I’ve been giving this idea some thought and it’s beginning to occur to me that the truth is the exact opposite of what people believe. Having children actually can encourage frugality and other basic financial and economic skills than hinder them. Of course, we want to give our children our best, we want them to feel loved. We have a fierce desire to protect them and shower them with gifts.
But in more cases than not, I have seen parents become become better not just at frugality but understanding and applying basic economic principles after having children. They might also more productive.
I have already mentioned that conversations are imperative in our homeschool. Curricula can be found anywhere, but conversations are what drive understanding. And many of our conversations tend to be about money. This is natural – children want to know how the world works, how to become a part of it and when. Children are born capitalists.
Another aspect we take seriously around here is getting paid for work and teaching our children how to handle money. A recent development in that regard was after reading the book Why Haven’t You Read This Book?
In the essay titled Why Haven’t You Had a Bunch of Kids? the author Anthony Davies mentions that to encourage his (many!) children to save, he would double whatever they had in their savings at the end of the year.
Having a lot of kids means being more concerned with finances. But it also means making the kids more concerned with finances. And that’s a good thing. – Davies
We have recently started doing this. I’ll have updates soon on how it worked.
But here’s a challenge for you – take a look around you over the next few days and notice the most frugal and productive people you know. Chances are, like me and like the people in the study mentioned above, you’ll notice that – contrary to the stereotype of the unattached go-getter – they all have children.