A good portion of the homeschooling community is dependant upon one income. Some spouses work from home to provide a supplemental income, but either way, there are sacrifices that need to be made.
Before kids, my husband and I would easily go out to eat with friends after church or meet up at a diner after morning prayer. If we felt like taking a few days off to go to the beach, we would go. Now that we have four children, several factors come into play. We have to be more frugal with our money to properly care for our family. We need to be good examples, in front of our children, with both our money and our actions. We also need to be able to explain and teach them why we do what we do so when they grow up they can make wise decisions of their own. This is purposeful parenting.
Frugal living is an attitude of the heart. I can think of two different women in particular that I’ve met who have made the best of their situation when their kids were young and money was tight. The one would never give her children a full glass of juice but would always water it down 50/50. This was both to save money and for health reasons. The other woman I am thinking of bought her six children’s clothes from thrift stores, but they always looked amazing. By the time their children were grown and started to leave the nest, their husbands were millionaires. At this point, they could clearly buy as much juice as they wanted or the nicest clothes on the market. The interesting thing is, even when they would gradually receive an increase financially, they would still live frugally.
The main reason for debt in America today is because when children begin moving out on their own, they want what their parents had. Makes sense. This is what they were used to having provided for them while they were growing up. The danger in this for those who grew up in a family with a large income, is the child then believes that they deserve the same thing simply because of who they are. How do we prevent this? We teach our children solid principles that will strengthen their character.
1 – Instill a Love For Work In Your Child
Try not to use chores or work as a punishment. Reward your young child and as they get older verbally praise them, especially in front of others as to what hard workers they are. Require work as a part of the daily routine so they are used to it when they are out on their own.
2 – First Work, Then Play
When kids are young and they are stressing you out it’s easy to give in and “give them a break” and let them play a while. As they get older though, it can turn into a bad habit and you really need to be firm about, “first work and then play.” It helps them in the long run and they feel more accomplished.
3 – Have Them Earn Their Own Money
The list is endless for ways kids can do this. They can set up an Etsy shop and sell handmade soap, jewelry, or other crafts. They could go door to door and sell hand sewn pillows. My kids scrap metal and sell on eBay.
4 – Make Them Spend Their Money, Not Yours
Kids generally don’t have a problem with this when it is something they want, but when they break that glass vase or light bulb it hurts. Teach them responsibility. If they break something that they could never afford, just tell them the price that they need to come up with that makes sense for them.
Having a child that hates work is frustrating but an adult that hates work is even worse! Be an example to your child and show them the rewards, and benefits of hard work through a simple object lesson such as planting a garden or preparing a meal for a family in need!