When Life Gives You Lemons: How Debt Can Teach Children Money Habits

There is a silver lining to almost everything – even financial problems. As our children learn from our behavior and may copy our habits, many parents in debt worry that their children will end up in the exact same situation; fighting off creditors and spending half their paycheck each month of repayments. Luckily, you can find a way to let them learn from your mistakes, and grow up to be financially savvy adults.

baby and mommy

Here is some of the best advice from money experts out there on how to use your financial struggles to better your children’s future, and teach them the lessons you wish you knew.

Take responsibility

Money is a sensitive topic, people. Healthy finances and a savings account that keeps expanding is a part of how we visioned our future; when reality looks a bit different, it’s easy to shift the blame over to someone else. The government, for example, your ex, or that lousy friend who borrowed money from you a while back only to vanish into thin air.

The truth is that your financial struggles are your own – no matter who might have contributed to them. Save the complaints for your grown-up friends instead, let them humor you while you unburden yourself, and take responsibility for your situation when you talk about it with your children.

They’ll copy your behavior, there’s no doubt about it, and you risk seeing them grow up to be irresponsible young adults. It’s a good idea to show them that you’re trying to find a way out of it and better your situation; have a look at debtsettlement.co and include your children when mapping out the future.

Teach them good habits

Although it seems obvious, it’s a surprising amount of parents in debt who’d love to teach their children the right kind of habits – but they still find it impossible to tell them no once in awhile. When you need to save money and find a way out of debt, it’s important that you’re open with them about it, and explain that you need to save money now, as a family, and they can help you out with it.

It’s the perfect time to teach them how the household bills work, for example, and by giving them a solution to your problems, you’re also adding some sense to the money conversations. To be open about money trouble doesn’t give you the green light to complain and it will often lead your children to feel sad and unable to help.

Give them a chance to learn from your mistakes by enabling them in helping you out; thespruce.com has a lot of good ideas on how they can help, so have a look and get started right away.

The good news in all of this is that children of debt often grow up to be a bit more financially savvy than their well-off cousins. Where they were told yes every time, a child of parents with money problems are used to saving, and may grow up to be a lot better off than their cousins.  

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Prime Aque is the back-end guy of Self-Help. He is a blogger and WordPress front-end designer. Importantly, he is a husband and a father of three wonderful kids. His firstborn are twin girls. He loves writing and sharing.