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


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#51 Kreme

Posted 29 July 2019 - 04:52 PM

We answer our kids’ questions honestly. They know how much our house is worth. I think they know round about what our income is. I tell them that we are cutting back at the moment because we are saving for a holiday because I think it is important for them to see a holiday as something you work towards, not just an expectation.

A lot of kids they know attend expensive private schools. We had an honest conversation with them about the cost, why we think public schools are a better choice and what we would do with the money we weren’t spending on school fees. They both agreed they’d rather have overseas holidays than private schooling.

#52 halcyondays

Posted 29 July 2019 - 05:17 PM

I don't tell my kids I can't afford something, because I am a high income earner, so probably could afford it. I don't want to get into an argument about why I didn't buy him a new iPad but spent money on a new computer for myself.

I do say that I choose my spending according to my values. Eg I like holidays and save towards that. His father likes nice cars and saves for that. I could buy many dresses, but it isn't what I value, nor do I want to spend money on stuff I'll only wear a couple of times, or support sweat shops etc etc.

I do tell them how much we earn, especially by percentage bracket, as it is unreasonable for them to think that most people have as much as they do. We live in an affluent area, and are probably on the lower income earning side compared to our neighbours. So what they think is "less" is actually a lot more than most of Australia, let alone the world.

Its a great problem to have- worrying about how to stop your kids becoming entitled and spoiled because you have enough money to buy them quite a lot of stuff they want.

#53 WaitForMe

Posted 29 July 2019 - 05:30 PM

DD1 is 7. She has asked but I don't feel comfortable telling a child that age, as she will tell anyone and everyone.

So we tell her we earn $100 a day and $40 of that goes to the government.  Outside of exactly how much money we actually earn and have in the bank, we are pretty truthful. We explain that we have to choose carefully what we spend our money on because we can't afford everything.

#54 jojonbeanie

Posted 29 July 2019 - 06:08 PM

As a young child I don't recall our son ever asking for specific figures of our incomes. If he had, we would have told him. We've always been very open about financial planning and expectations, the kinds of expenses we had, the investments we made. As he moved into his teens the exchange of information became more specific if he was interested and now as an adult DS knows every single aspect of our finances. He has access to detailed reports of investments, has financial statements and detailed budgets, can get into any of our bank accounts, can use any of our credit cards, and could take over any or all aspects of our finances any time he wanted to. To be honest, I doubt he pays too much attention to the files of information we have provided him, but he lives overseas and has a brother who is profoundly disabled, so he needs to be able to step in at moments notice if we get hit by a bus.

#55 ExpatInAsia

Posted 29 July 2019 - 09:46 PM

We do talk incomes with our teens along with discussions about what different jobs earn, how much flexibility they have and how easily you could combine the job with family.

I tell my children that it is great to be able to do something you are passionate about but you still want to be able to support yourself- and possibly a family.

We talk about what jobs will give them options and allow them to earn enough to meet their financial goals. To do this we need to explain about our incomes and expenses. For example, our children go to expensive schools and understand we could not do this if we were low income earners. We want them to think about what they want in life financially, as well as their passions, when they choose a career path.

Edited by ExpatInAsia, 29 July 2019 - 09:47 PM.


#56 -Emissary-

Posted 29 July 2019 - 09:51 PM

DS doesn’t ask but he knows we’re more than comfortable. If he ask then I’d be honest with him.

He has a very different upbringing than me and it does have me worried a bit that it could result in poor money management in the future.

I grew up acutely aware of how poor our family is so I was always conscience of wasting money. DS is very indifferent when it comes to money but at the same time he’s very careful with how he spends my money.

He thinks about what he asks for when we’re shopping, never asks for anything extravagant, happy to compromise if I ask him to choose between x and y, happy to give all his savings to my mum and doesn’t track his pocket money or asks for it (he gets $5 a week for doing chores).

Maybe he’s just too young and too comfortable but I do hope he becomes more interested in money so that I can take it as an opportunity to teach him about budgeting, living within your means etc.

I’m pretty open about money - I don’t give the exact amount of my salary or our household income but I discuss openly about budgeting, spending, savings, investment, super, life insurances etc with my family and friends. It makes a great lunch time conversation with my group of colleagues and people learn a lot from these discussions.

