How to Talk about Money with Your Kids

How to talk about money with your kidsThere’s no doubt talking about money can be challenging to talk about money with your kids. But don’t let that stop you from being honest about your finances with your children. If you aren’t sure how to get started, let this guide help you open up.

  1. Explain why you’re saying no

The hardest part of living on a tight budget is the fact you’ll have to tell your children no. You simply don’t have the money to get everything they want — whether it’s an extra treat at the grocery store or a new video game.

Rather than leaving it at “because I said so”, let them know why they can’t get what they want. You don’t have to pull out your budget and show them your exact finances, but you should be honest.

  1. Make it a dialogue

Depending on how old they are, they may start worrying if you talk about your finances in a negative light.

The purpose of your chats isn’t to place the burden of worry on your children, so be careful about the language you use.

One way to keep their worries at bay is to avoid one-sided conversations. If you steamroll through a talk about the family budget, you won’t give them a chance to ask questions. You may not even realize they’re bothered unless you take a breath.

  1. Don’t overshare

First and foremost, you’re the parent. You need to educate while reassuring they’re safe.

While you’ll want to be honest about your family’s finances, you must remember your kids:

  1. May not have a strong understanding of finances, let alone how money works
  2. Are not your financial advisor or guidance counselor

You’ll need to talk about money in ways they’ll understand. But more importantly, you shouldn’t use these discussions as a chance to unload about your own fears for the future.

  1. Make it age appropriate

How you talk about money depends on their age.

A child who’s just starting school doesn’t need to know about personal loans. A teenager, on the other hand, may appreciate the fact you need to take out an installment loan.

In fact, talking about cash loans may be a great idea if your children are thinking about college. They may already have questions about lines of credit and personal loans, so a discussion about credit options could help them make sound financial decisions.

Use your own finances as an opportunity to talk about when could you use a personal loan to help with an unexpected bill. Walk them through the entire process, so they know what to expect if they ever need to take out one on their own.

  1. Get them involved

Generally, money is a serious topic of conversation. One way to lighten up the subject is by enlisting their help to save more money.

Relieve some of their worries by making saving a game. You can do that by:

  • Playing a twist on scavenger hunts, where the goal is to find the cheapest price for an item
  • Giving them a calculator while you grocery shop to make sure you spend under a limit
  • Rewarding whoever can cut the most coupons or take the shortest shower

Most parents have a lot of hang-ups about money that stops them from talking about it with their kids. Don’t be one of them. Rather than let your anxieties control how you discuss your finances, talk openly about money. It can help your kids become financially literate adults.

How to Teach Your Children the Value of Saving Money
Saving Money When on A Family Budget
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