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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?
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    Dear Dish-It in the forums

    astucieuse331
    astucieuse331 posted in Friends:
    I've always felt the same way. My one best friend gossiped behind my back, used me, all that girl stuff. She took me for advantage and we had a bunch of fights because of her finding a new friend and completely acting as if I didn't exist, and I told her to give me at least some attention every once in a while if she can't even continue to talk to me daily. And.. I lost her. Well, she lost me. We both lost each other. But then I realized.. it's the people that you least expect to be nice to you you'll find kindness in. Why? Based on personal experience, and I'll tell you the story: For my gym class, me and my peers were supposed to make a group for a dance. This was when my best friend had found a new friend already, and the time at which we had a few fights because of that. Of course, I relied on my best friend to count me in her dance group. At lunchtime, I sat together with my best friend, and we ate our lunches in silence. All of a sudden, I brought up the dance groups and asked her straightforwardly: "Can I join your group?" No reply. "Kelly, can I join your group?" No reply. "I mean, since our class is uneven, I found it fair that there'd be a group of five, you know?" None at all. Kelly ignored me straight off the bat, leaving me speechless. My mind raced with thoughts, and I thought, maybe it's not worth having Kelly as a friend. A few days later, we were playing Dodgeball for gym. I was on Kelly's team, and overheard her talking with her new friends about who to pick for the dance group. One of her friends mentioned me, and Kelly said: "Oh no, we shouldn't pick her because _____ (I don't know what she said then)." I was shocked, but was anticipating it, so when the time came to choose groups, I saw my friend, Luke, ask two girls, Cher and Bridgette, to join their group. Surprisingly, Cher and Bridgette actually accepted him, and so I thought, "Wow, if they accepted Luke, they might accept me aswell!" and so built up the courage to ask them if I could join. Even though Cher and Bridgette were mean to me sometimes, I knew that I had to risk it and see what'd happen. Afterall, rejection is just another opportunity to find a better group. Little did I know, it'd be the best choice of my life. They were so happy, and even thanked me for joining them! I was speechless once more; I never knew that the peers that I thought I would never be friends with would actually be my friends!  So yeah, that's what I learnt, and I never regretted learning that fact. Ever since then, though, I've learnt not to trust people as much as I used to anymore. I learnt that independency is what works for me, what I was meant for in terms of socializing or working. But, other things may work for you. If you still want a friend, you can be independent and wait for the right person. However, if you still want a real friend, you can wait, but still mingle (hang out) with other people! I I'm not going to make fun of you because I know how you've felt, just as I stated in my past problem before. But you can move on from those friends, they're not worth your time and certainly don't deserve you as a friend. Trust me, if it's meant to be, you'll definitely find a true friend. But if it's not, you may become like me, finding happiness in my own way. I want to remind you though-- you don't need someone to stay happy, or keep you company. This may sound silly, but you can even have your own invisible friends! I've had one, but that's very rarely for me. It's not silly though if you see the general idea; usually these friends are made from different dimensions of your personality or just because of will. There's a lot more fish in the sea, though, so I'm sure you'll find a true friend that's meant for you  :) Take care, and I hope you'll find a true friend soon!
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    ts01
    ts01 posted in Friends:
    im so sorry you girls feel that way.true friends are there, its just easier to find users because they are more plentiful. dont give up, you will find real friends eventually
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    lolflowergirl
    lolflowergirl posted in Friends:
    i feel alone too
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    kayme123
    kayme123 posted in Friends:
    i know the feeling. but i got taken off a website instead of my friends. i can assure you they probably feel the same and are missing you, BUT its not worth dwelling over it. friends come and go without any choice in life and trust me, i lost the love of my life and my two of the best friends in the world. The thing is, you have to move on, because they wouldent want you feeling sad over them right? they'd want you to be the happy person you were when you were with them! for starters, i'll be your friend so your not scared to make some new ones. To be honest, i went through the exact same thing as you did and it DOES hurt very bad. But once you find some people that are willing to make you feel better, you know you've chosen the right friends again
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    Irene_love
    Irene_love posted in Style:
    "1.am.3m0" wrote:Hey. Im also turning 15 soon. So dont worry you arent alone hahah. Start dressing for your shape and also find whats comfortable.  Because if you wear something that is uncomfortable you wont be happy and happiness is the best look :) Most of the time I wear jeans with a graphic tshirt or singlet and a cardigan or light jacket. Hoodies are great for winter. And I wear combat boots like doc martins and converse. Hope I helped somehow! :)
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