Edited by -Emissary-, 29 July 2019 - 09:56 PM.


#57 Contrebasse

Posted 30 July 2019 - 05:09 PM

I share details of what things cost, but not what we earn. TBH I would be embarrassed if my family or friends knew how much I earn (as it’s quite high).

#58 seayork2002

Posted 30 July 2019 - 05:54 PM

View PostContrebasse, on 30 July 2019 - 05:09 PM, said:

I share details of what things cost, but not what we earn. TBH I would be embarrassed if my family or friends knew how much I earn (as it’s quite high).

No offense to you personally but what people is of no more interest to me than what toilet paper they buy (great thread topic in here I mean IRL) so for me no need to be embarrassed speaking for myself it is not that interesting

Edited by seayork2002, 30 July 2019 - 05:54 PM.


#59 BeAwesome

Posted 30 July 2019 - 06:09 PM

I will discuss things with my eldest (10), in context.

"Can I buy X item" - Not this week, because I've had to pay for insurance/car service/ replace appliance / saving up for Y item instead" etc; or even Yes, but lets research and see if we can find it cheaper elsewhere; or "yes, it's on sale and good value and you'll probably get good use of it"; or "no, we don't need an more plastic crap" type answers.

The money question I get the most (kids in fairly well off catholic school), is "why can X, Y and Z go on hoidays overseas every year, and I've never even been on a plane"

Not to guilt them, but I will point out that all families have different budgets/priorities, and we're currently spending as much per year on music/sports/hobbies as an overseas would cost, as well as being able to eat out / go to movies / concerts, etc somewhat regularly, which we couldn't do if we were spending the money on travel.

#60 -Emissary-

Posted 30 July 2019 - 09:49 PM

View PostContrebasse, on 30 July 2019 - 05:09 PM, said:

I share details of what things cost, but not what we earn. TBH I would be embarrassed if my family or friends knew how much I earn (as it’s quite high).

I’m the opposite - I don’t understand why it’s anything we hide. My family (including extended) is pretty open with each other and we all know how much we all earn. Heck, I do my brother’s tax return for him a few times. I don’t really care and nor have I really ask any of my family how much they earn but we don’t shy away from the conversation awkwardly.

My friends is obviously a different matter. I have a few friends who are in similar roles as me and we openly discuss our salary ranges to know if we are paid fairly or not. We don’t get into the exact details and also bonuses etc (which makes a massive difference)

As a woman, I find it imperative to make sure I’m not paid less than my male colleagues. Thankfully, I haven’t ever been but I wouldn’t know that without discussing it with my peers.

#61 Contrebasse

Posted 30 July 2019 - 10:24 PM

View Postseayork2002, on 30 July 2019 - 05:54 PM, said:



No offense to you personally but what people is of no more interest to me than what toilet paper they buy (great thread topic in here I mean IRL) so for me no need to be embarrassed speaking for myself it is not that interesting

My in-laws are kind of anti-capitalist so I’m sure they would disapprove!

#62 Jenflea

Posted 31 July 2019 - 02:23 PM

Why are people embarrassed about how much they earn?
Do you not feel worthy of that salary?

#63 born.a.girl

Posted 31 July 2019 - 02:35 PM

View Posthalcyondays, on 29 July 2019 - 05:17 PM, said:

I don't tell my kids I can't afford something, because I am a high income earner, so probably could afford it. I don't want to get into an argument about why I didn't buy him a new iPad but spent money on a new computer for myself.

I do say that I choose my spending according to my values. Eg I like holidays and save towards that. His father likes nice cars and saves for that. I could buy many dresses, but it isn't what I value, nor do I want to spend money on stuff I'll only wear a couple of times, or support sweat shops etc etc.

I do tell them how much we earn, especially by percentage bracket, as it is unreasonable for them to think that most people have as much as they do. We live in an affluent area, and are probably on the lower income earning side compared to our neighbours. So what they think is "less" is actually a lot more than most of Australia, let alone the world.

Its a great problem to have- worrying about how to stop your kids becoming entitled and spoiled because you have enough money to buy them quite a lot of stuff they want.

Same, haven't used the phrase for four decades, when a group of us were lamenting 17% home loan interest rates, and one of the workers who couldn't get a home loan interjected with 'I wish I couldn't afford my home loan'.  Bit of a lighbulb moment there.

