Children


The Simple Dollar had a great post this week by Trent Hamm entitled “The Sandwich Generation and You.” “The Sandwich Generation” consists of those people who are supporting both their children (either minors or adults) and their parents. Stuck between both financial and emotional support of both children and parents, this group of people can be in a very bad position for planning their own future.

Hamm’s post is great because it goes into some ideas on how you can lessen the impact this situation may have on your life. The biggest issue is to talk things through. You don’t want to be in a position where you are blindsided and find out that your parents or an adult child needs financial help from you.

If your family is not one that is comfortable talking about money, then sorting through the situation can become even more important. Maybe your parents aren’t comfortable admitting they need help. Or maybe they don’t know they need help. It may be up to you to start the conversation.

You not only want to understand your parents’ or child’s situation, but also make sure they understand your own. Let them know how much financial support you are able (and willing) to give them. We think this is especially important for your children to know.

Your Own Future

It can be very difficult for those in “the Sandwich Generation” to concentrate on their own future. However, it’s very important that you do. You may need to trim your budget to compensate for the additional costs, however, please don’t skimp on your own retirement savings. Being well prepared for your own retirement will not only be beneficial to your own future, but your children’s as well. The more prepared you are, the less likely your children will become part of “the Sandwich Generation” in the future.

 

  • Disclaimer: The information on this blog is not meant for specific financial advice. The ideas/opinions stated are not suited for everyone, and readers should use their own judgment in applying them in their financial lives.
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This week, over at The Simple Dollar, Trent Hamm wrote about how he handles his three kids’ allowances in the post “Segment Their Allowance.” It’s part of his “365 Ways to Live Cheap (Revisited)” series.

Trent doesn’t make his kids’ allowances dependant on anything (like chores or behavior). They receive a certain amount each week, dependant on their ages, and are paid in quarters. After they turn 4, they have to start putting away into different buckets. They have to put at least one quarter a week in each bucket and then are free to use the rest of the money as they choose.

There are 4 categories Trent uses: spending, saving, investing, and giving. The categories are pretty self explanatory. Spending can be used immediately on anything the kids want to buy. Saving is used to save for something bigger and more expensive down the road. Investing money is invested for use when they grow up. And giving is money that is donated to a charity or cause of their choice.

Regardless of how you handle the amount of money your kids should get for an allowance and why, we think this is a great idea. Many people who were never taught how to be responsible with money as a kid make financial mistakes as adults because they honestly don’t know any better. If you learn at age 5 that you can’t spend $1 on a candy bar unless you’ve already put 25¢ in your saving jar, and continue on with that lesson into your teenage years, it seems much more likely that your 25 year old self will be less likely to spend $30,000 on a new car with no money in the bank or a retirement fund.

Of course, that’s not to say someone who learned this lesson as a child will never make any financial mistakes as an adult. But they may be much more likely to make decisions responsibly.

  • Disclaimer: The information on this blog is not meant for specific financial advice. The ideas/opinions stated are not suited for everyone, and readers should use their own judgment in applying them in their financial lives.