For many families, there may come a time where finances aren’t where they should do. While some people will have money in savings that they can dip into as a reserve, savings can quickly dwindle, credit card debt can pile up, and you may find yourself looking at bills you can’t pay and debts that you’ll need to file bankruptcy for in order to get out from under them.
Although you might think that your financial worries are only affecting you, your kids are likely picking up on things that you may not even realize. So to help everyone feel a little safer and more at peace with the situation, here are three tips for speaking with your kids about family financial issues.
Plan Out Your Conversation
Before you start having this tough conversation with your kids, Daniel Bortz, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report, recommends that you first plan out what it is you’ll say and what topics you’ll try to keep the conversation focused on.
While your kids will likely have questions about things, especially as your family finances related to them and their lives, by planning what you’ll say and how much information you want to divulge about your exact financial situation, you’ll be able to steer clear of topics that you think might be best to leave your children out of or avoid revealing details that won’t be useful or helpful for your kids to know. Ultimately, only you can pick up on your child’s intellectual and intuitive abilities. Therefore, it falls on you to determine which topics are suitable and readily absorbed by the children in your family. For instance, a teen might be well-adapted to learn how a tax calculator works, while someone younger might be better suited at helping pick and choose categories in order to budget the overall monthly income.
Do Your Best To Reduce Stress
As far as what you should actually tell your kids about your financial problems, Kristen Kuchar, a contributor to The Simple Dollar, advises that you do your best to reassure them and reduce and stress that they might be feeling or have picked up on coming from you.
What your kids really want to know is that, despite the problems you’re having financially, your family will be okay and that none of your current issues are their fault. The better you are at getting this point across without saying anything that produces fear, anger, or insecurity in your children, the better off your family will be at the end of this conversation.
Include The Family In Plans For A More Responsible Financial Future
When money is tight, it’s usually going to take a concerted family effort for things to get back on track. While your kids likely aren’t bringing in any money to the family, they can play a role in how much money is being spent by the family each month.
According to Katherine Martinelli, a contributor to ChildMing.org, you should include your family on your plans to be more responsible with your money in the future. This can include things like shopping from a grocery list, not buying things just because you want them, and getting items that are on sale.
If your family is going through a hard time financially right now, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you speak with your kids about these challenges.