10 Crucial Things You Should Never Tell Your Kids About Your Finances
Teaching money management can be difficult. We all know how important it is to teach our children how to save responsibly and spend smartly, but when the topic of finances arises they often get a lot of mixed messages.
Whether you’ve made a few too many irresponsible purchases or you are sitting on an unending pile of debt, there are some things which should never be discussed with your children. Whether they’re aware of it or not and chances are they aren’t your kids have to live in the same world as you. They’re going to see your money mistakes in a few years, and they’ll have to live with them.
There are many different ways you can screw up financially. Some of these errors might be fixable, but others can be somewhat impossible to remedy. To make sure your kids have a good life, you need to be aware of what you shouldn’t tell them about your finances as soon as possible. Here are the top 10 things that you shouldn’t tell them.
1. You are in debt
Children love to hear their parents talk about their day. They’ll be interested in hearing any stories you’re willing to share. However, it’s a basic rule of life don’t ever talk negatively about yourself or your finances with your kids. If they find out that you are in debt, they will probably be very upset with you and start making all kinds of bad decisions that negatively affect their life. Besides, how could they trust that as adults they will still stay away from debt?
2. You might not afford their college education
Your child’s college education is expensive, and you probably don’t have enough money to pay for it. It’s understandable that you want to protect your children from difficulties, but it’s not going to help them if you lie about your finances. If they learn that there are other ways of earning a good income and paying for the cost of school besides their parents, this will prevent them from being too dependent on the family at such a critical point in their lives.
3. You have too many expenses
It’s amazing how many things our families can spend money on when we don’t have enough money to survive on. You can’t control how much your family spends, but you need to be sincere with your kids and talk to them about the things you can cut down on. They will understand and respect you.
4. You don’t have a steady income stream
You might not have enough money to pay everything that needs to get done in a month, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have income at all. You need to tell your kids about the side hustle or small businesses that you work for every day so they know what kind of income streams their parents have. They’ll be better off if they know that you do have a source of income and you are working hard to make ends meet. It will also give them a small taste of what it’s like to work in an office or start a business.
5. You didn’t save for retirement
You might not have time to save for your retirement, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t take the time to tell your kids about the importance of saving money for the future. It’s important to tell them about the importance of contributing to their retirement accounts every month. You can’t force them to do it, but at least you can let them know that you value your future enough not to leave your hard earned money for your children.
6. You didn’t take care of yourself
You might not be in good health, and it could negatively affect your finances. It doesn’t mean that you have no more chances at all, but it can be tough on everyone if it comes to this point. You might want to take care of your health before you’re too old to do so. You can never know when you’ll need to be on a pricier medical plan in the future, and you don’t want your children to have any obligations if it gets that bad.
7. You aren’t an expert about everything
The world is changing quickly, and it’s difficult for anyone to know everything about everything. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try educating yourself about the things that are important for your children. Don’t be afraid to tell your kids that you aren’t an expert about some issues and ask them to help you out. They will be proud to teach their parents something.
8. You were never honest about money
Your children probably know that money is tight, but they don’t know why. It can be a sign of disrespect if you don’t tell them where the extra money is coming from or how much debt they have. If your kids learn that you used to teach them the importance of being honest and now represent the opposite, this can have a lasting effect on their behavior in life.
9. You use debt to pay for your immediate needs
When you need to pay for something that you can’t afford with your monthly budget, it’s understandable that you’re going to get a loan that will help solve the immediate problem. However, you should never tell your kids about this kind of behavior or do it in front of them if possible. If they see you reaching for a credit card when there is no money left in the bank, this can have a negative effect on their lives and make them think it’s okay to buy anything they want whenever they want.
10. You are ashamed of your finances
It’s impossible to avoid having bad financial habits and mistakes, but you shouldn’t let your feelings of shame prevent you from being honest with your children. They should know that there are ways to make more money, be more productive, and save money, but there is no shame in making mistakes. If you made some blunders in the past, it’s OK for them to find out about them.
However, if they see you being ashamed of a past mistake that clearly has nothing to do with their current lifestyle or situation at all, this will teach them incorrect financial lessons that might affect their lives for years after they leave your house.
There are many different situations in life where you might not have enough money to make it in a particular month. Many times, it’s impossible to know when you’ll be able to pay off your debts or improve your living standards. However, this should never stop you from educating yourself and your children about the importance of creating certain financial habits and making smart decisions with money.