Here is the rest of my top 10 money savvy tips for families if you think you may be laid off soon:

5. Trade. Encourage kids to “trade” jeans and gently used clothing, sports and hobby equipment and other accessories with friends. Rather than a trip to the mall, host a “trading” party at your house. As the saying goes, your trash is my treasure!

6. Use the library. Remember that place — the one with all the books, videos and magazines for free? Have the kids peddle their bikes or take public transportation to the local library once a week to get all the entertainment they need for free.

7. Don’t eat out. Cook as a family. It’s fun and much cheaper than eating out. Kids learn how to make a meal and families have time together that won’t cost more than the time it takes to prepare and consume. If you do eat out, drink water. Soft drinks can cost as much or more than the meal at some fast food restaurants.

8. Turn off the lights. Even the youngest family member can get in the act with this tip. Assign younger children the job of making sure all lights are out in rooms when they are empty or turning off the television or radio if no one is watching/listening any more.

9. Hire the kids. Get the kids to pick up some of the outside household chores that may have been outsourced in flusher times, such as mowing the lawn, shoveling snow or washing the car. You can pay the kids for these chores by putting some of money saved into their savings accounts.

10. Keep track of savings. It’s important to show kids what the money savvy tips do for the family’s bottom line. Estimate the savings and put a portion of the savings against family debt and another portion into a family account that can be used for treats, like an occasional meal out or trip to the movies.

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Written by Susan Beacham
Susan Beacham founded Money Savvy Generation in 1999 after almost two decades in private banking and investment management complemented by considerable time teaching at the elementary level.

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