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Kids & Finance: The Economy In 2009

You may have heard it on the news, read it in a paper, talked about it during your class’ current events session or overheard your parents worrying about it: it’s the economy, and right now, all over the world, it’s not doing too great.


A bad economy like the one we’re experiencing worldwide right now can have some big effects on adults, kids and families. If the current economy is affecting you or your family, there one important thing to keep in mind: you’re not alone.


Many Families Making Changes

Lots of families are having money troubles these days. For some, it may be felt in small ways, like going to the movies less often or using more coupons at the grocery store. But for other kids, money problems are causing bigger changes, such as a parent taking on a second job or the family having to move to a different, less expensive house.


This can be hard because kids usually like everyday things in their life (school, home, friends, weekend activities) to stay the same. Grown-ups are often that way, too. Kids also like treats. Who doesn't? But money problems can mean fewer treats and other changes. For instance, if your mom gets a second job that can mean she's not at home as much as she usually is.


If money problems are affecting your family, it might help to understand that lots of people are having the same trouble. Sometimes, money gets tight because something happens to just one family, like someone getting sick or someone losing a job. But the kind of money trouble going on right now is happening to many families. In fact, if you watch the news or read a newspaper, you'll see stories about it every day.


Gas Prices, Loan Troubles

Two big things have happened in the past two years: The price of gas went up a lot and a big problem occurred with loans that grown-ups get to buy houses (these are called mortgages). Higher gas prices make it more expensive to drive places and might be why your family isn't going on many long trips. Some grown-ups who used to drive a car to work are now taking a bus, train, or riding a bike (which is nothing to be sad about – it’s better for the environment!). Gas prices also make everything else more expensive. That's because a lot of things (food, toys, drinks, clothes, etc.) get taken to stores by trucks or trains that use gas, too.


The problem with home loans is more complicated. The end result is that the monthly payments that people make on home loans have become more expensive than some people can afford. And because of that, some banks are going out of business or being sold to other banks.


Banks loan people money to buy houses. If adults can't afford to pay these monthly payments, the bank has to sell that home and the family will need to find another place to live. Anytime a kid has to move it can be tough, but it would be especially hard if a family was forced to move.


Money Problems Affect Everyone

Money problems are adult problems, but they can affect kids. A kid would naturally be concerned if his or her family has money problems, but kids don't need to solve those problems.

That doesn't mean you can't help out, though. Sometimes it helps to try to be very grown up and not complain or get too upset when you can't have something you really want. If you need to get some complaining out, you might write it down or talk to someone who will understand, like a big sister, grandparent, or school counselor. You might also create a wish list of items you'd like to get when things are better, or at birthday or holiday time. When you want something, write it down. Next to it, write how much you want it on a scale of 1 to 10.


Mom & Dad Stressed Out

When grown-ups worry about money, it can come out in different ways. Some people seem tired, upset, quieter than usual, or are more likely to yell. Sometimes, parents argue with one another about money troubles. It's great if you can try to talk with your mom or dad about what's bothering you. If you can't talk to them, try to talk with someone. Usually, talking things out makes us feel better.


It also helps to remember that times will get better. House prices and gas prices go both up and down, so what's bad now is probably going to get better down the road. In time, the grown-ups that care for you will find solutions to their money troubles. Being a creative kid can make things a little better right now. Try these ideas if you need a boost today.


Find Free Fun!

What if you're bored and broke? Here's a list of ideas to get you started on your free and low-cost fun!
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter.
  • Go to a park in your area that you've never been to.
  • Be a guest chef and cook a low-cost, but yummy, dinner for your family (spaghetti or rice dishes are usually cheap).
  • Have game night for your friends or family. For a change of pace, play old-fashioned board games instead of video and computer games.
  • Make it movie night at home with a DVD and homemade snacks.
  • Visit free museums or visit them on days when it's free to get in.
  • Make a collage or create a scrapbook of favorite photos. This makes a great gift!

  • Related Stories:

  • Volunteer: Ryan’s Well
  • Product Placement
  • How To Save Money
  • How Can I Make Money?
  • 0 Comments

    Related Stories

    F1067448135562

    What Do You Save Your Allowance For?

    • A big day out with your pals.
    • Video games and computer stuff.
    • Clothes, clothes and more clothes.
    • CDs or posters of my fave musicians.

