It’s hard for parents to let go of their babies. We love them so much, and we just want to protect them and take care of them. Sending them out into the big world is scary, but there comes a time when you have to let your kids stand on their own two feet. You can do it – you’ve had lots of practice! Remember when you sent them off to kindergarten? Or the first time you let them borrow the car? Or the day you dropped them off at college? You’ve raised a great kid that’s ready to take on the world, so why are you still paying their bills??
We know LOTS of parents that are still footing the majority of their grown children’s bills. We’re talking rent, car payments, cell phones, clothes, even credit cards! If this sounds familiar, listen up – Mom and Dad, it’s time to cut the cord!
One of our jobs as parents is to raise our children up to be financially responsible. That’s never going to happen if we’re paying all their bills! It’s time to STOP, and we’re going to teach you how. We’re sharing our 4-step approach that will get your kids off your payroll and on their way to adulting like champs!
Halting the money train is a big decision, so both parents need to be on board. Before you talk to your kids, you need to sit down with your spouse and discuss which bills you expect your kids to take on, and when you expect them to start paying. You don’t have to cut them off all at once – that might be a little harsh – but set a reasonable time frame for each one. Maybe they’ll take over the cell phone when the contract is up or start paying their car payment in three months. Word to the wise, don’t wait too long on the credit card bill, or they might use it as an opportunity to rack up one heck of a balance while you’re still footing the bill! Once you and your spouse have a list of bills and cut-off dates, you’re ready to talk to your kids.
This isn’t a one-time discussion. It’s a big conversation, and your kids will need time to process it, think it over, and understand that you’re serious. The S.T.O.P. approach is a series of 4 weekly meetings with your kids where you can make your expectations clear, give them time to prepare for their new responsibilities, and build and strengthen your relationship with these newly-minted adults!
Meeting 1: Subject Them To The Idea
Tell your kids your thoughts and listen to theirs. This meeting is all about opening up the conversation and letting them know that change is coming without springing it on them and freaking them out!
Meeting 2: Tally Up The Totals
Let your kids know exactly what bills you’ve been covering and how much you’ve been paying. It gives them a clear picture of what they’ll be expected to pay and gives them time to chew on it and plan for it before they actually start paying.
Meeting 3: Overemphasize The Dates
This is so important!! Have exact dates that you’re going to stop paying each bill and make it very clear to your kids. Go through those dates one by one so your kids have plenty of fair warning!
Meeting 4: Pump Them Up
This process might seem a little daunting to your kids, but you know they can do it! Mama didn’t raise no fools! Tell them that you believe in them, and you’re so proud of them, and so impressed with the adults they are becoming. Use this meeting as an opportunity to build your relationship with your kids and encourage them as they take this next big step.
Stick with it. Remind yourself as often as necessary forcing your kids to make it on their own IS taking care of them. Yes, it will be tough, you will have to watch them go through some rough times – you’ll both be better for it. In just 4 weeks, you can cut the cord, launch those kids into adulthood, then sit back and enjoy your extra money!