01How Your Kids Can Save You Money
Kids are great at spending money. But saving it? Not so much, it sometimes seems. Yet kids actually can help you save money. And you may have some fun together while you're doing it!
So often saving money means spending more time. And who do busy parents wish to spend time with? Their kids, of course. Children can be wonderfully enthusiastic about jobs adults find tedious, especially when you put a fun spin on the idea. And saving money teaches kids valuable skills and life lessons.
Try these 7 money-saving activities with your kids and start building your savings account.
Coupon cutting is a tedious chore for almost everyone. But for little ones learning to use scissors, it’s also good practice. However, even kids enthusiastic to help save money will lose steam after a while. Make coupon cutting fun by putting on music or an audiobook and offering a reward. Perhaps let them pick out one item that you wouldn’t normally purchase. Or if cutting is too difficult, have the kids organize your coupons, filing them and throwing out expired ones, while you cut.
Don’t pay a commission to one of those coin counting machines, but don't let your spare change pile up unused either. Let the kids roll your spare change. For little ones the sorting and counting will help their math skills (though you may need to check their work). Older ones may want a commission but better to pay one to your own kids for their spending money than to a machine.
04Make Cards and Gifts
Most kids tear right through a birthday card, only skimming the names at the bottom. So why bother to spend money on a store-bought card? When a birthday party comes along, have kids make the card and maybe even the wrapping paper and gift. Your kids' friends may actually bother to look at a homemade card. And grandparents and adult relatives will definitely appreciate cards and gifts made by your kids.
05Start a Business
If a penny saved is a penny earned, well, the reverse is true for parents. When kids earn their own money, parents often end up saving money. Whether it's the traditional kids' lemonade stand or something more ambitious like selling crafts on Etsy, parents and kids working together in an entrepreneurial way can teach kids lifelong lessons...and it's a lot of fun.
06Visit the Library
Explore your local library. So much of the things you often pay for to entertain your kids--books, music, movies--are available for free at the library. And now many libraries have the option for downloading this content from home. However, it's still good to get out and visit the library because most have countless programs geared at kids from toddlers to teens.
07Recycle and Reuse
Recycling is good for the environment, but it also can put some cash back in your pocket. Reusing items around the house will mean spending less on new items. So get creative with your trash. Turn your brown paper bags into an artist’s canvas or your buttons into bouquets. Recycle old crayons into colorful new ones. And this not only saves you money but keeps kids actively engaged.
08Have a Garage Sale
A yard sale is a lot of work. In fact, it’s too much for just one person. But kids are great helpers when it comes to tagging, organizing and moving items. And if they’re old enough let them work the cash register. They’ll learn about making change and they may just earn a tip!