to disturb others. I am not a fuddy-duddy. In fact, when I was 72 years old I went back to college and studied Information Systems, graduating in 2004. I loved every minute of it, but technology is being carried too far when it interferes with living sensibly (frugally) in those wishing to have every new thing that comes out. We have to realize that we are the most blessed country in the world since most of us (certainly not all of us) go to bed in a warm home, eat well, and have a decent life. Viva la frugality!!!!!

  24. deborah says

    my mom had a saying
    “Use it up or throw it out
    Make it do or do without”
    That has surely been a great help raising 6 kids. They used their imagination to the hilt. One day they had built a contraption to carry their baby sister on like Cleopatra! My yard was forever changing with forts, tunnels, sandpits and even a homemade “swimming pool”!

  25. CassieOz says

    You see people confuse PLEASURE with HAPPINESS. While a new computer game can give you pleasure, it will never make you happy. My life is happy if I have pleasures in it (don’t need to be big – going to the bathroom without kids in tow is pleasant!), if I do something that gives me satisfaction (like finishing the laundry) and I am connected to other people that care for me and that I care about. That’s it: pleasure, satisfaction/achievement and connectedness. Not a complicated recipe really.

  26. Gayla says

    I just wish I could get my husband to understand the freedom and happiness in frugal living.
    Okie who understands, husband who doesn’t!

    • Rayna says

      I’m with you Gayla. My husband gets budgeting and all, but really frugal living and recycling, he’s not so keen on that. He thinks if it’s used it’s junk. :(

  27. Rayna says

    I just can’t believe someone would actually ask that!?!
    Seriously?! I consider myself pretty frugal, and a great bargain shopper.
    I grew up with a single mom and we didn’t have heat a few winters (Utah is cold,) let alone “stuff.” HOWEVER, I never felt a lack for anything. In fact, I never understood how much we didn’t have until I was older and could observe it in retrospect in reference to “things.”
    My mother loved me, spent time with me, taught me things. How is that harming?!
    The question almost makes me mad, but for the benefit of the doubt, do you think this reporter thinks we don’t feed or clothe our kids or something?

    • says

      Actually Rayna they meant it just like it sounded. People now really think that unless kids have all the gadgets, stuff and things money can buy that they won’t be happy or have what they really need but you and I both know better as you stated.

  28. Lea Stormhammer says

    As I get older I realize that I grew up “frugal” and never even realized it! The older I get the more I realized how much we sacrificed in terms of wants just for the needs. My husband grew up with all the “stuff” and felt very poor and deprived because he never had decent shoes, coats, boots, hats, mittens, decent food, etc. He was a real tightwad – not spending money on anything (literally – you could see his toes through the front of his shoes for a while) unless it was an absolute urgent necessity even if he had the money to do so because he was so afraid of not having any money.

    Fast forward 15 years and he’s finally figured out that if you take care of the basics (food, clothes, shelter) and maintaining what you already have (routine service like oil changes for the car), you don’t really notice that you don’t have other things that he used to see as “necessary.”

    Our kids attend private school and you wouldn’t believe what some of those kids have and then in one case, Mom doesn’t get medical care for an urgent problem because they “can’t afford it”. Really, one of the parents (under age 40) had a very serious stroke because they couldn’t “afford” her medicine. They had spent $2500 (not kidding – she was so proud they had spent that much and was telling everyone!) on toys for their son for Christmas. Let’s see $2500 of toys, or medication to help a condition that must be helped or result in a stroke – in my book that’s a no brainer! I bit my tongue – hard. I feel so sorry for that family because that little boy is learning that things are more important than health! Fortunately, my kids tend to be friends with the children who have parents like us more than the kid I just mentioned. They feel like the other kids just “don’t get it” even at the age of 7!

    Thanks for the great article Jill!

  29. says

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. :) I grew up in a frugal home, and my parents didn’t have much debt (except for what it cost them to buy the farm). We just always lived within our means. I think my siblings and I were the happiest kids in the world, and we grew up responsible. Granted, we made (still do) mistakes, but we learned/learn from them. Honestly, how many parents would trust their kids with a credit card to use to buy school supplies, groceries, gas, and other needs when they in college. We were very careful with it because we didn’t want our parents to pay for things that we WANTED. I have heard many parents say, “I wouldn’t trust my kid with a credit card.” Our parents did, and I am all the more appreciative for what my parents have done for us/haven’t done for us (like buying us every single toy, etc. we wanted as a child- that was a rare treat if it wasn’t a birthday or Christmas).

