Hi everyone! Welcome to the final installment in our series “How to Afford Homeschooling”! We hope you’ve enjoyed our posts so far! Our last topic is “Avoiding Consumerism”.
We live in a country whose economy is based on consumerism. Everywhere we turn, there are commercials and advertisements that encourage us to buy, buy, buy. But for the homeschooling family on a budget, that kind of mentality can be damaging. If we want to afford homeschooling, it’s critical that we avoid consumerism.
How can we resist the temptation to buy more and more things? Here are a few suggestions:
If homeschooling is the way we intend to teach our children, then it has to become an important part of our life plans. That means that homeschooling has to take precedence over other things we might also like to do. For example, I got a chance to go to England as a teenager and it was an incredible experience. I’d love to go back with my family so our kids can see it as well, but the cost of six airplane tickets is prohibitively expensive. Now that doesn’t mean we won’t EVER go, but it does mean that right now, it’s just not feasible. And that’s okay. If I have to choose between homeschooling or going to England now, I’ll choose homeschooling every time. England will always be there later. This opportunity to homeschool might not.
We opened up this series about the need for couples to have “The Talk” when it comes to finances. But this can’t be a one-time discussion. We need to have ongoing conversations about budgeting, financial goals, and money management. When both spouses continue to commit themselves to living simply, it’s easier to avoid tempting purchases that could derail our homeschooling journey.
One of the main reasons we homeschool is so that we can spend more time with our children. Personally, I’ve found that when I’ve been drawn to buying something that we can’t afford, I’ve also been preoccupied with things other than my family. Of course, that’s going to happen at times, especially to a parent who works for a living. But, when I center my life around my family, I am far less interested in buying things. I also find that the more time I spend with my husband and our children, the more contented I feel with my life in general, which stops me from wanting more things.
Have you all dealt with the buy, buy, buy attitude? How do you keep it from invading your home and family? Let us know about it in the comments!
Keep on learning!
How to Afford Homeschooling: Having “The Talk”
How to Afford Homeschooling: Finding Free Homeschool Resources
How to Afford Homeschooling: Making Friends with Your Local Library
How to Afford Homeschooling: Saving Money Around the House
How to Afford Homeschooling: Cooking Cheaply
My husband and I used to love to shop, together, for fun, in our past life. Even if it was a grocery shop. Then the munchkins came and mugged us!!
We, also, feel that the sacrifices we choose to make to home school the children are worth it. We are blessed enough to live in a beautiful place near sea, heathland and forests, so we still get plenty of the ‘holiday’ feeling. I love having my kids at home and feel almost like we are on a sabbatical or something. In a way, the sacrifices don’t feel like sacrifices.
We save money by internet shopping for what we need (mostly bicarbonate of soda for fizzing with vinegar, never gets old!), re-using where we can and not going shopping at the shops unless we need to. Right now we suddenly need a lot of new kid footwear, so we will do that. We don’t go to Next, we go to the cheaper stores. My kids mostly wear trainers or wellies anyway, it isn’t like they need school shoes, lol.
With clothes we are in a sort of chain with our friends – bigger kids pass down the line. We are somewhere in the midddle of the line.
My mil gave me a sewing machine and I made them Ragdolls for Christmas, which they absolutely adore and carry everywhere (my mummy made it!). They are cool like that, I look at it and see my errors, they just see that I did it. I am trying to learn from that. I made my girlie a good-ish dress which she loves. I am going to make some other bits. Mil also gave me about a ton of fabric! So, we try to make it ourselves if we can. Even soap. Tbh, we like the idea of being self sufficient so that fits with our view of the world. Also, the kids have learned how to make soap and paper and food and that is great learning, too. Not to mention slime.
We brought chickens to give us eggs and they turn out to be fab pets. Win-win!!
Home cooking keeps the bills down and my kids like it better anyway.
Not watching adverts helps, we watch ad free telly or dvds but I don’t think you have ad free channels in the US, do you?
Clothes chains are such a great resource! We’ve gotten so many hand-me-down clothes from friends over the years!
Actually, the only ad-free channels we have here are public broadcasting networks (PBS), which is all our kids watch. We have found that the other kids’ networks have way too many commercials for toys and games and clothes. Our kids didn’t even see a commercial for the first several years because they only watched PBS and that has definitely kept them from wanting too many things. 🙂
My friends as me all the time how I can afford to homeschool, on one income, with a daughter with(expensive) special needs. I tell them it’s all about priorities. Yes, I would love to travel more(sign me up for England too!), but in the end nothing money can but is more important than be there for my girls. I enjoyed your blog!
Hi! Thanks for visiting! One day, we’ll get to England. 😉
jeannine: waddleeahchaa.com says
Very much agree that it is important to fight the buy, buy, buy attitude! We try to focus on others when we get the desire to spend, spend, spend. We support children in Cambodia and we have made big sacrifices for me to actually volunteer in Cambodia twice. Because of our strong connection to Cambodia, my children know that we are a very blessed family who do not want for anything. We have a home, food and each other. While we have material blessings we do not need additional material blessings.
We do little things throughout the year like Christmas Child shoe boxes. My goal is raise compassionate children rather than children that focus on their own wants. 🙂
That’s a wonderful attitude to have! Sharing with others is such an important skill we teach our kids and then we somehow forget it as we get older. Learning to serve others is a huge part of being happy.