Tuesday, July 10, 2018

5 Reasons You SHOULD Talk to Your Kids About YOUR Finances

Today, I had to tell Drama Queen that he wasn't able to go to camp today. Not because of a bad attitude, or I didn't want to take him. I had to tell him not today because I don't have any money to put gas in the truck and get him to camp just to have to drive out there again and pick him up. It ended up being a whole conversation of his begging me and being in a tailwind state over the fact that he wasn't going to get to do something that he wanted to. I didn't tell him no completely, just not today because everyone is sick. This upset led me to thinking about finances, and how it is important for everyone to be on the same page when it comes to money that comes into the house. Including your children. Here are 5 reasons that you should talk to your kids about your finances.

1. Allowances-

While some people give their children allowances, for others, it's just not feasible. In our house, we don't give allowances because everyone that lives in my house is part of the family. Everyone has to do their share in keeping our space clean and helping around the house. I don't feel that my children should be making money for doing something that they should be doing anyway. 

2. Savings-

It's not an uncommon thing for a child to think that we are made of money, so they think they should be able to do whatever they want. They see us go to the grocery store and use our debit cards, feed a meter with change, use cash to purchase from the Girl Scouts out in the front of the store. Of course this makes us seem like we have plenty of money, but we're broke. Some of us have more bills than money, other of us rely on our overdraft protection to make sure that our children will eat. Most of us can't afford a decent savings, but we try. Knowing your finances and learning to save are important pieces of adulthood. What little extra we manage to scrounge up,  we try to save for a fun rainy day activity, or for our emergency fund, which, sadly is having it's own emergency.

3. Avoid Disappointment and Entitlement-

Let me tell you, taking my kids to the store is a friggin NIGHTMARE. They ask for everything, I tell them no. They ask again, but this time for more. To avoid disappointment or a feeling of entitlement that many children have, tell them no. No will become your favorite, most used word. While your child may still be a bit upset over not getting a new toy or a special treat, knowing the expectations going into the store will help alleviate some of the "can I have," and the whining. 

4. Preferred Activities-

This is the one that always gets me. We've been planning a trip to Disneyland soon. My kids have never been to Disneyland, therefore they will lose their minds when we finally make it there. However, the more money doled out for shoes, clothes, snacks, toys, and other expensive activities they want to do, the longer it's going to take to make it happen. 

5. Money Management-

How are kids supposed to learn about money, making smart decisions, and bills, if their parents never talk to them about money? When I graduated from high school, I had no idea how to be an adult, but there I was, expected to know it. Here's the thing, There were no classes that taught money management, or basic adulting 101. Kids are often just shoved into the world to figure it out themselves, and now, most are entering the professional world with mountains of debt, the kind of debt that a good job is only going to put a dent in. 

If parents don't talk to their children about money, managing a budget, how to save, write a check, or even the simplest thing-- comparison shop, you're setting them up for failure. And potentially ensuring that they live in their childhood bedroom for the rest of your life. 

I know that discussing money with your children is hard. What's harder is to constantly have to tell the kids that it's not in the budget, there is no money for that, or many other money related things that aren't pleasant. Like politics and religion, the less we talk about it, the worse the problem becomes. Overspending is a serious issue for many, including our president, Annoying Orange, whose currently set to borrow over $1 TRILLION dollars this fiscal year, the most money ever spent in a single year during a presidency. Don't let the kids turn into the next generation of Trumps. Teach them financial responsibility by starting at home. Perhaps help them make their own budget, or allow them to help with some of the planning. 

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