I’m a frugal mum- I don’t spend cash on my kids & refuse to buy toys or presents

WHEN it comes to her two young sons, doting mum Lea Henry will do absolutely anything to make them happy — except buy toys and presents.

Even when it comes to Christmas or birthdays, the 27-year-old doesn’t spend any money.

Lea refuses to buy toys or gifts for her sons


Lea refuses to buy toys or gifts for her sonsPhoto credit: Lea Henry

While this may sound controversial to some, Lea insists that splashing the cash just isn’t necessary to create happy childhood memories.

Lea, co-founder and director of CocoRio, a creative home childcare service, lives in Greenwich with her husband and two children, Rio, two, and Jazz, four months.

She says: “The term ‘stingy’ sounds very negative… but it’s true, I don’t spend money on my kids so I could very well fall under that title!

“I’m all about having fun creatively and almost always without spending money – we’re basically living on legacy assets and I haven’t bought any toys for any of the boys.”

“We didn’t save”

Lea was taught from an early age to be frugal.

She says: “I grew up knowing that money should be saved and only spent wisely.

“We definitely haven’t exhausted ourselves.

“I got pocket money once a month when I was a teenager, but it was a very small amount.

“But when it came to safety, like getting a cab home late at night, my parents didn’t hesitate to pay for those things for me.”

Lea doesn't believe her children need to buy the latest toy to be fulfilled


Lea doesn’t believe her children need to buy the latest toy to be fulfilledCredit: ALBALONE

“Some things money can’t buy”

That’s a lesson Lea learned about raising her own sons, too.

Leah says, “I want my kids to know that I’m always there for them.

“I play with them, I’m their safe space, I just don’t buy them what they want.

“For me, it’s about showing up in other ways that money just can’t buy, and that’s just so much more valuable.

“I do my best to make birthdays and Christmas magical, but I don’t really give gifts.

“Family tends to give gifts, which is nice, but beforehand, I don’t make gifts the focus of the celebration.

“My little one, for example, can’t wait for his birthday because he knows he can blow out candles.

“He also loves that we get to be with the people he loves, so he’s super excited about the idea of ​​playing with all of them.

“I just shift the focus away from gifts, of course if he gets them from others he’ll be super happy but he doesn’t expect them and he’s happy about other aspects.”

Lea will not buy birthday presents for her children


Lea will not buy birthday presents for her childrenCredit: ALBALONE

“They use their imagination”

The reason for Lea’s decision is not purely financial either.

Lea says: “I think toys can only do so much and in some cases I think it can inhibit children’s natural creativity.

“Watch a kid walk into the park, pick up a stick and some leaves, and see how excited they get — there are no restrictions on what those objects can be, and I think that ability, with your own Being creative with the environment is something we tend to lose as adults.

“I’m not against toys per se, but I see no need to buy them when it’s much better to use your imagination with everyday objects anyway.

“My eldest has chosen everyday household items to play with his toys on numerous occasions.

“He has cling film that he uses as a sword, telescope or vacuum cleaner – he just loves it and uses it in all his imaginative play.

“Other things we do at home, either with me or with his creative nanny from CocoRio, are homemade playdough, homemade paints, experiments with different ingredients, e.g.

“All parents do their best”

Although Lea has decided not to buy toys or gifts, she is aware that this is not for everyone.

Lea says: “I’m very aware of the judgment surrounding parenting and I really don’t want to be a part of it.

“As parents, we are constantly accused of so many things that we should buy to make our lives easier or to make the kids happy.

“Every parent does their best and what is best for their family.

“I don’t think my way is the only way by any means, it just works for us.

“I got some questions like, ‘Aren’t you worried that your kids don’t have what the other kids have?’ and ‘how are you going to keep it up when they get older’

“I’m always open to making adjustments where necessary for the good of my children, and if I feel my path isn’t working anymore, I’ll change something.”

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However, Lea knows that nothing escapes her children.

She adds, “We’ve been very fortunate to get a lot of hand-me-downs from friends and family too, so the boys have had more than enough toys from that.”

Lea knows she doesn't have to spend money to make her boys feel loved


Lea knows she doesn’t have to spend money to make her boys feel lovedCredit: ALBALONE

https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/7479835/mum-refuses-spend-money-kids-buy-toys-presents/ I’m a frugal mum- I don’t spend cash on my kids & refuse to buy toys or presents

Emma James

Emma James is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma James joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing emmajames@ustimespost.com.

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