    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    Wonderfulcalico
    My parents have always been aggressive and abusive and I only just noticed it a couple months ago. Over time they've gotten worse (specifically my mother). Whenever she gets mad she'll yell at us and if she gets mad enough she'll hit and push us around. Whoever we get into arguments it's always one- sided and she always wins, even if she knows she is wrong. An argument we had not to long ago was about me not taking care of myself. She looked at my hair and started to touch it and told me "Your hair isn't soft why is it so dry, it's probably because you aren't taking care of your hair." Then she goes on to tell me that she's going to cut it and all of this other stuff when she knows I'm conscious about me looking like a boy ( Used to get called a boy for having short hair). As the argument goes on, I start to tell her things that she knows she is wrong about. She proceeds to yell at me then grabs me by the face and say "If you don't lower your tone and listen to what I'm saying I'm going to knock you in the head." Then she goes on to tell me she remembers nothing I was saying and that it's a lie. She also hit me when I didn't clean the laundry room correctly and whenever she gets fed up. I'm constantly having to watch what I say and do, because I'm scared that I'm going to end up hurt. She also likes to degrade me and tell how bad I'm doing. She's said plenty of thing like when I didn't have my bed covers tucked in she yelled at me and hit me and I said "Do you expect me to just stand here and take this", and she replied saying "That's what you are supposed to do you are the child and I am the adult, you take whatever I do until I'm done." Another time is when I had my band concert and I had to pick out the right attire. When we went shopping to get the clothing I chose slacks when she liked a skirt better, we went on to fight in the store and she bought the slacks. When we got home she said to me that real girls wear skirts and dresses and boys wear slacks and pants. This hurt me because she knows I have a past with people telling me I look like a boy etc. Another time I started to sleep on the floor, because I was practicing a minimalist life. When I left my pillows on the floor she found it and questioned me on why they were there. I told her it fell of my bed when really I left it there. Later when I told my dad, he told her and she got mad because I was getting cat hair on my pillows. She then proceeded to ask why I lied and I told her sometimes lying is better then the truth (I knew she would get mad that I was sleeping on the floor so I lied) then she told me that I was never going to have a relationship, a job, or friends ( This hurt me because I don't have friends now). She's also said that I don't take care of my body because I ate two sweets in one day which lead her to banning me from Doritos and now I have to ask to get chips and any other snack. She's told me I don't take care of my teeth because I have yellow spots from using whitening toothpaste with braces on. She's told me I don't take care of my hair so I can't wash it or do any hair style or then a bun. She had lead me to starving myself (Unless she makes me eat) and cutting myself. I've just stopped caring, because what ever I do is always wrong. I never get a choice in my activities, she controls my life in fact she me just in a different body. But what is even worse is that she's turning my dad into her. Now I have a scheduled time to eat breakfast and lunch, and to go onto my electronics. I feel like I'm in a prison with my parents constantly watching over me, in fact yesterday when I was pouring my milk my mom got out a measuring cup and poured my milk into the measuring cup and said "Why isn't this a full cup" and I replied saying "Because I don't measure my milk." Then she got angry at me. There's so much I could say about her, but I'll stop. Anyways my father is always sarcastic and he doesn't realize how much it hurts me. Today I was cleaning out my bag for next school year and my dad came in and said, "Wow, you aren't even dress yet and I had to come up here to tell you how sad." Just little things like that hurt me. My little sister got mad at me last week for sitting in a certain area and she said " Why are you sitting there," and I didn't reply because I didn't want to speak to her and she then said, "Probably because you are too stupid to answer." I wanted to break down crying then and there, but I kept it in. I've limited my talking to her, because all she does is break me down. Like when there was a Proactive commercial and she said, "Ha, you need that." That hurt me because just the other my mom was telling me how I don't take care of my face and that's why I have acne. My older sister and I barely talk, because whenever I try to talk to her she's mad for what ever reason and when my parents were talking about hitting my sister she was in the corner laughing. My cat Preston is very young and I got hi,abo a year ago. I get very sad and often cry, because I've seen him turn out scared and aggressive just like me because he's been through what I have. One time he pooped in a clothes basket (It's right next to his litter box) my mom grabbed him by the neck and hit him while she smothered his face in his poop, all while yelling at him. I was going to call the Animal Protective Services, but I got too scared and I realized how lonely I would be. Please help me I'm not sure what to do anymore. Also sorry for the very long post!
    reply 2 days
    Error101
    Error101 posted in Family Issues:
    Dear Kkmr324, I hope you get to feeling better as time goes on.  It does get better but like you said you can't actually get over it.  Losing someone to cancer is awful and I have never lost a friend and I hope I never will and I am so sorry that you did, but I have lost family to cancer and it is horrible.  I hope your okay. :(
    reply 4 days
    Kkrmr324
    Kkrmr324 posted in Family Issues:
    A few months ago,my friend Kendall died of cancer. It was really hard to "get over it"; because really you dont just get over it. One thing i did was find a bunch of pictures of me and Kendall and remembered all the fun we had together. And it helped! I still miss her, but good friends and family helped with that.
    reply 6 days
    Kkrmr324
    Kkrmr324 posted in Family Issues:
    A few months ago,my friend Kendall died of cancer. It was really hard to "get over it"; because really you dont just get over it. One thing i did was find a bunch of pictures of me and Kendall and remembered all the fun we had together. And it helped! I still miss her, but good friends and family helped with that.
    reply 6 days
    Tennis123
    why are you allowing that to control your happiness? why can't you have true happiness instead of chasing some dream for momentary satisfaction? You're 12. This is when your core beliefs, values, and outlooks on life start. Don't mess it up choosing to be sad over something like that.
    reply 7 days