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We can't afford it

economy; mortgage; bills; employment; savings; investments; payments; moving;


When things get tough

Every family has its ups and downs.

  • Maybe there is someone in the family who is sick or in pain.
  • Maybe dad, mum or a caregiver is out of work or not able to work.
  • Maybe there isn't enough money to pay the bills.

You may have heard on the news that right now there are a lot of families who are having money problems because of the Economy.

If you are worrying about these things then have a talk to mum and dad or whoever cares for you.

What is happening?

Around the world:

  • Many banks have lost lots of money.
  • Many people have lost money they had saved.
  • Many businesses have closed or are struggling.
    selling the business
  • Many people have lost their jobs.
  • Many families are struggling to pay bills.
  • Many families have lost their homes due to wars or natural disasters such as floods, fires or earthquakes.

Your family may be okay but some families may not.

What it can mean for families

The adults where you live may have lost a job or be looking for an extra job. It can be hard for people to find work.

Mum and dad may be worried about paying the bills.  The family may have to make changes which you may not like.

Changes like: 

  • Having to give up outings or holidays.
  • Selling or not using the car very often.
  • Travelling on public transport.
  • Changing schools.
  • Older brothers and sisters moving back home.
  • Being careful about money.
  • Selling stuff to be able to pay bills.
  • Having to move house.
    moving house
  • Moving in with grandparents.

Changes which we don't plan for are always a bit scary. The adults you live with may be worried and upset and that is unsettling for all the family.

living with another family

What can you do? 

So, what can you do to help if your family is having problems right now?

Ask questions - talk about the problems so that you understand what is happening and ask what you can do to help the family get through this time.

Understand - that lots of families are having problems not just yours and it's not your fault.

Be helpful - maybe you could help younger siblings understand why they can't have everything they want.

Help save money.

You might check through the 'junk mail' looking for the best bargains on the food items that your family needs.

  1. don't always ask for takeaway mealsDon't ask for takeaways. Find recipes that will feed the family cheaply and volunteer to help with the cooking.
  2. Drink water or cordial rather than fizzy drinks; they're better for you too.
  3. Take a water bottle with you so that you don't have to ask mum to buy you a drink when you are out together.
  4. Make your lunch instead of buying it.
  5. Hang your clothes up so they don't need washing so often.
  6. Switch off lights and look for other ways to save power and water in your home. (Missing out on washing yourself is not an option!!)
  7. Walk or use your bike instead of getting mum to drive you around, or organize to get to school or after school activities with friends.  
    walk or ride your bicycle
  8. Don't ask for things; then you won't be upsetting your parents or carers when they have to say "NO".Especially don't ask for a mobile phone as they can be very expensive to buy and to pay for calls.
  9. Take good care of your stuff so that you don't lose or break something that will have to be replaced. Is your name on everything you take to school?
  10. Help keep things tidy around the house and garden so that things don't get lost or broken.
  11. You may even be able to earn some money in a part-time job to help out the family and to get some pocket money if your family can't afford to give you any.
  12. Turn off the TV and computer and play board games or read - you can get books and games from your local library.

Switch off lights
Attend to helping mum
Don't ask for treats

Take-aways are out
Iron clothes and look after them
Money lost
Encourage each other
By Summer

Dr Kim says

Dr Kim

Helping each other, showing care and understanding brings families closer in troubling times. If your friend's family is 'doing it tough' right now maybe you could show your friendship by being understanding and caring to him or her.


we can't afford it!

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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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