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Not all parents can afford but parents always look for ways to provide for their children. Being a newbie in parenthood, I have less knowledge about how to handle a child especially that I am a young mom. All I know is that I want him to learn things that he has to learn at his age. But the problem is that it's not easy. When we talk about providing him with learning materials, it will involve a certain amount of money. Being the sole income earner in the family with less financial resources, I have to find ways to provide him something that could help him gain knowledge as it is normally a part of a child's development as he grows.
Talking about less monthly salary, I cannot put into my budget the learning materials I needed for my child. But wait! I got an idea. I'm working in an office where I'm allowed to access the internet. I'm provided with flash drives with extra capacity. And Google! Google is one of my great contributors and so with Youtube. So, as long as I finish every office work, I take my free time and started to browse free downloadable learning videos on Google and Youtube. Whatever I can get for free, I take the opportunity to download and save on my flash drive then transfer the videos to my personal laptop. At 18 months, my child started learning his ABC's and some nursery rhymes.
As my child grows and steps up to higher development levels, I search for free images and charts that I could print and post on walls so he could start recognizing things. Now that he is 3 years old, I have provided him a compilation of activities he can enjoy that are just right for his age. I have collected scratch papers from my work place where I can still use the back page for printing. I used those papers for printing those activities. Where did I get the ink? I asked for empty refillable ink cartridges from my boss and sometimes when it's almost empty, I use the last few percentage of ink left. He allowed me to do this and I was so blessed to have good people like him.
Parents are children's first teachers and we always want what's best for them. Before we bring them to school, I think it's best if we start teaching them first at home which I found out to be very effective. We send him to school but it's not official because we are advised by some educators/teachers not to force a child to go to school at this age because they change their minds from time to time. It makes me happy and proud seeing my child having good interaction with schoolmates and teachers.
Being a crafty mom is a plus. We don't always need money to buy learning materials, we just have to be simply resourceful and a little artistic! ;-)
I worry that too often in today's society, we are keeping kids from just being kids. It is rare that I see children outdoors, splashing through puddles and making mud pies. Perhaps it is fear of dirt and germs, or perhaps it is because parents are so "busy" that they don't want the hassle of cleaning up a child and his or clothing, or perhaps it is just because we want them to be like little grown-ups. I don't know why it is, but it seems rare to see a child just playing in the mud.
This is my daughter and her little dog, Moo, enjoying the muddy results of a sudden rainstorm. It didn't take me long to get them cleaned up again, and this photo stands out as a special memory among hundreds of photos with clean hands and tidy clothing.
Source: My own memories of playing in the dirt.
We have a family of 8, including 4 teenagers who love stuff. Whenever we or they want to buy something, we have one simple rule: Never think of an item's price! Instead we think of how many hours we will have to work to pay for the item. It keeps our hands in our pockets every time. It also works well for a teenager who has a job.
By Lynn from Northern Israel
I live on a tight budget. My family doesn't have much money, but I manage to stretch the money we do have in some creative ways that enable us to pay our bills, take care of all our needs, and still have some fun.
As a single mother on a dotted budget line, I have learned how to provide for my family on very little.
The basic principles of survival are shelter, warmth, food, drink and hopefully love. Everything else is just WANTS.
Growing up in a family of 5 you didn't have to learn to be frugal, it was a given. A lot of our clothes were bought at garage sales and my mom even made some. Most new clothing was gotten at the beginning of the school year, Christmas and Birthdays.
I'm a mom of four young kids and I'm constantly packing a ton of stuff with me. When I started feeling like a pack mule in the grocery store, I decided I needed to do something different.
As a retired school teacher, I saw many teenagers who had no idea of the value of money. They felt they should be given whatever they wanted. They also had trouble taking responsibility.
Keep a piggy bank, and add change to it whenever you have extra. Make it a game with the kids to add "found" change. Save the money for a special outing, maybe a supper at a fancy restaurant or a camping trip.
There was a large nice family that lived in the neighborhood. My children loved to play with their children. Of course, they lived quite austerely. Whenever my children asked for something they could really live without the rule was: "If the Flynns don't have it you don't need it". Everyone was happy. By Jules
I keep a pen and small pair of scissors in my back pocket. It always seems like I end up using them around the house at some point in the day.