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There was a question on the Q and A board about our childhood and if we were raised with a frugal mindset. It looked like a lot of people that responded said that they if times were tough as a child, they didnt seem to mind. I'm wondering if our kids will feel the same way though? I mean, DS is only 1 but I feel like already he "doesnt have everything". Sure, he has the necessities and of course a lot of love but it seems like nowadays there is so much more that you feel pressured to get your child. That's why society needs to change what we value. There is no way I would buy DS everything even if I could afford it but I don't want him growing up resenting the fact that he didnt get "xxxxxx" or whatever. KWIM? Just a rambling though. DH and I are considering moving in a couple of years (once we are debt free) to the mountains where my IL's live. The values seem so much different there and I want to do what's best for DS's future. So that question touched a nerve with me. Just wanted everyone's thoughts.
 

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Well I felt the same way when I lived in Maryland and northern VA. Just a different value system IMO and I just always felt like everyone was keeping up with the Jones's. I was certainly much more tempted when I was around all the fancy stuff all the time. Since I moved back down here a few years ago I can't really say I've ever felt that way again although I'm in rural blue collar country now so that may have something to do with it.
My children will never have everything they want, they will however always have everything they need. I honestly won't pay any mind to my kids resenting that they can't have every single thing their little hearts desire. Just a part of life.
 

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I grew up with frugal parents... I just didn't realize they were frugal until later in life because I never lacked for anything and had most of what I wanted. But that is only because my mother is a bargain shopper and seriously can get $800 worth of clothes (Orginal Sales Price) for $75!

I know that I feel a lot of guilt when it comes to getting my children "things". A lot of it has to do with the fact that when I was in the military, I tried to compensate for the times I wasn't there by buying things they wanted. It has gotten me in financial trouble and now I am paying for it.

But even though I compensated, there were still limits. My 9 and 6 year old children have been asking for a T.V. in their bedroom for about the last 4 years. They have never had one, because I believe if they want to watch tv, they can do it in the living room with everyone else. I don't want their rooms to be a place where they can just hole up and not have to be part of the family, KWIM? Yes, our house has an Xbox and a Nintendo Game Cube, but one was given to me as a Christmas Gift and the other one was paid cash for. Actually, the game systems are not the children's, they are mine. The kids have some games they can play on rainy days but all the games have been bought used because I can't see paying $60-80 on a video game. Right now the kids really want a Wii, and as awesome and fun as they are, I can not and will not pay that much for something that is in my mind a rainy day activity.

My kids ask for things and I tell them no. My oldest is pretty good about it, my youngest not so much. I am explaining to them as best as I can about our financial situation and that mommy made poor choices and she has to fix them now. My youngest told me that it isn't fair that she can't have things because mommy made a mistake. I see her point, but at the same time, I can not give to her hearts content just because I feel guilty.

But, since I have gotten back on the wagon, so to speak, they are realizing that we may not be getting any new things, or spending money on eating out or candy, but we are spending more time together doing things like going to the park, feeding the ducks, or cuddling on the sofa watching a movie after making homemade popcorn. My oldest says it is way cooler than getting a pack of gum.

It is kind of interesting that when my focus shifted to admitting the situation I was in and digging myself out of it we started spending better quality time with each other. Although I wish I had made better choices earlier in life, in some sense I think it is good that the kids can see that not having money to spend on junk is actually bringing us closer together.
 

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I have always made it a choice for them. When they were really little, we took them to the circus. It was a $100 day. They said that they wanted to go again. So, I gave them a choice. We could go on five field trips (back then we spent about $20 a field trip) or we could go to the circus again. They chose the field trips. They were wise enough, even that young, to realize that they would have more fun going on five field trips than another day at the circus.

They knew back then that if we were careful with our money, then we get to do more fun things. I have always involved them in things that will help us save money. And, I have always made it a "choice" thing. We choose to not buy the latest and greatest, so we have more money to do more fun things with. We choose to not be in debt. We choose a simpler lifestyle.
 

