Saturday, August 29, 2009

7 ways to help your family adjust to financial stress and financial changes:

1. Plan vacations together:
You know what your budget is, so mom and dad sit down with your kids and discuss what your options are as far as vacations. For example you may be able to go father away from home but for a shorter period of time, or stay closer to home and go for a longer period. When you allow your kids to have input on these decisions it makes cutting costs and budgeting much easier for everyone. Make sure you have a Plan A, B and C.

2 Think Ahead:Once you have decided your 3 plans, put each into action. If plan A for example is to go to Disney for 4 days and 3 nights, which will include airline tickets and rental car and Plan B is to go to the mountains, for 7 days and 6 nights but you can drive, and Plan C is to go to the beach which is only 1 hour away for the weekend and then you can go couple more times. Start putting money away in advance. You have planned your budget and you now have 3 options in place. And everyone is happier.

3. Be your own travel/tour guide:
You have your budget, and your 3 plans. Get on the internet, there are many travel sites that allow you to customize your vacation and many of them especially right now have great deals, make sure you take advantage of them. Like no charge for kids to stay in the hotel rooms, continental breakfast, flight, room and car rental are included together in one price. And some give you rooms and things free if you can travel at certain times.

4. Don't go cold turkey:
If things change, don't just say we can not go at all. You have put into place 3 plans already but if you can not implement any of them, let your family know and have another plan in its place before discussing it with them. With your family involved from the beginning they may be disappointed but they will understand.

5. Avoid Surprises:
By planning together, thinking ahead, budgeting you will avoided surprises for the most part.

6. Set a Budget:
This is the most important step. Make sure you set a budget you can live with, and one that allows you to put money away for the vacation you and your family have planned. Most Importantly STICK TO IT.

7. Calm your kids fears:
The economy is in turmoil right now and will continue to be for sometime, make sure your kids are aware what is going on (up to age appropriate information)letting them know that we are family and no matter what we stick together and we are just fine.

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