The saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” is often attributed to Benjamin Franklin. In today’s consumer driven world and debt-ridden society, it is important to impress this truth upon our children. Parents rightly teach their children the skills that they need to earn money, but it is just as important to teach them the value of saving what they earn. Financial freedom is much easier to achieve once one has developed a habit of saving money.
Family spending fasts are one way that parents can help their children develop a love of saving. Family spending fasts, also known as no-spend months, are where families work together to go an entire month without buying any unessential items. At the beginning of the month, parents can talk to their children about why they are going on a spending fast and why it is important to save money. They can set a goal for how much money they hope to save during the month and agree to keep each other accountable.
During the month, families can look for free entertainment such as nature walks, free museum exhibits, and free outdoor concerts. Instead of paying for movie streaming services, they can have fun game nights and borrow DVDs from their local libraries. Instead of eating out, families can get creative as they make dishes from the food they already have in their pantries. At the end of the month, families should sit down together to see how much money they have saved. This is also a good time to bake a special treat to celebrate their savings success and discuss how it affected them.
Spending fasts allow families to bond with each other while teaching children that it is possible and fun to save. This mindset will follow children into their adult lives and help them to make wise decisions about the money that they earn.