Money Matters: Four ways to teach kids to save

Piggy bank from German bank HASPA, around 1970.

Money Matters

Four Practical and Effective Ways to Teach Kids How to Save

Ages one through six-years-old is the perfect time to teach your kids about money. Teaching them in their formative years about the value of money and how to save effectively will definitely build a strong financial foundation for them. If you’re going to impart lasting wisdom and knowledge to your kids, it might as well be about managing their personal finances.
1) Be intentional. Decide that it’s something you want to teach your kids in the long run. This means you have to plan it out and follow through with your goals. If you truly see the value of what you want to teach your kids, you wouldn’t give up or stop. It’s best to start teaching them about money while you can still influence them. Once your time is up (teenage years), you and your kids might come to regret it.

2) Make it fun. Most people hate math because it’s “boring.” Don’t let your kids feel the same thing just because saving money involves numbers! The only way to make your kids love saving is by teaching them how it could be so much fun.

  •  Books: Who says reading a bedtime story always has to be about fairy tales or your horrible recollections of that embarrassing experience you had when you were 12? You can inspire your kids to save through books that teach them the value of saving money instead. Try the books Dolly Parton’s A Coat of Many Colors, or The Berenstain Bear’s Trouble with Money by Stan Berenstain.
  • Toys: You can buy cash teller machines or cute piggy banks to encourage them that saving money can be a lively and fun thing to do. Play games with your kids. Add little colorful piggy banks at every corner of the house and tell them it’s a challenge to “feed” your house pigs coins to keep them healthy. The possibilities are endless.
  •  Shows: Expose them to television shows that show how important money is, like Cha-Ching in Cartoon Network.  You can search for other resources online.
  • Apps: Do you know a kid who hasn’t played a touch-screen app yet? Kids are definitely regular users of smartphones and tablets, and like you, they deserve apps that encourage the better use of money. Download apps: Life Quest, Kids Money or Virtual Piggy.

3) Trust them. Your kids will love it if you treat them like adults. Trusting them with money and believing that they will do good with it will boost their confidence. This way, you’re effectively showing them they’re more than capable of handling and managing money. Try to be their “savings buddy” saving. Give them challenges or ask them for “help,” anything that would make you and your kids save for something. If you all reach your common goals, then your kids will definitely be more motivated in saving money. Don’t forget to be encouraging and supportive all the time.

4) Finally, practice what you preach. If you constantly teach your kids about saving money and yet they see you indulging in a ton of unnecessary things, you might as well give up on raising money-savvy children. Kids are the best copycats. They look up to you. Mommy and Daddy are their first superheroes and idols, and it’s only natural for them to follow whatever you’ll do — the good things … and the bad. So always be cautious around your children because, most times, they’ll follow your example — even when you don’t want them to.
Your children’s financial success depends on you! The earlier you start teaching them about savings, the better off your kids will be in the future!

About the Author
Jep Barroga is a freelance writer and blogger for MoneyHero, a Hong Kong based finance portal that provide unbiased information on loans, credit cards, and other financial products. Jep will be sharing more information about teaching kids to save money next week. He will share with us his favorite apps to use to make it a fun and memorable experience.


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Frugal Friday: Green is Frugal

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Green is Frugal - Frugal Friday

Being a good steward of the resources that God has provided, means taking care of  finances and taking care of the earth.  You will see that being green really is the frugal choice.

We’ve put together 5 Frugal Green resources that are making the top of our list!

  • Go Paperless – do your billing and invitations online with shops like or
  • Up-cycle – use the internet to learn faux painting techniques to revitalize older or used furniture instead of buying new.spend big money                                                                                               or you can learn a new trick!

upcycle DIY and Save

*Bonus idea - Join Molly Green Magazine subscribers and get the 1st month for $1 and $7.95 every month thereafter. Learn how to live a more frugal sustainable green life – sell your handmade items – submit videos for sharing and gain access to Build a Menu’s Dine on a Dime frugal menu planner!

Come and link up your own frugal tricks and tips to share ideas and encourage each other. Please grab the Frugal Friday button from the side bar or use a text link back to this post.  

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Mothering Matters: bonding with your children over . . . money

teaching children about money

Mothering matters and bonding with your children over money; is it really possible?

Amanda van der Gulik author of Teaching Children About Money says it certainly is.

