In our discussion of character development, I talked about our characters’ fitness and health. you also have to consider that. Are your characters good with their money? Are they wealthy or do they live paycheck to paycheck? are they homeless, or do they own a home. Are they able to keep up with the mortgage payments, if they have one? How about their taxes?
These things may or may not come out in the story, but it is important for you as the writer to know them. for one thing, you can use the character’s worries about money to show their basic character. throwing money around when you don’t have much of it says a lot about a person. that’s all I’m saying here. all you have to do is know what kind of financial circumstances your character has and you can indicate it with ease. If the situation calls for it, you can mention finances in a few short sentences at the beginning of the story and never refer to it again. you can write something like, “Jim wondered where the rent money was going to come from.” or even, “too bad the rent was due before payday.” or something along those lines. Just a mention here and there is all you need, as with everything you grant to your characters, you don’t have to go overboard and mention it all the time. Just once in a while is sufficient.
Another good way to show your characters’ finances is to have them pay the bill at the restaurant or worry about how much it is. Show them at the grocery store, or that they have been to the store. They can either pay without thinking about it, or worry about the items in their shopping basket and whether they have the money for it. For something like that, just do it once in a piece. Finances shouldn’t be the focus of the story, unless you are building up to have your character embezzle funds or face the temptation to embezzle.
People in the real world have money issues. A well rounded character should have money issues as well. It’s fairly easy to show that, but it is also very easy to overdo it. Striking a balance is good. All you need to so is indicate in a sentence or two, or even a paragraph if the work is longer. Show it in passing, but make sure that it doesn’t take over the scene, unless it is a key issue in the story. It’s all you need to do. Remember, all you have to do is allude to money in the body of your work, but you need to know how your character’s financial health is doing. That’s all there is to it.