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Should I talk about my debt – Part two – Children

Posted 01 September 2015

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How to approach the subject of debt with partners, children and family.

Whether or not you should tell your children about your debt depends on how severe the situation is and how you think your child will deal with the news.

Some children are affected more than others by money matters. If you have a child that is old enough to realise something is worrying you, and the debt is actually going to affect their lives, then it's probably best to explain something about the situation to them, rather than leave them in the dark.

On the other hand, if you just need to budget here and there, and your children are very young, it probably isn’t best to tell them anything about the debt as they may find it difficult to understand and might worry unnecessarily.

Try making it a lesson

Another idea is to try introduce the issue like it’s a lesson. Explain to them that it’s very important to manage your money responsibly and that is why you’re making changes – to set them the right example.

Ultimately, whether or not you tell your children is up to you and depends on their age, their personalities and whether or not the debt will have a serious impact on their lives. Have a good think about the best way to deal with the issue for your child before you approach the subject with them.

If you have children who are dependent on you, then you will probably be even more worried than usual if your debts are starting to get out of control. The last thing you want is for your children to be worried by something they hear or to have to give something up because money is tight. This is another good reason to familiarise yourself with the options available to you, so that you can prepare yourself and your family for any changes in lifestyle that might be round the corner.

If you’re still not sure whether you should tell your children then have a look at this article for an in depth look at what to consider when you’re considering bringing the subject up with children.

Extended Family

This can be a tricky one as you may be a private person who doesn’t want the rest of your family, or your partner’s family, knowing about your money troubles. Or, you might feel relieved that people know, at least then they won’t ask you to do things that are expensive because they know what you’re dealing with.

This really is up to you and depends on how often you see and interact with different family members. If you’re close to your parents for example, then it might be a good idea to tell them about your situation so that they can give you advice and support, if possible. However, it’s probably not necessary to tell other members of the family, unless you had planned to do something together, like a family getaway, that you now can’t do due to debt.

Remember, as long as you are trying to get in control of your debt, you’re doing the right thing. It’s always best to tell your other half about your debt, as it could impact them as well. But how much you should tell the other members of your family really depends on your personal relationship with them. Have a look round the rest of the site to learn about the solutions that are available to solve debt issues. And if you feel like you need a chat, please use the contact us options to the left of the page to receive expert advice from one of our debt advisors.

 

 

by Christine Walsh

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.