Saturday, October 11, 2008

Day 11, Readers' Thoughts (93...Free!)

I've had a couple people comment on some of the 93...Free! posts. Here are some hints from other families...

First, on school yearbooks...
A friend told me that our local school sells yearbooks the fall following the year they come out for half price or less. So, for example, a yearbook from spring 2008 would be selling at the school in fall 2008 for a significant discount. If you're desperate for a yearbook, that won't work. However, if you have a young child and feel like yearbooks are optional, it might be worth putting if off and checking the school office the next fall. That's what I'll probably do when 'LilDude is the only child in our family still attending our elementary school. I don't think a yearbook is necessary for a first grader, but I wouldn't mind having one for half price.

On medicine expiration dates...
Based on what I heard (second hand from a medical professional), I'll probably save a lot of our expired over-the-counter medications. Obviously, that's a personal call and people needs to decide what's best for their families, but I heard enough to consider keeping meds a while longer. I suggest checking with medical professionals and asking them the question if you're interested.

On "Entitlement" and instilling contentment in children without all the emphasis on material possessions, etc...

An anonymous reader posted a comment after that entry. I LOVE what she has to say. Sometime I'll write about birthday parties. We've tried to get creative in that department.

Here's what the anonymous reader's worth repeating!

This is actually a core family value for me. I think about it all the time and I work on it all the time.

I've done a number of things to try and instill this value in my kids.

1. No birthday party or Xmas excess. I don't do birthday parties where 20 kids each bring a $20 gift. We do family birthdays and a limited friend thing -- with the exception of a single party my 10 yo had at age 6 where we invited all 9 girls from her daycare class to a pottery painting place. This party marked the end of daycare days and she still talks about it.

2. We inherit used clothing (or buy used clothing) and inherit some great used toys. My kids are fine with this.

3. The school my oldest attends has a large socioeconomic range, with a trend towards families of modest means. This has created a peer culture that is remarkably free of consumerism. So, I have nothing to counter at home. School friends live simply ... and so do we.

4. We spend a lot of time together just hanging out as a family or going to community events together (that's very cheap and models that you don't have to spend money to have fun!)

5. I had a friend give my oldest $20 for her birthday each year in small coin denominations, to buy scholastic books. The intent was to provide a math activity. The bonus was that it gave an opportunity to teach about getting value for your money (NOT buying the books with the gadgets which are much more expensive for gadgets that are poor quality) and also NOT buying this month (if nothing really appealed) so you would have more money the next month if there was something you really wanted but was more expensive.

6. I talk about money decisions I make in a kid friendly way. E.g. They see me research what to do before deciding on a new mortgage, a new investment etc. If they want something frivolous and I say "no", I explain that you have to make choices about how to spend your money and that that wouldn't be a good choice (and why).

7. I'm explicit. I tell them, "Love is more important than money".

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