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How to cut expenses without worrying kids

 
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amother




OP
 

Post  Thu, May 21 2020, 6:25 pm
I’m a firm believer in not discussing financial issues with children. The problem is that we are now finding ourselves in a very tight financial situation, and I don’t know how to say no to certain things without worrying my children that we don’t have enough money. For example, my son asked if we can get takeout, and I really don’t want to spend the money right now. Or he asked me to order something (small) from Amazon and I had to wait until unemployment funds came in, and he kept asking me if I ordered it yet. Any advice? By the way, my kids aren’t spoiled brats in any way, and he’s very responsible and mature and can handle being told no. I just don’t want him to know where we are at right now financially.
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kenz




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, May 21 2020, 6:29 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I’m a firm believer in not discussing financial issues with children. The problem is that we are now finding ourselves in a very tight financial situation, and I don’t know how to say no to certain things without worrying my children that we don’t have enough money. For example, my son asked if we can get takeout, and I really don’t want to spend the money right now. Or he asked me to order something (small) from amazon and I had to wait until unemployment funds came in, and he kept asking me if I ordered it yet. Any advice? By the way, my kids aren’t spoiled brats in any way, and he’s very responsible and mature and can handle being told no. I just don’t want him to know where we are at right now financially.

How old is he? Presumably he knows we're in a pandemic and there's a lot going on in the world. I would just tell him, "Everything is fine, but with everything going on right now we're trying to be a little careful with money, so we're going to hold off on takeout right now." Unless he's generally a nervous kid, I don't think that being honest yet reassuring can go wrong. At least that's what I would do.
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Elfrida




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, May 21 2020, 6:44 pm
Its difficult trying to change things without giving g a reason. You risk coming across as constantly refusing and just being mean.

Can you just give a basic unemotional explanation that "because of Corona and not going to work we are trying to save money". You don't have to go into financial details, but the only other options I can think of are giving no explanation whatsoever, or making something up, which would not work in the long run.

I remember during the 2008 financial crisis hearing an article on the radio where they spoke to this eight year old who said she couldn't sleep because she was so worried about the electricity bill. Then they brought on someone else who said how terrible that was, and how when she was eight, she hadn't even known what an electricity bill was. Those are both extremes. I never remember a time when I wasn't aware of the concept of an electricity bill. And it normally came in the same breath as, "Switch the lights off when you leave the room!"

I didn't feel burdened by it, and I don't think I knew what it meant in real terms. But I was aware that lights cost money and we didn't waste money. Children don't have to worry about money, but awareness of the basic financial position and what the child can do to help doesn't hurt. As long as you keep it unemotional, and don't convey worry, they won't worry either.
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amother




Sapphire
 

Post  Thu, May 21 2020, 6:59 pm
Have you always in the past bought whatever he/they want? Have you never said no? My 5 year old recently asked for peppa pig camper van. I told her we have to see how much it is and then decide. We looked and saw it was $50 and I told her it was too much (especially since it wasn’t her birthday or Chanukah etc) If she notices cherries in the store and asks for them but I see they are $5.99/lb, I tell her no, let’s wait for them to go on sale. That’s so normal to me and something we’ve always done. I don’t think it makes her worry about money (I’m not worried about money BH) but rather makes her aware of it. Then again, being cost conscious is always something I’ve been and I’m wondering if that’s not the case for you.
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amother




Seashell
 

Post  Thu, May 21 2020, 7:15 pm
Do you get takeout in general? And do you just buy things for your kids that they want in general. If yes, I think if it starts to feel like too many no’s you can explain that because of carona your trying not too spend too much money. If you don’t get those things in general Then you can push it off and say maybe we can have takeout for a special occasion. Then possibly allow that kid to choose what you make for dinner.
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amother




OP
 

Post  Thu, May 21 2020, 7:19 pm
I’ll throw out a comment here and there, like it’s not worth the money, about some items, but they do pretty much get a lot of what they want. They don’t have spoiled personalities so we never considered it an issue to do this..
We get takeout often enough... at least once a week.. if he starts asking too often I can easily say it’s not healthy, but it is pretty standard to do it a few times a month.
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lamplighter




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, May 21 2020, 7:41 pm
I think a lot depends on the personality of the child. One of my kids is a worrier, Id never discuss money with her, another child is the opposite extreme and would take it as a matter of a fact.
Just say something neutral like, we'll see, maybe next week, ill put that in the cart and decide later etc. Do this as often and for as long as you can get away with it.
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amother




Burgundy
 

Post  Thu, May 21 2020, 7:57 pm
Would you be willing to say we want to be careful not to spend extra during covid as a precaution?
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amother




OP
 

Post  Thu, May 21 2020, 8:12 pm
amother [ Burgundy ] wrote:
Would you be willing to say we want to be careful not to spend extra during covid as a precaution?

Something like that might be a good idea... someone above mentioned similar. Thanks Smile
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Leahh




 
 
 
 

Post  Thu, May 21 2020, 8:27 pm
I regularly tell my kids something is more than I'd like to spend or I don't feel like wasting money on that.
Comments like that are not about if we can afford things or not but more about the value of the money. Sometimes I really can't afford it but they don't know that.
Age of child is definitely a factor in how I would respond tho.
I have a child that always wants expensive shoes. After a few times of saying its more than I want to spend, I had a frank conversation with said child that money has a value and if I spend it on the shoes I may not have it for something else and discussed other LUXURIES (specifically not necessities) that I am able to buy. That put things into perspective and the nagging stopped.
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