Money Worries

March 5, 2010

Families today face many challenges. Not the least of which is money woes. In the current economy, money has become a bone of contention even more than it was once before. But, you don’t have to let this fact destroy your family life.

So, how does debt affect families? Many parents would like to think that they are doing a good job of keeping any money issues from their kids, but the truth is that kids are quite sensitive. Especially with smaller children, a change in the atmosphere around the home can affect the way that they feel and behave.

The lack of money is of course the major reason, but that breaks down into smaller parts. If one spouse was the primary breadwinner, the other spouse may have to reassess what skills they possess to get back into the workforce. This is on top of the emotional roller coaster that often accompanies a parental split.

Loss of a job is what most families hit hard by the economic crisis have faced. Lack of funds has families deciding between warmth and a full belly, not only for themselves but their children. It can lead to stress which also exacerbates the financial situation.

While this is a grim picture, there are some things that you can do right now, however small, to help your family buffet the effects of financial issues. One of the most important steps is to level with your children. Teenagers are old enough to understand what is going on. They can even be instrumental in helping find solutions.

Many parents shy away from this because they feel that they are burdening their kids. In fact, the opposite is true. It actually brings the family closer together when you share what is going on and work together to solve the problem. The older ones can help the younger kids understand budgetary changes you have to make in order to make ends meet.

Speaking of budgetary changes, creating a budget is one way to see where you are now and where you need to go. Read here about how to get one started. You can cut back on non-essential spending and put more money towards bills.

  • Utility companies can help you manage your bills with them. Participating in equal payment plans (EPP) means your bill is the same each month for easier budgeting.
  • Call credit companies before they begin to call you. They will be more willing to make payment arrangements with you then before any fees for non-payment are assessed.
  • Don’t fret when you are feeling the financial crunch. The effects will be felt by your family. Instead, work together as a unit to stay together and weather the money storm.

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