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Grandparents: In Debt? Give Time, Not Money

It might not surprise you to learn that grandparents have become important financial contributors in many families. With living and housing costs so high, wages stagnant in many industries, and a large debt load common in many households, parents’ finances are stretched to the limit.

But debt is a consideration for parents and grandparents alike, which makes contributing financially unrealistic for many grandparents.

Consider back-to-school costs. Last year, parents expected to shell out an average of around $800 for back-to-school expenses. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for school year expenses in most families.

This podcast episode is all about grandparents:

How do grandparents fit into the back-to-school financial scenario?

How could those responsibilities impact your debt load and your own financial priorities?

Our Licensed Insolvency Trustees (LITs) cover some questions grandparents should ask before opening their wallets, how to help if you aren’t able to give money to your grown kids, and what ways you can assist your university-aged grandkids.

Let’s expand on how you can contribute significantly to your grown kid’s household without handing over cash.

Make giving time your priority

If you ask most parents what they want, they’ll often say they want time. Time to themselves, time to do household chores, to run errands, and to work. Having a family — especially school-aged children that aren’t ready to be left on their own — can make it difficult to fit in all the things that need to be done.

This is especially true once September rolls around. The best time for parents to get started on their back-to-school shopping is in July and early August. But, as any parent knows, it can be hard to get everything accomplished and not leave the stores without a pile of unnecessary things if their kids are coming along. And, unfortunately, overspending on school supplies can quickly turn into unwanted consumer debt.

Share this article with your grown kids about how to do their best early back-to-school planning from My Money Coach to plan ahead and cut their costs.

Freeing up an afternoon or weekend to let your kids shop for their kids is a big help, and won’t cost you anything extra. Plus, the grandkids get the benefit of a parent-free fun day.

If you’re able to extend your help throughout the school year, it likely won’t go unnoticed or unappreciated.

Kids have more holidays than their parents, and sick days pop up unexpectedly. For parents who face high child care costs and limited options (especially on short notice), having grandparents available to help is a big relief.

Giving time instead of money is a great way to make a lasting impact on your grandchildren while still being able to focus your money directly on your own debt reduction to get your debt load eliminated before retirement.

Here are 10 low-cost or no-cost ways Grandma (or Grandpa) can offer emotional support when the grandkids go back to school, from the Yummy Mummy Club blog.

Don’t let the pressures of grandparent-hood lead you into more debt. Spend time not money on your grandkids this back-to-school season.

How do you help take the pressure off for your kids and grandkids at this time of year? Tell us on Twitter. #BacktoSchool #DebtSolutions #Grandparents

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