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How much do you share with your children about your personal financial situation?

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#26 seayork2002

Posted 28 July 2019 - 08:52 PM

Like any subjects there is no question we will not answer honestly and he knows the basics of how adults live (well in 'normal' or general) ways

But as interesting dinner conversation it is boring so not something we go into massive details on

But he has asked about inflation, government budgets etc. So like my parents direct questions are answered always (in ways he can understand for his age)

#27 seayork2002

Posted 28 July 2019 - 08:54 PM

Oh one story my brother thought my dad was rich because he kept on seeing him get money out of  a hole i n the wall so dad had to explain how it got in there in the first place

#28 dadwasathome

Posted 28 July 2019 - 09:29 PM

No reason to hide from our kids, although they don’t really ask

#29 marple

Posted 28 July 2019 - 09:42 PM

My older kids have  never  really asked when young. Now they know pretty much everything.
The youngest I just flat out say when he asks for, say, his own computer " We  can't afford it", Simple as. He accepts that.

I've never had a young child ask for details of my financial position.  It's just been - yes we can afford that or no we can't afford that.

Edited by marple, 28 July 2019 - 09:42 PM.

#30 seayork2002

Posted 28 July 2019 - 09:46 PM

View Postmarple, on 28 July 2019 - 09:42 PM, said:

My older kids have  never  really asked when young. Now they know pretty much everything.
The youngest I just flat out say when he asks for, say, his own computer " We  can't afford it", Simple as. He accepts that.

I've never had a young child ask for details of my financial position.  It's just been - yes we can afford that or no we can't afford that.

Yes, also I am not not getting into a discussion about affording or not becasue just becasue something is affortable does not mean he (or us)  has to have it

#31 CallMeFeral

Posted 28 July 2019 - 10:01 PM

View PostMishu, on 28 July 2019 - 04:55 PM, said:

when he asked me how much I earn, I was surprised by how uncomfortable I felt by the question.

Have you grown up with that 'it's rude to talk about money' type upbringing?
I have friends who are most peculiarly secretive above money. One (adult) wouldn't even tell his mother how much he earns, and he was very very close to her, but he seemed to feel like it would be akin to telling her about his sex life. I found that bizarre. Another friend of mine was upset because her mother wanted to know how much their new house cost, and when they wouldn't tell her she called up the agent, they were absolutely outraged (these days it's freely available on the internet). Or a peer in my graduate program wouldn't talk about income - fortunately other peers did and we were able to get together and lobby for more, as they were paying the newer grads more than the grads with a year's experience. Since that experience I feel like money-secretiveness is intentionally fostered by corporations so they can screw people without them knowing.

I haven't grown up with that. I have some friends that are really frank about money, and it's great. And I think I've always roughly known how much my parents were earning and what their house was worth etc. And recently my son was asking me what DH and I earned, so I told him (he's 9), but had to put it in the context of what expenses have to come out of that otherwise of course it sounds a lot.

So yep, I would just be honest about it, and if he's interested enough to listen, use it to start educating him financially about how much different things cost as well.

I'm wondering if the discomfort is due to the upbringing I mentioned above. It seemed like it was almost shameful to disclose exact numbers.

#32 Murderino

Posted 28 July 2019 - 10:02 PM

Like a PP I tell my kids we are very fortunate with what I earn and what we have yet they also know both their aunts earn twice my income. They know if I worked full time I could earn more but we all like our lifestyle with me able to pick them up from school and come and help out at school.

View Postjust roses, on 28 July 2019 - 07:08 PM, said:

I’ve answered any money question honestly. It’s mostly DD9 who is interested in this stuff. I’ve told her what we earn, what we pay on the mortgage, what cars cost etc. She knows how credit cards work and about interest rates. I don’t particularly want her to tell others what we earn - and I doubt she would - but I wouldn’t actually mind if she did.

