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In light of the shutdown...explaining financial hardship to children? Paying CS?

Posted by on Oct. 1, 2013 at 9:05 AM
  • 21 Replies

I know a lot of people around here who are affected by the shut down.  I'm glad to see that the military pay will not be stopped, but we have TONS of gov't workers in the DC area...including my DH...who are either furloughed now or working without pay until this all gets resolved.

For many families, this means that there will be no income coming in for the next few weeks.  

As such, people have to adjust their spending on everything from groceries to ECs.   Some people may even have to think about being unable to pay rent or utilities.  You could say "well, don't you have savings?" but lets be realistic, many people don't have sufficient savings to limp through more than a few weeks, if that.  Especially when spouses have difficulty working due to their SO's job, moving frequently, etc.

Anyway...for discussion, how do you or how would you recommend that others explain such financial considerations to kids of different ages?  

Do you try to keep up appearances?  Or do you explain that for now, the extras just aren't an option?  Do you say "I'm sorry, I can't sign you up for X because we can't afford it right now" or do you just say no and leave it at that?

And what about CS?  BM counts on that each month.  DH's CS comes right out of his paycheck.  The gov't sends his portion directly to FOC.  If we try to pay privately, we'll end up paying for it twice--once privately, once when the paychecks start being generated again. (My DH is "exempt" which means that he goes to work anyway, just doesn't get paid until this resolves.)

So this shutdown affects life in two homes, affects kids, affects the adults, yada yada.


by on Oct. 1, 2013 at 9:05 AM
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Replies (1-10):
packermomof2
by on Oct. 1, 2013 at 9:13 AM

"crap happens"...

The shut down affects many people.  I think it was necessary because some people were getting too big for their britches in the government.  But I also talk to my kids about politics, they watch it, they listen to it so they see things and get it explained to them. 

whatIknownow
by Ruby Member on Oct. 1, 2013 at 9:24 AM

I was wondering about CS. We receive CS from my stepkid's mom and we are currently trying to straighten out a CS issue for my son (long story).  We don't need the money - it's all basically gravy for us. But I am wondering what happens to families who count on that money?  Here in NJ the distribution is handled by the country probation departments. Will they continue to collect and distribute CS?

GlockMom
by Gold Member on Oct. 1, 2013 at 9:52 AM
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I think it is beyond time for a come to Jesus meeting about money matters with your two SD.  They are being raised with unrealistic financial expectations.  They think that money grows on trees because there has been funds coughed up for everything.  Have these girls ever been told no?  Also, do they know that dad is a federal employee?  They do watch the news and hear political commentary from somewhere, right?  If not, then maybe its time as responsible Americans that their parents introduce them.  Political awareness is a very important thing that NEEDS to be taught. 

Also, I would NOT pay CS ahead and then deal with what you have dealt with before with FOC.  BM will need to just deal with a delay.  Or at least she should.

ChelseNichole
by Chelse on Oct. 1, 2013 at 10:35 AM

I agree with you... regarding not paying ahead. I think if everyone else has to deal with a delay in funds for one reason or another, then the CS collecting parent should have to do the same.

Quoting GlockMom:

I think it is beyond time for a come to Jesus meeting about money matters with your two SD.  They are being raised with unrealistic financial expectations.  They think that money grows on trees because there has been funds coughed up for everything.  Have these girls ever been told no?  Also, do they know that dad is a federal employee?  They do watch the news and hear political commentary from somewhere, right?  If not, then maybe its time as responsible Americans that their parents introduce them.  Political awareness is a very important thing that NEEDS to be taught. 

Also, I would NOT pay CS ahead and then deal with what you have dealt with before with FOC.  BM will need to just deal with a delay.  Or at least she should.


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ChelseNichole
by Chelse on Oct. 1, 2013 at 10:36 AM

That's a great question. I am in NJ too...and my SO pays support for his boys. His comes right from his check... but like you said, goes through the probation dept etc. I wonder how it will be handled.

Quoting whatIknownow:

I was wondering about CS. We receive CS from my stepkid's mom and we are currently trying to straighten out a CS issue for my son (long story).  We don't need the money - it's all basically gravy for us. But I am wondering what happens to families who count on that money?  Here in NJ the distribution is handled by the country probation departments. Will they continue to collect and distribute CS?


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Derdriu
by Gold Member on Oct. 1, 2013 at 11:28 AM
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Explain how things work.  It's one thing to shelter kids from drugs, sex, violence, etc., but attempting to shelter them from hardship is completely assinine, IMO.  Your SDs are practically bubble-wrapped, so I wouldn't expect them to have any concept of shortage.  But that doesn't do them any favors.  Play it straight.  Educate them.  They're old enough to learn about money management, budgeting, and learning to stretch resources.  Whatever you do, don't dig yourself a deeper hole trying to keep up appearances. 

looneytunes290
by on Oct. 1, 2013 at 11:30 AM
I am pretty forthright with my kids about finances. I want them to grow up to be financially responsible. Also it is important to me that we don't set standards that will be difficult for them to match as adults- this might make them feel like failures. It is more important to me that my children are in professions that they love and are livin within their means- than that they make a lot of money and are miserable in their lives.
DDDaysh
by on Oct. 1, 2013 at 11:45 AM

They are 15.  Shouldn't they already realize by now that a government shut down means Dad isn't getting paid?  

elisesmom922
by Silver Member on Oct. 1, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Our kids are old enough at 9,9, and 5 to understand the basics of financial stuff and we already teach them budgeting. 

Tinkerbellmama
by Platinum Member on Oct. 1, 2013 at 12:58 PM

I'm not sure that the government shutdown will effect our family much. We get along OK without BM's CS payments, however it is nice to have that extra money every month considering that we spend so much in gas for SD's appointments.

We've been a one income family for a LONG time. There's just too much for me to try to do AND work, and it would be difficult to get a job where my shift would be opposite DH's. Because of that, there's been a lot of times when we've had to tell the kids no about something because we couldn't afford it. The kids know dad makes X amount and rent, bills, groceries, and other essential items are purchased before anything fun or extra and sometimes there isn't extra money. 

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