Adulting, Financial literacy, life skills, parenting, Parenting teens and young adults, parenting young adults, teaching financial responsibility

Flight of Freedom from a Flagrantly Frugal Female

frugal

Has anyone ever been called “the F word”?  I have, and it stings!   The word I’m talking about is “frugal” and I hope that is what you were thinking of when I asked the question!  Frugal has a negative connotation because people tend to get it mixed up with “miserly”.

  • Frugal-thrifty, prudent, not wasteful
  • Miser-a person who is extremely stingy with money

It appears that the frugal person is smart with their resources, so I will proudly wear that label.  My personal philosophy is to be careful with what I have, but not at the expense of other people.  My attitude is that I can have anything I want, but I am VERY selective in what I want!  If a discount is offered, I will absolutely take advantage of it and I can’t comprehend the mindset of those who would not.  If a restaurant offers a discount to come 2 hours earlier than the masses…”why yes, thank you”, as long as my schedule permits.  Sometimes, I like living on the edge, as was the case in my most recent vacation.   I selected a different Hotwire Hot Rate hotel each day as we traveled down Florida’s west coast.  The best find ever was the $99 hotel right on Clearwater Beach.  I could not have stayed there for full price…it is not in my DNA. Also, I loved the thrill of the hunt!

I’ve had many years to hone my “craft” and I’d like to impart this mindset to my daughters as well.  I moved out on my own at the age of 18, and I was able to spend many years as a stay at home Mom.  One of the reasons that I am so adamant that an 18-year-old can survive in the wild without parents is because I have done it.  More recently, I have seen many examples of independent young people still living life on their own terms.

Here are a few common sense things you can teach your teens and young adults to ensure their survivability in the world:

  • Teach good money habits while they are living under your roof and working at their first job
    • Mandate a certain percentage of savings
      • Consider ways to incentive extra savings
        • Matching
        • Explaining the wonders of compound interest
        • Finding other young success stories to inspire them

 

  • Share the nitty gritty of your budget with them
    • Discuss the difference between wants and needs
    • Go over their budget with them to get an idea how much disposable income they would have if they moved out

 

  • Let them share in the management of household duties such as food management, which could evolve into a post all by itself
    • Cooking in versus eating out
    • Planning meals versus going to the store daily
    • Eating leftovers versus tossing them

 

  • Discuss with them how they can cash flow college
    • Summers are a great time to work hard to get ahead
    • Encourage them to put effort into claiming some of the free scholarship money that is available
    • Working during college is not child abuse and leads to better time management skills
    • The college “experience” may be overrated, especially if it leads to long term debt
      • Besides, today it is very common for their parents to go to college while working full-time and it is often fully paid or subsidized by their employer
        • I am proud to say, I took full advantage of this option

 

  • Roommates, roommates, roommates
    • Fewer things can make life more manageable than having someone to share expenses with
    • Finding one is far easier than it was “back in MY day”
      • Roommates.com hadn’t yet been invented
      • Social media wasn’t an option then either

 

Those are just a few of the things that go through the mind of a frugal individual.    If you are flagrantly frugal as I am, do not apologize.  Stay the course and revel in the freedoms that frugality has afforded you.   Your loving guidance will inspire in your kids the gift of freedom when you have taught them to soar on their own.

 

 

 

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