My DS asks everything in terms of car value. So tonight I mentioned a family at school had a new car and he asked how much it would cost. We looked up and found it’s between $40000 and $54000. He asked is that more than a house! I said we could buy about X of that car for our house. WOW, he said, houses are expensive!

#33 nom_de_plume

Posted 28 July 2019 - 10:08 PM

My kids are primary school age and I am honest with them about how much we earn, how much things (bills, clothes, activities etc) cost, and what our financial goals are.

We involve our kids in budgeting, saving and grocery shopping because I want them to grow up financially literate.

I have an accounting background so I am pretty matter of fact about money (most things actually!).

#34 Let-it-go

Posted 28 July 2019 - 10:16 PM

I’m one of those from an upbringing where it was the utmost rudeness to ask what a person earns or to discuss it.  I remember being shocked that my DH knew what some of his friends & families salaries are.  I have no idea how much anyone I’m friends with or in my family earns and I have never told any of them (including my own parents) how much I earn.

I’ll have discussions with my children about general what’s expensive, what’s not, what we can afford but I wouldn’t discuss specifics and honestly, probably never will.  

I know that sounds like I grew up having no idea about money, but actually it was the total opposite.  I was very aware of their financial position and what we had was hard earned.  I’m pretty good with money and always have been so I don’t think not knowing my parents salary or being involved in financial discussions affected that.

Edited by Let-it-go, 28 July 2019 - 10:18 PM.

#35 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 28 July 2019 - 10:21 PM

View PostMishu, on 28 July 2019 - 04:55 PM, said:

How much do you share with your kids? While I want to be honest and think giving him a financial education is important, when he asked me how much I earn, I was surprised by how uncomfortable I felt by the question.

How much do you share with your (older) kids about your personal finances?
We don't discuss exact amounts, but DD1 knows that DH is in the 2nd top tax bracket, I am in the 3rd tax bracket, because we taked about tax and how we have a sliding tax scale in Australia (which she agrees with)..

When the kids are with me, they watch how much the groceries are, how much I pay for fuel etc. Every so often, DH and I will talk about what's coming up and what we need to prioritise, what's in our budget for the year, stuff like that. The children know we are trying to pay off the mortgage faster, so we are paying extra into that. That kind of thing.

It's about starting to raise their awareness of financial issues. WE answer their questions as well as we can.

FWIW, I never knew my parents salary when I was growing up, I still don't know. My parents never knew my salary either. When I first got a job, there was a lot of discussuon about keeping a budget, allocating money to pay expenses (compulsory and discretionary), save and invest.

#36 ExpatInAsia

Posted 28 July 2019 - 10:29 PM

We are quite open about money. The only thing we have not told them is that we have money put away for uni/first home deposit as we don’t want them to take it for granted and not work to achieve financial independence.

I spend time explaining financial decisions to our teens so they understand that many things are a trade off or prioritisation. They know how much we both make and where we choose to direct our money.

#37 Mishu

Posted 28 July 2019 - 10:42 PM

View PostCallMeFeral, on 28 July 2019 - 10:01 PM, said:

Have you grown up with that 'it's rude to talk about money' type upbringing?

That's a large part of it I think. My mother was a single mother (my father walked out when I was very young) and we didn't have a lot growing up. She never discussed money and I never asked - intuitively I knew we didn't have a lot. And I didn't want to embarrass mum by asking for things that I knew she couldn't provide. She instilled in me a practice of not discussing private things - it was years before I told even my best friends that my father wasn't around.

My situation now is so completely different. I earn a very good salary, we own our own home and we have a range of investments. And I know how fortunate we are, especially when I consider my childhood. And perhaps I've been caught in the view that this was the way I learned the value of a dollar and the importance of working hard, so that is the way DS should learn. After looking at all these responses, I think I'm wrong about that.

I think I need to be more open, so DS understands what we have, what it took to get here and gratitude for where luck played a part. And so that he knows what it will take for the lifestyle he may want to have in the future.

Thank you everyone, your responses have really helped me.