In this month’s issue of Molly Green Magazine, Amanda talks frankly about how the business of every day life can keep us from taking the time to enjoy real bonding with our children. Even for the stay at home mom, who spends so much of her time with the kids, it is very easy to get sidetracked with all the things that need to be done. Before you know it, too much time can gone by and those little ones, aren’t so little any more!

Amanda suggests, among other things, that including your child in planning of the family finances can be a wonderful bonding experience. Money is important in that, we have to know how to manage it in order to take good care of our families and others. If we aren’t the ones to teach our children about money . . . who will?

But, can it really bring you closer together?


family bonding over money

Sharing appropriate information with your child about the family budget shows them that they have an intricate and important role within the family unit. It gives them the opportunity to see what some of that busy work is really all about. It can help them learn to build a better future for themselves, while understanding the value of your family budget now.

Teaching children about money shows that you value them, and that you trust them. What could be more bonding than that?

Mothering matters, and bonding with your children over money is great mothering and good bonding!


There is much more in-depth information provided by Amanda in her articles for Molly Green Magazine. Read the full article today and get your own membership with additional benefits here. 

Best-selling author Amanda van der Gulik has been homeschooling her  two children for over 11 years and is the founder of Visit Amanda’s site today to grab your FREE copy of her eBook, Goal Setting for Families or her “The 6 Magical Piggy Banks” cartoon to enjoy together while you build that life-long special bond with your child using…money!

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Frugal living: ways to save money this year

frugal living

You may have heard the news – the all new Molly Green magazine has turned over a new leaf. We are spreading our wings to include homesteading, self-sufficient living, back yard farming, and all things home industry.

But, we are nothing if not a frugal bunch! And, in that spirit, I wanted to start our New Year off with a super frugal post to help you find ways to save money in 2014.

10 Ways to Save Money in the New Year:

  1. Fix it yourself – use the internet to watch video’s and read tutorials on how to fix various household items. Learn to stitch up clothing and make repairs to the things you use regularly.

2. Cut the Entertainment budget by finding frugal ways to play together.

3. Cook at Home & Take Advantage of Specials.

4.  Ask for a Discount! 

bowling for free

5.  Get a Discount on Children’s Activities

  • Volunteer your services to the organization for a discount on children’s sports when possible – certainly, you want to give of your time for free to help out, but you may be able to offer other services such as – photography, computer work, accounting, or other skilled work to save on sports and more for your family. Look for services they might normally have to pay for & fill in the gap where you are qualified. 
  • Set up a co-op or trade with other parents for sports and extracurricular clothing items. 
  • Take advantage of free programs like Kids Bowl Free

6.  Barter for Services. 

  • As with the above info on getting a discount on children’s extra-curricular activities – consider trading for other services as well. Think outside the box and look for needs that you can meet and then offer up your solutions to the problem in exchange for a repair or other service you cannot do yourself. Small businesses are great for this, but don’t count out the larger companies either. Big companies need endorsements, or reviews from consumers and are sometimes willing to trade for free products. Bloggers do this regularly. 

7. Grow Your Own. 

8.  Up-cycle 

9. Make Your Own Homemade Cleaners.

  • Simple ingredients can go a long way and can be used safely and inexpensively –  Baking Soda, Borax, Vinegar, Alcohol, Mild Dish Detergent, & Washing Soda are a few simple ingredients that can be used to clean almost anything. 
  • Get recipes from The Family Homestead here

10. Educate Yourself. 

Link up your own Frugal  ideas  and we will share them!

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Staying Frugal While Being Sick

Guest blog featuring: Midge

Ever have just one of those weeks?  One word can sum up my week so far… sick.  I am the kind of sick where your head feels like it’s full of lead and your body aches when doing small things like walking across the room or even brushing your teeth.  Who knew brushing your teeth could be so strenuous?

I am super prepared to take care of my baby daughter when she falls ill yet seem to lack the ability to take of myself when an illness strikes.  Our medicine cabinet is chock full of thermometers (yes, I have many different baby thermometers!), the blue nose bulb thingy and a variety of odds and ends that our pediatrician recommended to keep in times of sickness for the baby.  But, it is seriously deficient in the grown up medicine department.

