My son has a few loans and is finding it difficult to make ends meets. What should I do to try help him without spoiling him further?
If your children are struggling, it’s natural to want to help them. But rather than throw money at the problem, what other things can you do to help them get out of debt?
Many under 25s are unemployed. With jobs so hard to come by, it’s easy to understand why many of the younger generation struggle to keep on top of their finances. After years of bringing up your children it’s scary when they go out into the world on their own. No matter what their age, they’re still your kids and it’s natural that you want to look out for them. So how can you help your child if they’ve got into debt?
Don’t throw money at the problem
This might sound like a strange piece of advice. Surely giving money to your children is a great way to help with their money problems, right? Well, it’s not usually that straightforward.
Often paying off debts on behalf of children doesn’t address the real issue. If the debts came about because of poor money management then a cash gift could lead to a vicious cycle of continuing bailouts. So, if giving your kids money doesn’t always help, what else can you do?
Help them plan a budget
Sitting down with your child and helping them plan out an income and expenditure budget could be the most valuable piece of financial help you can ever give them. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just one list of all the money coming in and another of all the money going out, and then review.
Encourage them to cut back
OK, so you might think that your kids didn’t listen to you much when they were little, so why would they start now? However, it’s fair to say that your children are likely to respect your advice and even if they might not show it, they’re likely to take your suggestions on board.
After you’ve planned a budget, you can work through the outgoings and see what’s essential and what can be cut back on. While opinions might differ on what’s an essential cost, encourage them to reduce everything that they can without being too drastic.
Suggest they get professional debt help
The tips above might be enough to help your children to straighten out their finances and manage their debts. For many it might not be enough though, and that’s when it’s worth getting some impartial help/advice.
It’s also worth mentioning that we regularly speak to parents who call on behalf of their children. This could be another way that you could help your children, if the prospect of taking the first step is just too scary for them.
If you’ve got any more suggestions for how parents can help their children with their debts then please get in touch with us and we’ll point you in the right direction.