    The other night, we paid bills and used half of our “cushion” money to pay of some of our debt. One bill my hubby accumulated before we were together is now under $1,000 and the second one he accumulated before we were married is just over $1,000. We may have less “cushion” right now as far as money goes, but having much more of our debt paid off is a “cushion” itself. I’m already feeling better about things, and we hope to moving out of this “bacehlor’s home” soon and into something that was built for a family and is much more affordable. We still have other debts, but nothing like what he accumulated before we married. I of course have student loans, but here and there I pay a little extra. Some day we will get it all paid off, but my student loans and the ones we have accumulated since marriage don’t charge interest unless you neglect to pay them at all for a VERY long time. I’m getting a pay raise, so we can start paying a little extra to those interest-charging bills. When we found out I was pregnant we were obviously concerned about paying for diapers, formula, etc.; my parents offered to help us out with those things and/or groceries, but we refused. We managed, but some months we just ate more rice than others. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment to know you did this without any help or very little help at all, other than the support of your family.

  30. Amanda says

    I grew up neither rich nor poor, but making it. My parents tried to save money with coupons, hand-me-downs, etc., but it wasn’t until recently at 30 that I started researching more about frugal living. Slowly I have been incorporating more ideas into our everyday life and my boys (1, 3, and 5) are seeing the benefits already. They think our new cloth napkins are so special because you don’t throw them away (hello, old t-shirts cut into squares) and my older two are just amazed that you can make some things on your own (like laundry detergent) and that there is no magic formula in products at the store that makes you have to buy them. With that said, grocery trips are also shorter, which is great for rambunctious little boys and pregnant mommy. Plus, they love being my little helpers when I say we need to make something new. Is it harmful–absolutely–I am harming their dependency for the rest of their lives. I am confident that by the time these little ones grow into adults they will know how to manage a household whether that means budgeting correctly to afford your favorite shampoo or knowing how to make one yourself.

  31. Mary Jane says

    Does being frugal hurt your children? This brings to mind an incident that happened many years ago when my kids were small. With money being tight, we always shopped at the local thrift store on sale days. My kids had lots of clothes for a manageable price, and nobody lost any sleep when something got trashed in their outdoor play. One year, just before going on summer holiday, we made a trip to the local thrift store to pick up on newer looking summer clothes to take and wear on holidays. My kids loved their new outfits. While on holiday, we stopped at a community play ground to let the kids play. It was early in the day, and the only other child there besides my four small children, was a slightly older boy, with his parents off at a distance. I watched from the sidelines, and it soon became apparent that the older boy was very unhappy, and began to lay claim to every piece of equipment on the playground. My children cheerfully gave way to him, and moved onto play with something else. Not getting the effect he wanted, he began to take a bullying tone when speaking to my children. They seemed to not notice (though I was becoming hyper-vigilant), and continued to cheerfully defer to this older boy. Finally, in frustration, because he wasn’t getting the response he wanted, the older boy, using his most snide condescending tone of voice said sarcastically to my oldest son, “Where did you get your clothes from, the Sally Ann? (meaning Salvation Army).” My five year old son replied with his sunny disposition, smiling the whole time, “No , we just got these new from the Thrift Shop.” He was bubbling over with excitement. The older boy didn’t say anything at first, then slumped his shoulders and lowered his head in a gesture of defeat, and slowly walked off the playground. Who do you think had the self-esteem issue. I didn’t have to say a word.

  32. Newtap says

    This post makes me feel so good. Finally other people I can relate to. Most people think we are struggling. But the truth(I think) is we have frugalled ourselves into being wealthy. I not sure how I should feel when we are offered stuff we could use but don’t need and others really need it but don’t know how to use it.