I do not ever expect to be sick but inevitably it happens.  During those times, I find myself running quickly into the drug store for cough drops or a pain reliever.  I don’t care how much it costs; I buy it because I feel so miserable.  I would love to have a frugal plan of attack whenever one of those life draining illness hits.

What do you keep regularly stocked in your medicine cabinet?  How do you stay frugal while being sick?

Thanks everyone for weighing in!

Love ya,





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Impulse Buy = Headache of Regret

Guest post by Midge:

Last week Tuesday in my first post, I shared about attempting to make my husband the perfect Crème Brulee for Valentine’s Day.  After the dessert came out of the oven and my daughter Sarah woke up from her nap, we jumped in the car.  My quest of that Valentine’s afternoon was purchasing a hand held blow torch.  Ever since watching the online video chef sizzle the sugar on top of the dessert, I kept thinking about how much fun it would be to use this kitchen tool.

In order to keep my post short, I will spare you the lengthy details about how many stores we went to in order to find it!  Finally, on our way home, we spotted a specialty kitchen store.  But, as the cashier rang up the blow torch and the refillable butane, my heart stopped and my palms got sweaty.  All of a sudden my cute Valentine’s dessert with the inexpensive ingredients had become quite costly!  The grand total was:  $56.39

And, I got flustered because I kept thinking that my first real attempt at making a fancy dessert was going to be ruined.

So, I paid the price.

Ever have one of those moments… when an “impulse buy” leaves you with a headache of regret?

Frugal living doesn’t come easy to me.  Before Sarah was born, I had an expendable cash budget each month.  And after I made this purchase, I sat in the car for awhile letting the heater warm us up and the regret wash over me.  I just spent money that was budgeted for something else, something more important.  And now, what should I do?

With a great deal of embarrassment, Sarah and I marched back in the store fifteen minutes later with the receipt in my hand and returned it.   When relaying the story to my proud husband that night over Valentine’s Dinner, I realized something.  If I had kept my purchase and used the tool, our conversation that night would have been filled with tension and remorse.  Returning the item felt much more victorious than justifying the non-existent wisdom of the purchase.

And are you wondering about the Crème Brulee??  It tasted wonderful even without the toasty sugar on top.

 Midge’s New Financial Phrase for 2012:

Save for what I want, find the best deal I can and choose to not use credit.

This site was recently recommended by a friend as a good place to get cash back on a variety of purchases.  Anyone ever try it?

More info on kitchen blow torches:

Sneak Peek Monday~ HALF OFF SALE!

You’re not afraid of the big bad wolf are you?

During the time of the Great Depression many people closely identified with the story of the Three Little Pigs. Today, many are comparing that time period with the economic downturn of the present day. Regardless of how accurate the comparison is . . .

“This really is a season of opportunity to re-think our resources and re-evaluate our needs, repair what we can, and rejoice in all that we’ve been given.”

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You’ll more than recover your investment as you are encouraged to keep going strong in your commitment to the Lord and your family.

Still not convinced this E-Book is for you?

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Which little piggy are you? Stop the huffing and puffing—put Molly Green Magazine to work for you today.

There are so many ways to save and a lot to learn. . . a small price to pay compared to the great benefits you’ll receive and the money you’ll be saving once you dig into this magazine! Buy this E-Magazine for ONLY $2.50 (sale price is reflected upon checkout)!

Molly members already have this magazine in your member page! Simply click the “Molly Members” tab above, log in, and search out October 2009.

If you’re not a Molly member, check out everything you receive and sign up now on our SUBSCRIPTION PAGE!

Sneak Peek Monday~ HALF OFF SALE!

Is your home a beautiful, cozy nest and shelter? Start weaving your own attractive love- and dream-filled nesting place! Make your home and décor a pleasing, personal, frugal reflection of you with FRUGAL DECORATING!

“A lovingly decorated home is not about high price tags, debt, or keeping a set of design rules. It’s about pulling together pieces that work for your family, at a price you can afford, in a way that makes you smile . . .”
Molly Green

There’s so much packed into this special issue—ideas to express creativity and enjoy beauty; inspiration for daily living; and gentle wisdom and encouragement shared by real, contemporary families.


There are so many ways to save and a lot to learn. . . a small price to pay compared to the great benefits you’ll receive and the money you’ll be saving once you dig into this magazine! Buy this E-Magazine for ONLY $2.50 (sale price is reflected upon checkout)!

