My Frugal LifeFrugal Living

My Frugal Life: Influencing Grandchildren's Character

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My husband and I live in a 29 foot travel trailer. We recently sold almost all of our possessions and decided to live with less stuff and more happiness. My Frugal LifePart of the reason that we now live in a travel trailer is for the opportunity to spend more time with our two beautiful granddaughters; cutting expenses allows us to work part-time thus providing more free time to spend with family and friends.

Like most grandparents we enjoy watching the little faces of our granddaughters light up when given a present. However these two little angels have more "stuff" than any two children should ever own. Their bedroom/playroom could rival a "Toys R Us" store. They also have more clothing than they will be able to wear before the items are out grown.


Watching them at Christmas becomes almost painful, they actually get physically and emotionally drained from having to open too many presents. Needless to say their expectations have grown to meet the over abundance of gifts. It is hard to appreciate anything when you are given everything.

Well Grandpa and I have decided to limit our gift giving of today to possibly make a better future for these two girls. We will buy only two small toys (token gifts) and place the rest of the gift money for Christmas and Birthdays in a Trust Fund account for each child. As our income is minimal, we must be very careful with our purchases to allow us to have enough left in the budget to actually put money in the Trust. And, if we can get their parents permission, we would like to teach our granddaughters the blessing of giving. We want to ask them to choose one toy that they receive and give it to another child or organization that helps families in need.


As grandparents we are choosing to influence their character rather than contribute to their greed. We want our granddaughters to be measured by who they are and not by what they possess.

Living a blessed life.

By Lillie from Laurel, MT

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November 30, 20100 found this helpful

That is such a beautiful gesture. I may just do that with my 3 year old grandson. Ow wonderful a thought.

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December 5, 20100 found this helpful

What an awesome post! In this day and age when everything seems to be "give me, give me, give me and give me more" this is a refreshing idea!

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December 5, 20100 found this helpful

I love your post. I was one of those grandchildren who got everything I could ever want.


I can not even recall those items. What I do remember and cherish is the times I sat on the back porch with my grandparents and just talked.

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December 5, 20100 found this helpful

I so very much love your post! I am sure you do, but if not, hope that you explain to them what the meaning of Christmas spirit is really about. That it's not all about 'getting' but rather giving of self and sharing and thanks for God's gifts. And not just during the season but year round like you and your husband are doing. :-) Bless You!

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December 6, 20100 found this helpful

Several years ago I realized that I could not manage the expense of gifting to my ten grandkids. The happy outcome is that they do not care, but understand. Reminded one of them a couple of years ago not to expect Christmas from me. His response "Grandmother, we have so much and you give us neat things during the year (from garage sales/thrift stores).

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December 11, 20100 found this helpful

It is wonderful that you want to teach your grandchildren about giving however giving them two small "token gifts" and then requesting that they give one away seems cruel. I also have 2 small grandchildren and cant imagine giving them a gift and then making them give it away.


How about bringing them along to a volunteer activity or a visit to a nursing home. Teach by your own behavior and not by forcing them to act as you want them to. We have to be a positive force for the little ones and not controlling.

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