How to Talk to Your Kids About Money Problems

Talking to your kids about money can be uncomfortable, awkward, and at times, even frustrating; this is especially true if you and your family are in financial trouble. As a parent that may be in financial trouble, it’s important to not worry about your kids; its best to keep financial issues separate from your relationship with them. However, in some cases, your children may need to know to some extent that you are tight on money; perhaps if he or she is having a hard time understanding why he or she can’t do something.

If this situation does occur, it’s best to know how to talk to your kids about money without worrying or confusing them, this article will do just that.

Tips for Talking About Finances With Your Kids

A Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyer pointed out that in order to have a constructive conversation about money with your kids, it’s best to stay calm and about finances in a way that they will understand and will impact them. Here are some more tips to keep in mind as you talk about finances with your kids:

Be Honest With Your Kids

Though you don’t need to tell your kids the details of your money issues, it’s important to talk to them about how this happened and what you are doing to solve this issue. Not only will this create an open and truthful relationship between you and your kids, but it will also allow them to understand more.

Being honest will allow kids to ask questions and have a better grasp of what’s going on in terms of finances. If a child doesn’t know the extent of the “money problem” you keep referring to, he or she may get frustrated and angry with you because they don’t know the severity of the problem.

Turn the Conversation into a Learning Lesson

Money problems are one of the most stressful situations for a family to have to go through. And as they are occurring, they can cause tension in a household. Though at times this will be frustrating and hard, its best to try to turn this into a learning lesson for your kids.

Building off of the point of being honest with your kids, you have the opportunity to turn this unfortunate circumstance into a learning lesson. You can teach your kids how to not make any of the same mistakes and you can speak first hand about the importance of staying on top of finances. This conversation and learning lesson will likely have a positive impact on them and they will remember these points for the rest of their lives.

Try to Look on the Bright Side

It’s going to be hard to focus on the positive during this trying time, however, as a parent, you need to try to look on the bright side of things. Looking on the bright side is important for two main reasons:

  1. You have to portray a good example to your kids and still be the best parent you can be.
  2. You have the chance to teach your kids different kinds of values.

You need to remain a good role model for your kids no matter your financial circumstances. Similarly, you can teach your children to value different things in life that don’t cost money. For example, in order to look on the bright side of financial issues, you can teach your kids the importance of going outside and riding bikes instead of spending money on a new video game. Or, you can teach your kids to prioritize family game night over going out to dinner at a fancy restaurant. 

Mention Concepts Rather Than Figures

Your kids don’t need to know the specifics of your salary or the amount of debt you may be in. Instead, as you talk about finances with your kids, talk about concepts such as budgeting, how debt works, credit, and the importance of prioritizing. These concepts will not only teach your kids, but they will also give them a look into the “real world.”

Talking figures will only worry and confuse your kids, make sure to talk generally rather than specifically.

Start Talking Today

Even if you aren’t in financial trouble, talking to your kids about money is something to consider doing sooner rather than later.  It’s always a good time to talk with your kids about money; and if you do happen to be in financial trouble, don’t wait. Talking about money with your kids is something that will benefit them for the rest of your life, start the conversation today.


About the Author

Veronica Baxter is a legal assistant and blogger living and working in the great city of Philadelphia and frequently works with David Offen, Esq., a busy Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyer. She lives in a renovated south Philly rowhome with her husband John, their two rescue poodles, Connor and Camelot, a full aquarium of African Cichlids, and several rescue cats (the number changes almost daily!).

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