Frugality should be one of the core values of every Singaporean but there are others who indulge and still continue to live beyond their means. These people will surely have difficulties later in their life if they do not change their ways soon. TV commercials will market products – that is their business but if we let them influence us, we will have tons of shoes, bags, smartphones and cars but no money.
The challenge here in Singapore is to raise frugal children. Not all children turn out to be frugal but if we can influence them and teach them the value of money at a young age, we will live to see how they manage their resources well. Here are some tips in raising frugal children:
- Plan with them: We cannot just say how important it is to be frugal and expect that they follow us instantly. We have to plan with them first. For example, we can help them by creating a savings or budget plan. To encourage and stimulate our children more, we can show them the value of their savings over a period of one year. They will surely realize that though they only save a small portion of their allowance, the money will still grow over time.
- Be a good role model: Preaching about the importance of savings is easy but doing it is hard. We have to show to our kids that no matter how hard it is, we are still doing it. We have to remember that children are influenced by what they see around them. If they see that we are frugal, they will follow it.
- Positive reinforcement: Now that our kids know how to be frugal, what then? We have to reinforce them by giving reward. Allowing our kids to purchase something that they really like out of their savings will teach them a valuable lesson – they can spend sensibly without putting pressure on their finances. So, let them buy new clothes or new toys as long as it is sensible.
Saving and being frugal should be taught at an early age so when they grow up, they will not have problems when it comes to personal finance. The younger they are taught, the better it is for their personal finance. It is hard managing money but if it is learned early, we can just cope up right away. The knowledge should grow with them – we have to make sure that it sticks no matter what happens.