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Those Dollars Won’t Stretch Themselves: Teaching Kids About Life, Happiness & Money

Those Dollars Won’t Stretch Themselves: Teaching Kids About Life, Happiness & Money

We all want our children to grow up to be happy and responsible. However, the average Canadian household now holds $15,920 in debt, according to a Royal Bank of Canada poll. How can we teach our kids to be responsible with money and still enjoy a life that they can afford? It helps if you start young. Enjoyable activities needn’t cost a dime, and there are plenty of opportunities to show your youngster how to relate with money in a healthy manner throughout their lifetime.

Piggy Bank University

Teaching kids about money doesn’t have to be complicated. It can start as simple as putting money in a glass jar for your kindergartener to let them watch their savings rise over time. Or making your 13-year-old wait a day before they scoop up that latest item to curb the desire to make impulse purchases. Another way to save money is to make smarter choices about after-school activities. After-school activities are a common strain on the family budget with 55% of Canadian families struggling to pay for their children’s extracurriculars, according a recent poll. Families who don’t want to give up their after-school activities can make smarter choices about which activities they choose. Swimming ranked as the most affordable pastime at $204.70 a year, while hockey is ranked as the most expensive at $744.10.

Save With Planning and Creativity

One way for families to save money at the grocery store is to make a list before going instead of buying on impulse. Also, to reduce food waste, only put enough food on your plate that you are going to eat so you don’t end up throwing food away. Making large batches of food and freezing portions is another great way to save. For entertainment, it helps to think outside the box. Most people have at least one smartphone in the family. You could use that to make a movie together. With the average ticket costing $11.88 according to Statista, a family of four can save $47.52 and you can have something much more lasting to cherish. There are also many free activities going on in most towns, as well as a wealth of opportunities for fun.

To make sure that and your family are able to keep the budget in tact while still having fun, don’t forget to put experiences over expenditures. With a little early intervention and setting a positive example to follow, you can raise your kids to know what really has value in life.

Guest Blogger: Jennifer Dawson

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