Same as you, talk about choices.

Although we weren't high income (him always average, me vacillating between high and low) it's amazing what two incomes and one child can do.  We would also be very much at the bottom of the income levels for where we live, so out daughter did actually see kids who go overseas each year, and whose second car cost twice as much as both of ours combined.

It was really helpful to be able to show here just where we were in terms of all of Australia, much less some other countries.

#64 born.a.girl

Posted 31 July 2019 - 02:41 PM

View PostJenflea, on 31 July 2019 - 02:23 PM, said:

Why are people embarrassed about how much they earn?
Do you not feel worthy of that salary?

TBH, the only time I started talking about what I earn was when my business started to do really well, but was treated in some circles as though it was still a bit of a hobby -something I did when I wasn't looking after our daughter.

When someone said one day 'good to have some pin money' in the year when we'd made our best profit ever, I dropped a few figures into the conversation.

It was actually as much on behalf of other women whose efforts are downplayed as anything else.

Also, in response to two couples who'd split up, with the bloke claiming that he'd paid the mortgage (like the things she paid for , bills and food, he could live without), again, on behalf of other women, I'd say my income more than covered covered the mortgage, school fees, max super and tax.  It wasn't the way we ran our relationship at all, the comments were simply to counter perceptions of why women worked ('help' with the mortgage etc).

#65 born.a.girl

Posted 31 July 2019 - 02:45 PM

View Postjojonbeanie, on 29 July 2019 - 06:08 PM, said:

As a young child I don't recall our son ever asking for specific figures of our incomes. If he had, we would have told him. We've always been very open about financial planning and expectations, the kinds of expenses we had, the investments we made. As he moved into his teens the exchange of information became more specific if he was interested and now as an adult DS knows every single aspect of our finances. He has access to detailed reports of investments, has financial statements and detailed budgets, can get into any of our bank accounts, can use any of our credit cards, and could take over any or all aspects of our finances any time he wanted to. To be honest, I doubt he pays too much attention to the files of information we have provided him, but he lives overseas and has a brother who is profoundly disabled, so he needs to be able to step in at moments notice if we get hit by a bus.


Great stuff to be so sorted, which I know for you is unfortunately necessary.

When we were organising online access for various things for my MIL several years ago, the woman at medicare said 'it's amazing the number of parents who don't give their kids POA as soon as they're eligible'.  Oops, that would be us.  We went and did that straight away.

As she said, once they're a bit independent, the chances of parents finding themselves both in an accident and the offspring left in charge, are much higher than when younger.

She doesn't really have a financial brain (didn't get any of my accounting genes) but I've just said 'call the solicitor' who would of course charge for the service, but at least she'd have access to the bank accounts.

#66 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 31 July 2019 - 02:57 PM

View PostJenflea, on 31 July 2019 - 02:23 PM, said:

Why are people embarrassed about how much they earn?
Do you not feel worthy of that salary?
I am very worthy of my salary. I just don't think how much I earn is necessarily required information for friends or family who have no/little input into how DH and I spend, save and invest our money.

Interestingly, salary questions on surveys often have the highest proportion of missing data, compared to other personal questions like religion, sexual orientation. Even wight is usually better answered than direct income questions on surveys!

#67 AllyK81

Posted 31 July 2019 - 04:37 PM

View PostJenflea, on 31 July 2019 - 02:23 PM, said:

Why are people embarrassed about how much they earn?
Do you not feel worthy of that salary?

Not at all.

It is hard to explain why I find it embarrassing. But probably because I know a lot of people do it tough and very few people have the sort of money we do and whilst in my industry, yes I am 'worth it', I don't think I am any cleverer or work harder than a lot of other people who earn a lot less.

My best friend knows what I earn but apart from my business partners, husband, accountant etc, I don't think it is anyone's business and I wouldn't want my kids talking about it with friends etc.

#68 tothebeach

Posted 01 August 2019 - 07:03 PM

View PostJenflea, on 31 July 2019 - 02:23 PM, said:

Why are people embarrassed about how much they earn?
Do you not feel worthy of that salary?
It’s not to do with worth.  It’s because it’s a lot more than other people around us so it seems gauche to bring it up.  Our friends realise that we earn more than they do but they wouldn’t realise how much more.  We dont have any of the trappings of wealth (cars, house in expensive suburb etc).  We also never calculate our income in total (I did a rough calculation for this thread and I was surprised).

