People losing their jobs. Higher prices. Families struggling to pay their bills. It's hard to avoid the topic of money and the economy these days.
We asked more than 2,000 kids about it and about half said they were worried, at least, a little bit — 15% said they don't worry, but 22% said they worry a lot and 14% said they were totally stressed.
Nicole, 12, of Pennsylvania, wonders if her parents will be able to afford the mortgage payment. That's the money that must be paid each month if your family owns a home.
"I am scared that my neighbors might have to move. He lost his job," said Claire, 11, from Michigan.
DCB, 12, from Texas, asks: "How long will it continue?"
It's a good question and one that's on the minds of young and old people alike. No one knows for sure, but here's what kids predict will happen next:
How right they are that it's a complicated stew of stuff. There's the auto bailout, the mortgage crisis, crashing stock prices, and up-and-down gas prices — just to name a few ingredients. No kid could be expected to understand it or know what to do about it.
It's a good idea to talk with your parents if you're concerned or have questions about how these problems might affect your family. More than half the kids who took our survey had already discussed the topic with mom or dad. Some felt worse after the talk (17%), but nearly a third of kids said they felt better. About half felt about the same. Money is a tough topic for any family. There are always lots of needs and wants, and tough financial times mean hard decisions.
The good news is that our survey did show something very positive: Kids are willing to help! It's a good time to remember what you are — and are not — responsible for. Kids aren't expected to pay the mortgage or figure out your family's finances, but we think it's great that kids want to pitch in. When you do your part, you're thinking of your family as a team, which it is.
A whopping 81% of kids are willing to save money and spend less. Not just that, but many kids said they were willing to take specific steps. Three out of four kids (75%) were willing to earn extra money through babysitting or other odd jobs.
Just as many kids were willing to go green to save green. In honor of those environmentally-minded team players, here are 10 ways to do just that:
Looking for more ways to spend less and save more? Here are a bunch, followed by the percentage of kids who said they were willing to take that step. Some cost-cutting ideas were more popular than others, as you can see. Would you be willing to take a cut in your allowance? Hats off to those who were!
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