A bit of a step back from how we spend money when it comes to children isn’t just good for the bank balance, it’s good for the environment too.
Once children get to a certain age, they start becoming aware of brands and such; but up until that point, parenting can be a much cheaper ride than what it is for many.
The old quip about the box being more fun than the toy that it came in isn’t far off the mark. A hand-me-down won’t cause a hissy fit or traumatize. Generic brands won’t socially ostracize a very young child.
Hattie Garlick realised this recently and has started blogging about her “the toddler and me and our year for free” experience on Free Our Kids.
She’s approaching relaying her experience in a really nice way. Sometimes these initiatives can be a bit “thou shalt”; but from the outset she states:
“Liberation not deprivation. The first rule of Free our Kids? No rule is set in stone.”
Her rules include:
– No buying of child specific food
– Aim to spend nothing on clothes
– Same goes for toys
– Same goes for activities
– Use of cloth diapers
– DIY haircuts
I’m sure Hattie’s not the only Mom (or Dad) who is as mad as hell about the cost of raising children and isn’t going to take it any more. There must be a bunch of other blogs out there from parents documenting their no-frills child rearing experience; so if you know of any good ones, please leave a comment below.
I never thought I’d be an “in my day” sort of fellow, but the older I get the more I find myself saying it – and even back in the day, it’s not as though we were dressed in hessian and existing on potatoes.
Like everything else these days, the marketing that leads us to pander to kids is just getting way over the top. It’s helping to grind parents down – and the planet too. The damage is amplified as we’re also teaching our children to perpetuate the cycle.