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My kids understood when I explained that it was a CHOICE we made, as to how to spend our money. The kids had a say in the monthly family budget meetings, they knew our finances (to a degree, depending on their ages - by HS they knew it all).

That being said, when we started looking to buy a house. .. when our oldest was 5 months old. . . we avoided a couple of school districts for the very reasons you stated. . . cliques, everyone having to have the "right" brand of jeans, the newest cars, etc. By choosing to live here, my kids didn't have to deal with as much of that.
 

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Never buy into a town where
a) you don't like the values
b) you can't afford to be average. It'll make you feel inferior and lousy.

I've been making the kids earn the money for stuff they want. I find that it
a) slows down consumption
b) makes them really think about if it is worth all the effort to get that thing
c) makes them not want a whole bunch of stuff that used to be "free" i.e. mommy bought it before
d) and I'm hoping it makes them appreciate and take care of their things better

By the way, a one year old has no idea what he is missing and isn't begging for the latest stuff. So this is a great time to save, take advantage of it.
 

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I think it is good for children to learn that they have to either wait for a special occasion to get something (birthday, christmas) or save money in order to get it.

It is hard to fight against the grain. We are surrounded by a culture that tells us to constantly buy things we don't need or can't afford. When you are watching TV, look at the commercials with an eye towards this and you will see. Every commercial is telling you that you NEED that product. You NEED the newest latest cell phone when in reality, we (the world) seems to have gotten along fine for years without cell phones. The commercials will try to convince you that you NEED a huge 4 wheel drive vehicle if you live in the snowy states, also a falicy. Marketers and Ad execs are smart, they find a way to delve into the psyche of their targeted group and they work on that psyche. They tell men that if they want to be a man, they need a HUGE pickup truck, need to drink a certain type of beer, etc etc etc.

The trick is training yourself and teaching your children to fight against this type of brainwashing.
 

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I can relate to the "guilty feeling" our financial stiuation/choices bring about in regards to my boys. I don't feel guilty at all about not getting them everything as far as "stuff". I guess I've just never been affected that much by "things" and I don't want my children to be either. They know if they R-E-A-L-L-Y want something they have to work and save for it.

My occassional "guilty feelings" comes more from ongoing long term learning/developmental kind of things for lack of a better way to word them. Things such as guitar, karate, and art lessons. We let them pick one thing as we can't responsibly afford multiple things for both of them on a constant basis. They always pick soccer. However I know my older son longs for guitar and karate lessons and the younger one would probably benefit a great deal from an advanced private school. That said, DH and I are always keeping our eyes open for a responsible way to finance some exposure to some of these things.
 

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my two oldest kids will tell you that yeah it sucked not having what everyone else had, but they will also tell you that they loved not having to compete with the other kids. they will also tell you that they spent more time with BOTH parents. we did more things. like camping, hiking, going to the zoo, visiting family out of state, you get the drift.
my youngest two like the fact that they have to earn things.
(i also like it, because i get out of house work!) lol

but really, they enjoy doing things to earn stuff. but what gets me, is that they don't buy things for themselves, they always buy for someone else. for example, dd2 was invited to a birthday party. she wanted to go, so she went to the neighbors and asked them if they had any odd jobs that she could do. they needed some cleaning done so she did it. when she got paid, she asked me to take her to the dollar store. she got the girl a present, and herself some flip flops. and still had money left over. (she only got 15 dollars!)

btw, we dvr everything. so that we don't watch commercials! i don't buy magazines either. so for the most part, my kids are not constantly reminded of the fact that they don't have the latest greatest of anything!
 

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I think it will be hard for many kids when they grow up because they're used to getting what they want [or at least a lot of kids do anyways!]

Years ago we did get things but nothing like a lot of kids today do and just because they want it [not for a special occasion like Christmas or birthdays.]

Also, kids today seem to get a lot more on the special occasions and if they don't, they're not happy.

Way back when [okay - I was raised in the 50's and 60's] but we appreciated the things that we got and I don't remember throwing a fit when we didn't get things we might have really wanted.

