As prices keep rising and pandemic uncertainties persist, household budgets can shrink.
Here are ways to help kids understand when money is tight.
It’s hard to tell your children that things they want are simply too expensive.
When covering even the necessities strains your budget, you need to consider some ways to help kids understand when money is tight.
Keep It Simple
Kids need information about what’s happening, but don’t burden kids by oversharing.
Just briefly explain that you have less money than before, whether because prices have gone up or you’re not getting paid as much as in the past.
If your troubles arise from a dispute with an ex-spouse, keep that aspect to yourself, even if you think your child support award was unfair and that’s the root of your money problem.
Complaining to the kids about it will only increase your children’s anxiety, and they may ask your ex uncomfortable questions. Keep your explanation simple and prepare to answer questions.
Lead by Example
Kids usually know more than they let on. If they don’t see you cutting back on your pricey coffee from here out, they might resent that fact.
Reflect the new budget in choices that affect you so that your child recognizes that this change is a group effort to save.
Involving your kids in decisions helps them understand the practical effect of tight finances.
Let the kids suggest what to make for dinner instead of eating out or how to have fun for free.
Pull out the board games and card games, and take advantage of free programs for kids at your local public library.
Reassure your kids that you have what’s necessary for a happy life, and you’ll all be OK.
They may discover they appreciate picnics in the backyard or enjoy a tent made of blankets more than expensive visits to amusement parks.
The best way to explain to your kids that money is tight is to be honest, brief, and calm.
Reassure them that you’re still there for them no matter what. Finding a way to do more with less can make everyone happy.