#38 JRA

Posted 28 July 2019 - 10:52 PM


DS (early teens) has been asking questions about our financial position (eg how much does my job pay me, how much do we have in savings etc) and I'm not sure the best way to answer these.

Knowing how much you earn is a reasonable question, kids need to learn about income and jobs etc.

As for the question, we are honest with DS. He has not asked how much we have in savings exactly but has asked bit and pieces around that, so has a reasonable idea.

Mum and dad were always honest, we knew there was no money and no savings.

#39 Freddie'sMum

Posted 28 July 2019 - 11:10 PM

This is such an interesting topic OP.  I came from a family that had one parent who was incredibly good with money (Dad) and one parent who was incredibly bad with money (Mum).

Dad never sat us down and said that he earned X amount, or the house cost Y amount but he did teach us how to budget.  If we got X amount of dollars (as wages per week / fortnight)  - what do we have to pay out of that income? The first is your mortgage or rent.  Then all your other expenses after that.  

Our 14 year old worries a lot about money esp about not being able to buy a property when she is older.  Both girls know that until I got a job then things like holidays and extra stuff were off the agenda - we explained that we have to pay the mortgage first, then food and everything else to keep a home running (water ./ internet / electricity / car / insurances etc).  

The one thing we have told both our girls is that from the moment they get their first job / first pay packet we are going to get them to save 10% of that money and put it away and never touch it.  It's absolutely vital to me that they have their own income / their own money, come what may.

#40 klr75

Posted 29 July 2019 - 09:58 AM

Not answering your question, but do you think your ex may be quizzing your DS about your financial situation ??

#41 Soontobegran

Posted 29 July 2019 - 10:19 AM

My kids are adults now but we never actually spoke in specifics when it came to how much we earned when they were little, we saw no need to.
They did know that our income directly affected their lifestyle and that decisions we made on their behalf were made because they had to be that way.
As they got older they were well able to research our incomes if they felt the need.
I doubt they ever felt the need.

#42 Jingleflea

Posted 29 July 2019 - 10:37 AM

Dh and his parents, my parents, my sister and sister in law, most of our friends all work or have worked in the public service so we're all pretty cluey as to how much most people earn.

We don't talk about it, but it's not a secret.

I also think we should talk about money a bit more, at least at work, so we know if we're getting underpaid or not, especially women.

#43 moineau

Posted 29 July 2019 - 10:45 AM

We are also 100% transparent with our financial position with our kids.

The only things we don't answer is when/if they ask us about how much a specific present for either of them cost us. We say words to the effect of "presents are presents and it's rude to ask how much we spent on a gift. But, we worked out what we could afford and what we were comfortable spending, your gift doesn't impact our day to day bills"

I really want to ensure that they understand where money comes from, what it needs to be spent on, how we work out our needs VS wants and that sometimes we have excess money - Sometimes we don't..

And when we don't and they want something that is out of our reach we will explain why and what we have had to spend our money on so they understand that we aren't saying no to them and going out and spending it on crap for us.

They don't earn pocket money as such, but can work toward a goal (say if they want a specific toy, or clothing that isn't a 'need' we will work out a "payment plan" Whereby they have to do a set amount of chores, before we will consider buying it.)

#44 Chicken Pie

Posted 29 July 2019 - 11:45 AM

View PostLifesgood, on 28 July 2019 - 05:26 PM, said:

I'm pretty open with our kids about how much things cost etc and how much we can afford, but I don't tell them how much we earn, how much our house is worth etc because I don't want them to inadvertently bring it up when talking to others.

I try really hard to teach them the value of money and how hard it is to earn it.
this is us as well...also because i dont want to create stress around current bills and debts, but understand value, goals, earning things etc

#45 OrangeSprout

Posted 29 July 2019 - 12:26 PM

I share pretty much most of the finance with my older ones now - 24yrs + .
Although sometimes I do wonder if it is too much.
But I do not let them know my annual income nor my husband's.

