Friday, March 15, 2013

Should You Involve Your Kids When You Are In Debt?

This is a troubling question for parents who are in debt. Is it right for you to involve your children in your debt problems?

While we all want to shield our children from the harsh realities of life, you have to understand that your debt will affect them in one way or the other. You cannot keep that from happening so it is best for you to explain to your kids the real scenario. If anything, it will help them understand why you cannot buy them the same luxurious items as before.

Debt is an important lesson that you can give your kids. You are never too young to practice proper financial management. As soon as someone is old enough to understand the concept of buying things with money, they can be taught how to use their money wisely.

Young children are not expected to help you earn money to pay off what you owe. But they are expected to do their share to help make things easier. For instance, as one of the parents work longer hours to increase income, they can help more around the house. If you have arts and crafts or baking projects that you want to sell in the weekend market, you can ask your children to help. This can be a great bonding activity for the family.

They can also help you out by spending less. They will understand if you lower their allowance and have them pack their lunch to school. Or if you have to take the public transportation to get them to school, they will know why. It will also, hopefully, keep them from asking you to buy things that they do not need. Like those gadgets that their friends have. You can teach them early on about wise spending habits.

Instead of shielding your kids, it may prove to be more beneficial if you let them peek at common adult problems that they may face in the future. More importantly, show them how you intend on overcoming these problems.

When you sit down to talk to them, make sure to point out the mistakes that you made. Own up to what you did wrong and assure them that you will do everything to get the family out of the debt situation. You can even explain the debt relief program that you plan to use. They may not be able to understand it easily but you should let them adjust to the new lifestyle that they will have to live from now on. The important thing is you told them why it had to happen.

You may also be surprised at how mature they can be. Some of them can be very supportive. In the end, they will appreciate if you kept them in the loop as it signifies your belief in them and their opinions. After all, debt involves a team effort. Do not assume that age prohibits anyone from making smart contributions to the rest of the family.

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