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Children, Money and Frugal Living

by Nikki Willhite

Children need to be taught about money.  They need to know that money comes from time and work. When children learn how difficult it is to make money, they will have more respect for money.  They will have more appreciation for the things that you buy for them.

I was touched by a story I recently heard that illustrates just how astute and considerate a young boy can be when it comes to family finances.

This story is from the life of Curtis Martin.  Curtis played football for the Patriots and Jets.  His career was short, due to a knee injury (10 years) but when he retired he had the fourth highest total of rushing yards in NFL history.

Things were not easy for Curtis when he was young. He lived in one of those inner city areas full of drugs and violence.  To add to the trauma in his life, his grandmother  was found dead with a knife in her chest, and at one time Curtis had a loaded gun pointed at his head. The trigger was pulled seven times, but it never fired.

Curtis Martin was raised by his dear mother.  The father had left the family, and to take care of her family his mother had to work two jobs.

You would think that a child surrounded by so many terrible things would be insensitive.  Most of the children in his neighborhood did join gangs and get involved with crime and drugs.

However, Curtis was different.  When Curtis was 8 years old, he went to his mother and told her that he saw how hard she worked with her two jobs.  He said he knew they didn't have a lot of money.  He told her that he didn't want her to buy him any more birthday or Christmas presents, because they just didn't have the money for it.

What a blessing Curtis Martin was to his mother and what a great example Curtis Martin is of sacrifice and compassion to children everywhere.  My guess is that his mother was also very special.  She was responsible for him playing sports.  He didn't even like football, but she wanted him busy so he wouldn't be tempted to make bad choices.

Do not underestimate the ability of your children to understand money, show restraint, help out, and participate in the frugal efforts of your family. Prepare your children for their future lives by instilling in them respect for time, work, and money.

Teach by your words and by example. Nurture your relationship with your children  and teach them now, while they are in their youth, the importance of frugal living and how it will bless their lives, and the lives of those they love.

About the Author: Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money!


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