Molly members already have this magazine in your member page! Simply click the “Molly Members” tab above, log in, and search out September 2009.

If you’re not a Molly member, check out everything you receive and sign up now on our SUBSCRIPTION PAGE!

Guest Post — Cash is Hiding in Your Home!

Cash Is Hiding In Your Home -

© Les Cunliffe |

Cash is hiding in your home, and we don’t mean the couch cushions

You calculate and budget for your mortgage and monthly utility bills, but the unexpected expenses really begin to add up! You can coupon clip and check couch cushions for quarters, but true moneymakers in your home might just be hiding right in front of you.

So if you’re packing your lunch, making your own coffee, and using home remedy cleansers instead of the expensive products at the grocery store, but still feel like your home is costing you more than you would like, check out our tips to see where cash is likely hiding in your home.

Here are some easy ways to save money in your home that may not have crossed your mind:

Sell your cell

If you’re looking to upgrade your phone, tablet, iPod, etc., but don’t have the cash, look into trading in your old ones! Businesses such as NextWorth make it easier to upgrade to the latest gadgets by offering top dollar for used electronics, regardless of their condition. To get a quote on your outdated gadgets, visit Not only are you saving money by recycling your old products, but you’re saving the environment too!

Toasting your dollars

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, anywhere from 5-10 percent of residential electricity is used by devices that are plugged in 24 hours a day. Even when your appliances and electronics are turned off, they’re still using energy, costing you money in the long run! By simply unplugging the household appliances you aren’t using, you can save money! Start by unplugging these energy-wasters: toasters, lamps, coffeemakers, DVD players, stereos and radios, televisions and desktop/laptop computers.

Dimes in the dryer

While rummaging through the dryer for loose change might earn you a quick 50 cents, there is now an even simpler way to save money when using your large appliances and electronics. Enervee, an energy-smart scoring platform, ranks products based on their energy efficiency. By learning the “Enervee Score” for each large appliance in your home, you can see exactly which product(s) is sucking the most electricity, and therefore money out of your home each month. In some cases, it may be more cost-efficient in the long run to buy a new, energy-efficient product than continue to use your current model. Enervee can help you make those buying decisions and save some serious cash.

Filter for savings

A dirty air filter in your car can cost you up to 7 percent of your gas mileage! By taking five minutes to clean your filter at home, you’re increasing your car’s overall fuel efficiency. Don’t know how to clean your car’s filter? Follow these easy steps and save money on your car! It is recommended to do this every 5,000 miles to keep your car’s fuel efficiency at an all-time high.

Eliminate bills to get bills

Cell phone companies are notorious for charging you fees that you had no idea existed. Take the time to go through your next cell phone bill, and look for any services you don’t use or charges you don’t understand. By calling your service provider you can often easily drop these fees, saving you more money monthly! And if you decide to change phone carriers, consider a no-contract, pre-paid plan such as Solavei, which has no hidden fees and costs just $49 per month for unlimited text, talk and data.

Ways of the web

Take advantage of this crazy thing we call the Internet. Downgrade to basic cable (or none)—you can watch all of your shows for free on the web! Simplify your life and bills by using the Internet for all its worth.

Now that you’ve saved all this money at home, don’t go spend it all at once! You will only reap the benefits of these tips by becoming more disciplined in your saving and finances. Stay up-to-date with the trends of the economy, keep a do-it-yourself mindset and always think twice about your purchases!


Sneak Peek Monday~ HALF OFF SALE!

The new school year is right around the corner, are you on a tight budget? Are the kids  growing out of their clothes? You have more options than you would think!

Don’t miss out on this special, fun issue of . . . FRUGAL FASHION!

There are three special bonus pages included at the end of the digest. If you’ve ever wanted to try sewing, this would be a great place to start!

The 3 Fabulous Bonus Pages are:

Click here to view a sample of this magazine.

There are so many ways to save and a lot to learn. . . a small price to pay compared to the great benefits you’ll receive and the money you’ll be saving once you dig into this magazine! Buy this E-Magazine for ONLY $2.50!

Molly members already have this magazine in your member page! Simply click the “Molly Members” tab above, log in, and search out July 2009.

If you’re not a Molly member, check out everything you receive and sign up now on our SUBSCRIPTION PAGE!