Kids And Money: Frugal Living Is Not The Same As Living On The Cheap

By Steve Rosen
Tribune News Service

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Columnist Steve Rosen asserts that living frugally is a learned habit. Rosen asks some financial experts who deal with kids and money issues to share some examples of how they practice frugality.

Tribune News Service

I got a taste of frugal living while in college, and the lessons I learned stuck with me to this day.

Like many of my college peers, my desk and bookshelves were made of cinder blocks and plywood. I bought day-old bread and snacks, and I used both sides of the tablet notebook paper right down to the last sheet.

Later in my professional career, I took my frugal lifestyle to a different level. I mostly shunned going out to lunch; instead I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ate at my desk, and reused the plastic sandwich bag for a week or two before tossing it. I also used the public library to check out books and movies, saving a bundle. Spare change went into a Mason jar.

Was I cheap? Hardly. I was watching my pennies, stretching my paycheck and trying to make good choices so I could spend money on things I considered more important. I also learned to discern between needs and wants.

Living frugally is a learned habit, and it doesn’t come easily for teens and twentysomethings. How can you instill a more frugal lifestyle in you kids? I asked some financial experts who deal with kids and money issues to share some examples of how they practice frugality.

-Krista Cavalieri, the owner of Evolve Capital, a Columbus, Ohio, financial planning firm:
“My most frugal habit is saving tissue paper. Most often people save the wrapping paper their gifts come in. However, the majority of the gifts I receive are in the form of gift bags filled with tissue paper. I save both the tissue paper and the gift bag, but the tissue paper is much more handy.

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