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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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    What Do You Save Your Allowance For?

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

    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    drowning
    "SatanslilDemon" wrote: Ok so I have a dilemma. I really, and I mean really like this guy. He's considerate of my mental wellbeing and health, plus he's really funny and sweet. He's respectful, loyal, and his hugs are the best ever(he's like a foot and 4 inches taller than me). the dilemma is, he'stwentyandI'mfifteenturningsixteensoon.... I'm not gonna even ask about dating him until i'm sixteen but I've called him in total anxiety attack crying my eyes out and he calmed me down and made me laugh, and I invited him to come see a choir performance so he spent the day with me... My mom ships us... but I'm a little worried because of the age difference  and experience difference and just, I don't want to miss the chance of being with him because of it. ​  any advice??? It's really nice that your mother supports it, that always helps!! I'm glad that your family enjoys his company as well. Being 16 while he's 20 is alright. It's a slight odd age gap. But, I think as long as you both are ready, it's alright. Make sure you're mature and safe with your choices though. Personally, I think you should wait until you're closer to at least, 17. But, as long as you two are smart about what you're doing, it should be alright when it come around to it.
    reply 1 day
    fitta
    "Shygirl15" wrote:I really like this boy in my second period class but i dont know how to tell him because he knows that im transgender do whatever makes you feel comfortable or just wing it and tell him and if he tells you something because you're trans forget about him! He doesn't deserve you. But it's totally okay if you want to play it safe and not go up to him. You do you. :3 
    reply 1 day
    fitta
    "SatanslilDemon" wrote: Ok so I have a dilemma. I really, and I mean really like this guy. He's considerate of my mental wellbeing and health, plus he's really funny and sweet. He's respectful, loyal, and his hugs are the best ever(he's like a foot and 4 inches taller than me). the dilemma is, he'stwentyandI'mfifteenturningsixteensoon.... I'm not gonna even ask about dating him until i'm sixteen but I've called him in total anxiety attack crying my eyes out and he calmed me down and made me laugh, and I invited him to come see a choir performance so he spent the day with me... My mom ships us... but I'm a little worried because of the age difference  and experience difference and just, I don't want to miss the chance of being with him because of it. ​  any advice??? i suggest you wait i mean you are going to be 16 that's way too young to be dating someone who is 4/5 years older than you,no? You can still talk to him when it comes to your anxiety attacks and all of that because I have those too every night so I know how it feels, but maybe you should wait. But at the end of the day it's your decision I'm just here to give advice 
    reply 1 day
    SatanslilDemon
    Ok so I have a dilemma. I really, and I mean really like this guy. He's considerate of my mental wellbeing and health, plus he's really funny and sweet. He's respectful, loyal, and his hugs are the best ever(he's like a foot and 4 inches taller than me). the dilemma is, he'stwentyandI'mfifteenturningsixteensoon.... I'm not gonna even ask about dating him until i'm sixteen but I've called him in total anxiety attack crying my eyes out and he calmed me down and made me laugh, and I invited him to come see a choir performance so he spent the day with me... My mom ships us... but I'm a little worried because of the age difference  and experience difference and just, I don't want to miss the chance of being with him because of it. ​  any advice???
    reply 1 day
    SmartSunnyShadow
    I feel like that too. My best friend will always hang out with her 'new friends' that I have a really bad opinion about. My friend will treat me rudely all the time and sometimes make fun of me with her friends. But, when I needed her the most in my life, she was there for me, and I told her how I felt. She says that she just wants to hang out with more people and apologized, people can be a little teasy at times.  Also, after seeing each other for a long time, people make new friends and start hanging out with them more, it doesn't mean that she doesn't like you.  This may be different for you, but just tell her about it, she will have to know you feelings at one point.  Hope I helped you. 
    reply 2 days