It doesn't hurt for them to know that the struggle can be real with making it all balance that's for sure.

Edited by OrangeSprout, 29 July 2019 - 12:27 PM.

#46 Hollycoddle

Posted 29 July 2019 - 01:00 PM

View PostCallMeFeral, on 28 July 2019 - 10:01 PM, said:

I'm wondering if the discomfort is due to the upbringing I mentioned above. It seemed like it was almost shameful to disclose exact numbers.

I'm another one for being honest and I will be with my kids if they ever ask.  But the discussion would have to happen in context, at the moment they know I get in excess of $500 a week, that sounds like a fortune to them so I then have to explain about what has to be paid out in bills before we can spend any on fun and treats.

I can get why some people may a bit iffy about talking about figures, some families can be 'grabby' and a degree of envy and bad feeling can come about if someone does well for themselves and not everyone else in the family is doing so well.  I found this out when I got the life insurance payout when my DP died, some members of his family were talking behind my back.  Only recently my 15-year-old niece was telling my MIL that my kids get a lot (I had just taken DS10 to Sydney for a concert), it was explained to her that I work hard as well and we sacrifice time with each other so we can have these extras.  Yes, the payout helped a great deal with my mortgage but it wasn't paid out completely, I still have to work full-time to pay it as well as the rest of the bills but the money did go to help my kids have the security of a roof over their heads and a better lifestyle than they otherwise would have had, which is precisely what life insurance is for.  It's an ordinary suburban home and I drive a 15-year-old car, we do go away for special events and a weekend away now and then but a pretty modest lifestyle overall.

Edited by Mollycoddle, 29 July 2019 - 01:11 PM.

#47 MincePieMasterchef

Posted 29 July 2019 - 01:28 PM

Mine are still primary age but I expect I will be honest about these things with them. Also talking about how much things cost like electricity, phone bills, insurances etc so they can be more financially literate themselves.

We are pretty 'average' but I suspect switched on kids can tell that anyway from where we live and what type of car we have etc.

Growing up I knew my parents weren't well off and this helped me to understand to appreciate the things I had and not hassle them for things they couldn't afford.

#48 annodam

Posted 29 July 2019 - 01:30 PM

I don't voluntarily cough up info but if they happen to ask then I answer honestly.
The kids have heard the term no lots, especially if they ask for something & we cannot afford it.
They know not to probe any further, no means no, period.

#49 Gonzy

Posted 29 July 2019 - 02:33 PM

We talk money at home with the kids, but not income.  We talk about the cost of things such as food, holidays, bills etc but we haven't (and have no intention), told the kids what we earn.  Even if they asked me outright, I wouldn't tell them.

My kids earn pocket money and they have a good sense of money in vs. money out from when they want to save or spend their money.  I am fairly confident I am giving them a good sense of the value of a dollar.

I have never known my parents income and really feel no need to, that is their private information, as is my income mine.

Money - as in what a person earns - was a taboo subject in my family growing up (as was politics and s*x - religion was ON the table of course lol).

I have no idea what any of my siblings earn (would never dream to ask them, not even my identical twin sister and she and I share everything), so I certainly have some family-of-origin views about money which is that income is a very private matter - how you spend money is obviously less so but what a person specifically earns, that is completely in the vault.

Edited by Gonzy, 29 July 2019 - 03:29 PM.

#50 AllyK81

Posted 29 July 2019 - 02:54 PM

We don't talk about it in specific terms but would be reasonably honest if asked. Our kids know we have more than a lot of people - they know we are lucky to have a beach house and not everyone can afford one.

But we earn a lot and I would only give the kids more detailed information if I trusted they wouldn't share it with their friends. We earn a sum that I am both proud of but it can also be a bit embarrassing. DH told my FIL what I earnt (I earn 2/3 of the family income) and I was a bit unhappy. I know he is family but I don't think he needs to know.

We do talk about what things cost and they have pocket money etc.

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