#69 lizzzard

Posted 01 August 2019 - 09:59 PM

View PostJenflea, on 31 July 2019 - 02:23 PM, said:

Why are people embarrassed about how much they earn?
Do you not feel worthy of that salary?
Actually, yes this is why I’m embarrassed. I have a lot of cognitive dissonance about it because obviously I accept the paycheques...and set my own fees. At the highest level I do believe businesses should pay a lot for my services because I believe in the value I provide but I’m not so sure I should receive so much more income than other people do...

#70 JRA

Posted 01 August 2019 - 11:25 PM

View PostJenflea, on 31 July 2019 - 02:23 PM, said:

Why are people embarrassed about how much they earn?
Do you not feel worthy of that salary?
Because as much as I may be bloody good at what I do, so is the teacher, nurse, paramedic, and cop down the street.

Society, or business has decided that, for some reason, I deserve a hell of a lot more money than them. I am not going to say no to the money but it is not something I am going to throw in their face

#71 gemgirl

Posted 08 August 2019 - 07:44 PM

Finally had a chance to read through this thread.

Someone mentioned being the in the top 1% of the world. I think most of us reading this thread would be in the top 1% globally, for income at least!

An income of just over $US32 000 if ranking by income and net assets of $US770 000 if ranking by wealth puts you in the top 1% globally - https://www.investop...rcent-world.asp

Just thought it was interesting.

As for what we share, we don't share income or anything, but do talk about house prices, cost of bills (eg. electricity) and so on.

#72 RPM

Posted 09 August 2019 - 12:47 PM

 Jenflea, on 31 July 2019 - 02:23 PM, said:

Why are people embarrassed about how much they earn?
Do you not feel worthy of that salary?

I wouldn't feel embarrassed.  It is more that it is difficult when discussing it with children as it is statistically unlikely that they will earn the same.

It is hard not to set expectations that they will also earn that much.

For example, I have friends who were investment bankers in the "good old days" of the 80s, 90s and early 2000s.  They have children who are more intelligent and better presented than them who will never come close to earning the same.

It just makes it a tricky conversation and is sometimes better to talk about more average salaries to give children a more realistic idea of what they will have to budget with.

#73 seayork2002

Posted 09 August 2019 - 12:56 PM

 RPM, on 09 August 2019 - 12:47 PM, said:

I wouldn't feel embarrassed.  It is more that it is difficult when discussing it with children as it is statistically unlikely that they will earn the same.

It is hard not to set expectations that they will also earn that much.

For example, I have friends who were investment bankers in the "good old days" of the 80s, 90s and early 2000s.  They have children who are more intelligent and better presented than them who will never come close to earning the same.

It just makes it a tricky conversation and is sometimes better to talk about more average salaries to give children a more realistic idea of what they will have to budget with.

I get that but people seem embarrassed in general not just with their children.

#74 Cimbom

Posted 09 August 2019 - 01:10 PM

People get too fixated on income but less so on how much things cost. Rather than just telling a kid that you make x amount, I think it’d be far more valuable to teach them about the cost of living. Show them your regular bills, talk about ongoing expenses and even show them rental listings and advertisements of properties for sale if your aim is to educate them about money.

#75 Mose

Posted 09 August 2019 - 01:40 PM

View PostJRA, on 01 August 2019 - 11:25 PM, said:

Because as much as I may be bloody good at what I do, so is the teacher, nurse, paramedic, and cop down the street.

Society, or business has decided that, for some reason, I deserve a hell of a lot more money than them. I am not going to say no to the money but it is not something I am going to throw in their face

This.

And the cognitive dissonance Lizzard mentioned.  I think if anyone I know personally outside of a professional setting even had an inkling what I am paid they would just be completely astounded.  Well, except for maybe parents at DS school, but friends and relatives definitely.

We try very much to model generosity, that because of the career choices we have made, we happen to get more money than other families, and we need to appreciate that and think about other people when we think about how we use our money.  DH and I both grew up in traditions where giving a portion of your income away was normal practice, and this is probably the one area we are most frank about with our son.




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