Hoping to get this in under the wire....explaining money to kids.
Is there a good way to explain to kids (teenagers) that money doesn't grow on trees?
Husband and I are again down to one income. I was the primary bread winner for the last few years and no one wanted to acknowledge this so lots went on credit cards. But bio mom and dad seem to want to keep the kids in the world of "we have plenty".
Well, we do have plenty for the basics. But we don't have enough for me to say...go shopping (which I abhor anyway) or for us to buy the gifts they want. SD14 wants a laptop. SD13 wants ugg boots. And they want us to get their mom a 300 dollar necklace for her bday and a 600 dollar system for Xmas.
We can't afford it. We just can't. I have to buy all the Xmas gifts for everyone in his (huge) family plus mine this year.
I don't shop. My jeans have been mine for 12 years. Hubby needs some new, he's down to one holey pair. We cannot afford to spend several hundred on gifts this year. Our cost of living went up and our income went down. How do you start teaching kids about money without making them feel badly? I grew up without much so it's kind of in my DNA. I mean, we moved into a home without HEAT. And we had crackers and ketchup for dinner sometimes.
I don't want the girls to know that EVER if I can help it. But they do need to know that we can't spend 500 bucks on gifts for each person.
I tried to explain this week when they were here that our RENTAL home costs 3 times what our big house back in MI cost. Plus I'm not working. I tried to be cool when I showed them I was coloring my own hair instead of going to a stylist. (hate! but know I need to!)
I tried to show them when I had to ask dad for money to go grocery shopping that we are on a tight budget.
But they still want a computer and UGGs for Xmas.
Help. Dad WILL try to give them whatever they want. PLUS whatever they want for mom. The gift they want to get their mom (I buy the gift from them to Mom and from them to Dad) is way beyond my budget. WAY. Like hundreds beyond.
How do you have that conversation? I'm trying to be "light" about it so they don't think we're in dire straits...but frankly...we just CAN'T spend what they want this year. I am afraid people are going to blame it on me. THe funny thing is that no one in the family knows that I am the only one who had an income the last few years. I've been scrimping and saving to give them all that Dad wanted to. But now that I am not working....I can't.