Parent guilt is a real thing. Many parents feel guilty for working (or not helping financially). They may feel bad because they don't spend enough time with their children or they allow them to spend too much time in front of the television (or playing video games).
That isn't all. Many parents make some serious financial mistakes, and these can really affect your children and their future.
Here are some financial mistakes that many parents make (that you should avoid).
Forgetting to teach their children about money.
Children should learn everything that they know from their parents. This includes how to deal with money. They are watching your every move. If you grab a credit card every time that you need something that you can't afford, they will do the same. If they see you work overtime because you have extra bills to pay, they will see that (and remember that if they are in the same position).
Not talking about money around your children.
You can't teach your children about money if you aren't willing to talk to them about it. As soon as they start getting money for birthdays and holidays, you are going to want to teach them the value of the dollar. Help them make wise decisions with their own money. Should they spend it? You may want to talk to them about saving as much money as they can, to help them in the future.
Spoiling your children.
Too many parents try to give their children everything that they want, from brand new clothes and toys to the latest video games. They also buy their children the latest cell phones.
This can hurt you (and them) in several ways. First of all, it can be financially draining on you. Then, it also teaches them that they should be able to get everything that they want, no matter what it costs. They are going to become spoiled and ungrateful.
You may want to teach your children how to earn the things that they want. They can do chores, sell some of their current clothes and toys, and even get a job to help them get the things that they want. This makes the victory even sweeter when they have to work for it.
Not having an emergency savings fund.
Though this is a mistake that many people make, it is especially important for parents. You can't rely on your credit cards or a loan when something goes wrong.
You are going to need to have some money saved if your car breaks down. What if you lose your job? How would your family survive without your paycheck for a few weeks (or even months)? What if your children need braces? You need to have some money to hold you off in bad times.
Supporting your children too long.
Too many parents help their children out (and they should). However, there is a time when you need to cut them off. You don't want your children to live with you for the rest of their lives. If they do live with you after they get a job, you should make them help you with your mortgage and groceries.
You also don't need to pay for some of their expenses after they move out, especially if it puts a strain on your finances. You shouldn't be paying for their cell phones or car insurance after they are living independently.
The worst thing that you can do as a parent is not teaching your children about money. You are going to have to be comfortable talking about money with your children so they can see how you manage your money. They are going to do what you do. If you always reach for your credit cards, they will struggle with credit card debt too. If they watch you budget your money and save for the things that you need, they will do the same.
You also need to have an emergency savings fund. This is important, so you don't go into debt anytime that extra expenses come up. What if you lose your job? Could you support your family without a job for a few weeks (or months)?