So yes, I think many kids will have a hard time of it.

Example: My brothers kids always got everything they wanted.

Well, the year my nephew turned 12 - my brother bought him a gun for hunting and all kinds of other stuff to go with it and it come to over $600.00.

Can you believe that, that kid throw a royal hissy fit because he didn't get what it is that he wanted?!!

If he would've been my kid, I would've taken what he did get back and buy him something cheaper ...

[yeah, I know - but it was his birthday. Still when they are that ungrateful, I'd say too bad - if he got all that he did and threw a fit then he didn't need anything!

Does that make me a mean aunt or what? :lol:

Jen
 

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Children learn what true value is when they work and save their money for the things they want instead of it all being handed to them. I believe it not only helps them appreciate the things they have and take better care of them but how hard their parents work to provide them the things they need. My kids earned their allowances by doing chores around the home. Some things were just expected like making their beds and keeping their rooms clean. The extras were taking out the trash, washing dishes, mowing the yard, helping with laundry. Those they got paid for every 2 weeks.
 

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I'm trying to find a happy medium with my kids. I grew up in a family where we got nothing. If you could get my mom to buy a .25 pack of gum you thought it was better than Christmas! It wasn't that they didn't have money, they just felt it was all theirs and we didn't deserve anything I think. They also didn't discuss finances with us. If you asked a question you were told it was none of your business and that was that.

I do NOT believe in giving kids everything just because everything exists. My 16 yr old wants a tv in her room and she will NOT be getting it. I don't believe in it or in kids having computers in their rooms. We honestly don't need 4 tvs or 4 computers. My ds has a Playstation that he got for Christmas. He gets games only for birthdays or Christmas. And he rarely plays them LOL. I want them to have certain things, but to know that SOMEONE has to work for the money that pays for them.

From the time my kids were small they've worn second hand clothes(mostly), or clothes bought on sale. They've never had the latest, greatest, newest toys. I buy things that I think they will really use, not a toy just because it's the hot new item! I have never been afraid to tell my kids I can't afford something, to tell them how much we make, to tell them how much our bills are, etc. Kids learn from these discussions and I hope they will learn from living through our mistakes and do better with their lives.

There is a 16 yr. old who works as a lifeguard at the pool in the park where I work. She is the most spoiled child! She drives a new car, has Vera Wang purses, fancy expensive clothes, spending money all the time, etc. She told me the other day that her paychecks go directly to her savings account, she never spends a dime of them. So that means Mom and Dad are footing the bill for all her fancy stuff! And she doesn't appreciate it at all. Last year she didn't have her driver's license yet and mom would bring her to work, pick her up, bring her lunch every day(and sometimes breakfast too), etc. I asked her if she gave them gas money out of her check for all the trips they made and she looked at me like I was nuts! She said "why would I do that?" My dd would just know that if she was working and I was driving her, she would have to pay me a little something for the gas!

We might not spend alot of money on our kids but like someone else said we spend time with them. We go fishing, camping, on picnics. We build campfires in our backyard and sit out at night and talk. We eat meals together. And I think they both understand that time is far more important then money!
 

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I mean, DS is only 1 but I feel like already he "doesnt have everything". Sure, he has the necessities and of course a lot of love but it seems like nowadays there is so much more that you feel pressured to get your child. That's why society needs to change what we value.
~I grew up in a family that did almost the exact opposite of whatever everybody else was doing. My parents really encouraged us to be individuals. When you value yourself as unique, you don't crave the 'things' your peers have so much. I quoted a section of your OP because it just struck me that your ds will eventually figure out that you want him to have the stuff he's not getting and he WILL resent you for not getting it. You must BE the change you wish to see in the world!~
 

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Some parents who grew up in families who didn't recieve much of anything as children, sometimes make it up by giving their children about everything they didn't have. It's sad if they can't afford it. Even if they can afford it, it doesn't teach the kids about delaying gratification and being frugal.
 
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