  33. says

    I must say that by today’s standards being frugal is harmful to your kids. That’s just it though it’s by the standards set today when it is ok to spend beyond what you make and that you can have everything. That’s just not true. We must work and save and be disciplined. My kids have only went without some extras but never what they needed. We have always spent time with them something that would not have been possible if the driving force in out family was money. Don’t get me wrong we work alot and we control spending but we do spend on our children for meaningful things. We homeschooled for several years and that was a financial sacrifice that the kids loved and so did we as parents. Doing what is right for your kids is not always easy but being frugal only teaches them how to be happy later in life because money will not stress them like so many others.

  34. Grizzly bear mom says

    I signed up a a partnering Facebook page because my niece asked me too. One mom advised another NOT To have the neighbor “hide” their son’s $500 (!) bike because the consequences weren’t natural. She said her 3 kids, all under 10, all lost their I-pads. She didn’t bother about it because those were the natural consequences. The woman didn’t seem to realize that she was advising someone to fail at teaching accountability, just like she had failed at accountability. She had previously been homeless. I can imagine why they couldn’t pay their bills. My kids wouldn’t have 100s of dollars of anything in the first place. Also, I got a hand me down or $5 bike. I treat all of my stuff like gold because I had to work for it.

  35. Diana says

    Just wanted to say thanks, 2 Years ago I got a job which furnished a apartment and paid water sewer and garbage along with my electric bill, now the pay it’s self was low at least for what I had been making and I was worried but I had started getting my husbands death benefit so I was flush. I spent like crazy the first year and then read a article you wrote. As of the first of next month I will have ten thousand in savings. I am saving for a small mobile home I can live in at retirement and I don’t want payments. During this time I had my truck worked on and took a trip to New Orleans and had a ball and I owe it all you thrift and believe me I don’t skimp I just live a bit smaller than before and again THANK YOU!

    • says

      So tickled you are doing so well Diana. You make a good point. Most people when they hear you talk about debt control and things like that immediately think that means they never can enjoy themselves or have the things they want again but as you proved that is not true at all. When you get your debt under control, patiently wait and save for what you want, you not only get to do what you want but you can do it without the stress of the debt hanging over your head so you get twice as much pleasure. Plus because you waited and saved you appreciate it that much more so there is even more pleasure which proves instead being debt free being painful and miserable it gives twice as much pleasure.

  36. Melinda says

    Right on!
    I am a proud mother of three and we are getting ready to watch Jeopardy and see who is smarter.
    Our day started out with cleaning our house, eating our homemade cinnamon rolls, and working in the garden at a friend;s house.
    They (our kids) help pick, shuck, and harvest. 90 ears of corn (they help grill some for supper too), 6 gallons of peas, and squash.
    So much more fun being frugal; what a privilege.
    Thanks for your blog, thanks for helping us be encouraged.

  37. Jessica says

    Well said, I couldn’t agree more. Our culture is obsessed with all the wrong things and seems to be missing out on the most important things in a never ending crusade for bigger,better and more. Its too bad we aren’t all taught the lessons of frugality when we are young, Idealy all parents would practice living this way and have some mutual agreements on financial responsibility etc BEFORE having children. I’ve learned a lot as an adult and am still learning but it has taken a lot of work and willingness to look at things honestly which can be painful at first but gets easier as you go. I am hoping that I can pass on what I know now so that my son won’t grow up obsessed with money and “keepin up appearances”,so far he seems to be doing well. I love this post and your website. I also like that you share your fibromyalgia and cfids stories, (I have this diagnosis also and its challenging for sure) My heart goes out to you. Thanks for great posts like this!

  38. says

    Frula or not, kids has to be taken care of. They should be given nutritious food. Make sure they get enough physical activity and good parenting. If you have the money, of course, send them to the best schools, give those extra curricular activities and give the experience of seeing the world. Some people cannot afford all those things. So, they just cook food at home, send kids to public school and utilise the public libraries. Instead of spending money on extra curricular activities, they let their kids play on the public park. They might be buying second hand clothing for the kids. It might have an impact on the kids’ feeling, like their parents cannot afford many things the neighbourhood kids enjoy, like music lessons or extra sports activities. I believe, frugal living does not have to deprive kids, if you can afford what is good for the kids and if you can provide opportunities which they really want to have. I was living frugally for over 11 years, so that my kid was able to learn music, which she is passionate about. I saved money to help her go to university. I glad to let you all know that my kid is going to university in this fall.


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