Show the value of the dollar by using cash instead of plastic for everyday purchases. You'll set a positive example in two ways. First, you're illustrating to your kids that money doesn't magically appear by plastic. Second, you're helping them to understand that if you don't have the money to buy something, you shouldn't just charge it.
Dinners out add up quickly. Cook at home to save big on your bottom line. Eating in helps your kids understand that some things — restaurant meals, for example — are splurges that can be indulged in occasionally, not daily. Bonus: You'll get a lot of quality family time cooking, eating and cleaning up together.
We live in a throwaway society. Set a strong example for your kids by repairing instead of replacing broken or worn items. For example, dust off that sewing machine to mend a hem or patch a hole. Rewire a lamp. Each time you repair something instead of replacing it, you save money and show your kids how to live a self-reliant, sustainable lifestyle, too.
One of the best examples you can set for living a frugal life is by showing that indulgences are just that — indulgent. Skip the daily latte and make coffee at home. If you want to eat out, make it a special occasion. These expensive indulgences are great every once in a while, not every day.
Demonstrate your saving savvy by waiting for big-ticket items to go on sale. Not only will you save money, but you'll also show your kids that you don't always have to get what you want right away. Saving and waiting will help your bottom line while teaching patience.
You don't have to become an extreme couponer to take advantage of the savings that come from clipping coupons. The trick with coupons is to clip only those that are for things you normally buy. In other words, don't use coupons as an excuse to buy more or different products than usual. Instead, if you find coupons for your regularly purchased items each week, the savings will add up over time.
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