Telling your children "We're broke - we can't afford that!" can be really difficult, but here are some ways to soften the blow and maybe find a solution!
It happens to all of us. An unexpected event occurs and leaves us broke. It might be the loss of income, household repairs, or the need for a large purchase.
Explaining this to our kids can be difficult. Your kids may be used to doing certain things and be upset that things have changed. While there are ways to continue to pay for certain expenses, others may be out of the question.
Let's take a closer look at how to explain to kids that you're broke.
“Let's See What We Can Do”
There are programs that will help you cover certain expenses. For example, many schools have programs that will help parents cover the expense of field trips. Sports teams may also have options that help cover uniform costs, registration fees, etc. Explain to your kids that while you are broke, but you're going to do what you can. Contact the school, coach, etc and ask about different options that are available. You may be surprised at how much is available.
“We Can't Do That But We Can Do This”
When your kids asks to go to the movies, explain that while you can't afford to go to the movies, you can have a movie marathon at home. You can make fun snacks and choose a movie theme. This is just an example. Chances are your family has something they do each weekend. Look for ways to do something similar that is much, much cheaper.
“If We Look for Things to Cut We May Be Able to Do That Later”
If your kids want to do something special or want something expensive, explain that if the family gives up certain things, you may be able to afford it. For example, you can always give up TV service, your fancy cell phone plan, etc. In fact, getting your kids to give up their unlimited texting plans can be a great way for them to cut costs and help come up with the needed funds.
“We're Having a Yard Sale and Anything You Earn You Can Use for That”
A yard sale can be a great way to earn extra cash in times of need. We all have items laying around the home that we aren't using. The same goes for your kids. Explain that if they want something, they can sell the toys they no longer play with to earn the cash needed.
We all fall on hard times. While it can be unfortunate and upsetting to have to say "We're broke! to your children, it's not the end of the world. There are ways to cover the important expenses and ways to have fun without spending a lot of money. Chances are your kids won't feel the strain as much as you think they will.
Do you have any tips to add?