Did you know almost everyone stresses about money?
Even though it may look like some kids and their families have few money problems, most everyone has stress over money. It is also true that some families struggle more than others, which often doesn’t seem fair.
Money is needed for survival, but it is also needed for all the cool stuff that most kids and teens want. And that means that sometimes it can be stressful for parents and care providers to worry about paying the bills.
Adults sometimes work extra shifts or more than one or two jobs to make ends meet, which can trickle down in a family to stress the kids and teens out as well.
Managing Money Stress
- Try to keep your expectations in line with what your family can afford. It might not be realistic to ask for expensive electronics, brand name clothes or tickets to a concert. Having realistic expectations may leave you less disappointed and help you set goals for the money you save from an allowance or a part time job.
- Do you have a way to save some money? Saving isn’t easy, but it can be easier if you have a system to do this. Having a part time job may mean you can fund some of your own activities and wants. Make yourself a promise to save a set amount until you have enough for a particular item or activity.
- Don’t buy stuff you don’t need. Try to control impulse spending by planning ahead what you need to buy and limit yourself to that. Ask a friend to practice planned spending rather than impulse spending with you – you can help each other to hold back from a spontaneous splurge!
- You can also open a bank account you use just for savings. There are some bank accounts that are free of fees..(You can also contact Community Financial Counselling Services toll free at 1-888-573-2383 or visit them online for help with setting up a student budget and more).
- Try to eat at home instead of spending money on fast food or junk from vending machines. It’s a lot cheaper (and healthier!) to make a sandwich at home than to pay for a combo meal at a restaurant. You can also take snacks like granola bars and fruit from home to work or school and use a refillable bottle to save money.
- Some families have a pot that everyone puts a few dollars in on payday. This might go towards something the family is saving for such as a vacation or new TV, or it might help with necessities such as groceries when times are tough. If you think this would fit for your family, talk to yours!
- Find out about free or low-cost services in your community like food banks or places where you can buy discounted goods (like day-old bread or second hand clothes, books and toys). Lots of second hand stores have new or gently used items donated by retailers who are clearing out sale items or families who receive items they can’t use.
- Find part-time work at a place that offers employees good discounts. Some restaurants allow staff to eat at big discounts and some retailers offer good discounts on items to staff.
- If you want to play sports and your family can’t afford the fees, apply for grants to play.
- Save your change in an old piggy bank or make a bank by cutting a hole in a jar top. You might be surprised at how fast loonies, quarters, dimes and nickels add up to bigger amounts. Then you can reward yourself for saving by something you’ve been planning for and watching the sales on!