If you think you are next in line for a pink slip, gather the family and get started on a plan that will help you weather the transition to a new position. Jump start the conversation with the kids with these top 10 money savvy tips:
1. Shop with a list. Whether you are going to the mall or to the grocery store, it’s time to go back to shopping with a list. Buy only what is on the list. Have your kids make a list of what they want and what they need. “Needs” are always at the top of the list and “wants” don’t get purchased until “needs” are met.
2. Trim the junk from the grocery list. Agree on which junk food you are going to stop purchasing during the downturn. Cutting back on the amount of potato chips, soft drinks, snack foods, dessert items and other prepared foods can trim a significant amount from the weekly grocery bill.
3. Carry only cash. The best way to avoid spending more than you have is to use cash. Kids don’t understand credit until they learn that when money is gone, it is gone. So, only allow your kids to use cash. Set an example by using cash yourself. It is impossible to spend more than you have when you use cash, provided that the cash didn’t come from a cash advance against your credit card!
4. Clean your closet. Kids need to be reminded of what they already have. They forget — and cleaning a closet reveals long ago treasures that can be used again rather than buying new.
These are just a few ideas to help your family get started to work together through a tough time. I’ll share the rest of the ideas in my next entry.