Involving your kids in the family finances is a great idea; however, you should be careful what you say. Every family goes through a rough patch and find themselves in financial trouble. Most of the time the financial problems arise from things that are beyond your control such as a lay-off, an injury or illness that prevents you from working, a demotion, or an unexpected bill/expense that you didn’t plan for.
Talking to Children Under the Age of 12
So how much information should you share with children under the age of 12? Children under the age of 12, don’t understand every aspect of running a household but when financial issues arise it is important that they continue to feel secure. They need to know that you have enough money to provide them with a roof over their head and food in their bellies. It is important that you don’t share that you are having trouble paying the bills but you can tell them that you can’t afford any extras like toys, dining out, going to the movies, or able to give them spending money. Continue to foster a loving, caring home environment and explain to them that everything will be okay. Also, tell them that you are working too improve the situation. The last thing you want is for your young child to feel insecure.
Talking to Your Teens About Family Finances
How much information should you share with children 13 and older? Children over the age of 13 should be included in the family finances more so that they will learn and understand that money doesn’t just show up in the bank account. Instead, that you have to go out and work for it so that you can afford the lifestyle that you enjoy. Learning about financial issues will benefit them when they are older and teach them responsibility. Share with your child that you are having financial trouble and that you are working to improve the situation. If your child is old enough to help contribute to the family finances, you can suggest ways for them to help out by taking a part-time job, mow a yard for the neighbors, or other ways to earn some money.