Getting a tooth pulled is easier and less painful for some people than talking about money and finances. However, with a recession looming and inflation already sending prices into orbit, now could be the right time to set those money-discussing phobias aside and talk to your family about budgets, bills, and more. We have some tips to help start and guide the conversation.
Help Them Understand
Younger kids, tweens, and teens can be a bit self-centered. It's understandable. They want to know how changes in the economy will affect them. Depending on your family's finances and their ages, honesty is the best policy. If your family needs to cut Netflix or move to save money, let them know. But be careful they do not feel punished by budget cuts. Instead of simply cutting the family vacation, reframe it. Explain that the family could enjoy several stay-cations to local attractions and still save money.
Better yet, allow them to be part of the process. Your tweens and teens may be able to help problem solve and come up with ideas you may not have considered. But, remember, you're the leader and should guide the process.
To help with your money-based discussions, try talking about these financial topics:
- Household income. If you're comfortable with it, show the family what you earn and how your work provides for the family. This will help them understand the basis for a family budget.
- Monthly expenses. Share what you currently spend on water, food, electricity, streaming services, debt (including the mortgage, car, and/or credit card payments) and more. Tell them how much the family needs to trim to stay on budget.
- Saving and Spending. Family meetings should be about more than who is eating all the cookies or which person should walk the dog most often. You should also discuss how much the family has in savings (for a vacation or other item) and how long it will take to reach that goal. This can help kids of all ages understand the importance of financial planning.
Share Some Real Life
The current economic ups and downs are a great learning opportunity for everyone — especially younger family members. Read or watch financial news stories together and discuss how the issues of the day could affect your family and community. While younger children might find some situations upsetting (and therefore may need to be shielded from those conversations), older kids could take what they learn today and apply it to their financial future.
Looking for more financial topics to share with your kiddos.Here aresome age-appropriate subjects and activities.
- Young kids. Basics include identifying coins and paper currency, pretend shopping at home, letting them help comparison shop at the grocery store, and starting their own savings account.
- Tweens. Help them open a checking account and learn how to use a debit card. If they have an allowance, teach them about budgeting. Include spending, saving, giving, and investing in the plan.
- Teens. Building credit is essential as teens get closer to life after high school. Help them open and manage their own credit card. Teach them the importance of paying off that card every month, as well as healthy conversations about debt and good credit decisions. Additionally, talk to them about retirement planning, paying bills, and doing their taxes.
One Nevada is on Your Side
You'll find advice and planning tools for your family finances at One Nevada. That includes Personal Loans and Home Equity Loans to consolidate debt and get back on track. Contact us or stop by any branch to get started.