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View Poll Results: Do you tell your kids your salary?
Yes I tell my kids my salary 24 18.05%
Sort of, I tell them ballpark figures 35 26.32%
No, they do not need to know 57 42.86%
Other - always an other! 17 12.78%
Voters: 133. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-22-2013, 02:22 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Pea-n-Me View Post
The more I think about it, how you grew up probably does have a lot to do with it. Not just whether your family talked to you about it, but how finances actually worked in your home. For kids who grew up really struggling, perhaps it was more anxiety provoking not to know, than to know- depending on their ages. I mean, if the electricity is off, it's clear there's a problem. No food in the house? Yup, big problem. Allowing them to know can give them the opportunity to become part of the solution, maybe.
I think that makes a lot of sense. My daughter is reading a lot about the Great Depression right now and has asked me several times whether we are in danger of losing our house and if we've remembered to pay our property taxes, because she knows that people had lost their houses in the Great Depression. After assuring her that the mortgage and taxes are all set, she was absolutely SHOCKED when I told her that she has essentially lived through a period of time not that far off of what the Great Depression was like for many people, as her life was never impacted in any meaningful way nor does she know anybody personally whose family is struggling.

We do talk budget with her in terms that make sense to her, as that's more real than our salaries and other income. For example, we have discussed what it costs to take care of her guinea pigs each month, and help her realize how it adds up over a year (especially when we need to hire a pet sitter to take care of them when we travel), as that is an important lesson in my opinion.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:30 PM   #62
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None of their business.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:36 PM   #63
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They don't need to know, nor do they not need to know. It doesn't matter to us.

They do know. They know how much both of us make and also know what it takes to pay the bills.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:55 PM   #64
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Our kids all know roundabout, they have all applied for financial aid for college and know enough to know we make too much to get any! Which isn't all that much considering where we live and what we pay for 3 kids in college at the same time.

When my DD was little she thought the nieghbors were so rich because they indulged their children their every whim. Then the neighbors lost their home to foreclosure, she learned pretty quickly that what you have doesn't always equal what you make or what you can afford to have.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:30 PM   #65
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My kids don't know how much we make. They know I took a pay cut when I changed jobs last summer, and the 12-yo and I had a discussion about it. I was honest with him about my reasons and how it affects our family. They do know how much we pay for their tuition to private school, and they know generally how that relates to other expenses; they know it is a choice we make and we sacrifice for...it isn't something we "have" to do.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:50 PM   #66
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Our salaries are public so, yes, dd, 22, knows how much we make. It's not a big deal to me. I've often talked with her about the correct way to use credit cards, not to spend more than you have, how to balance a checking account, etc over the years because I want her to make good financial decisions.

I'm dealing with my mom's estate so I've actually been sharing even more with dd as she'll be the executor when dh and I pass away. I've been compiling all the information into one document to go in the safe deposit box but I've been telling her how much we have in cd's, money markets, insurance, and retirement so she'll know what she's dealing with when the time comes.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:24 PM   #67
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Our kids don't know what we make, but they will when they're older and can be trusted to keep private information private.

My dad was always very open with his salary when I was growing up, and I think that it helped me to have a realistic expectation about money. To a child, and even a teenager, an amount like $80,000/year can sound like a huge amount of money. Of course, in most parts of the country, it is a reasonable amount of money to live on, but nowhere will it make you what most people consider "rich" or anything close to it.

I think that as children get closer to the stage where they need to be deciding on a career, it's important that they have an idea what a certain amount of money looks like. They need to understand that even though a particular salary sounds like a lot, once you start paying bills, it disappears really quickly. Telling them at least a ballpark amount (not necessarily down to the dollar, but within $10K or so) of your own salary lets them get some feel for how far that amount stretches and gauge their own future decisions on that.

As my children reach their mid-teens, I do plan to let them know about how much money my husband makes each year. What's more, if he's making more then than he does now (which I expect he will be), I plan to tell them how much he used to make when they were younger so that they can see what kind of a difference that amount of money makes to a lifestyle.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:50 PM   #68
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My girls are too young, but I do not know what my parents make.

Nor will I ask. Ever.

When they start to work, I'll help them manage their money. But I won't ever tell them what we make.


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Old 02-22-2013, 10:06 PM   #69
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When I was a teenager I knew what my parents made. I don't see why it should be a big secret. It helped me keep in perspective what we could afford, etc. as a family.

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Old 02-22-2013, 10:33 PM   #70
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They don't know but they'll find out at some point, I'm sure.

For now, they think we can "afford" to go to Disney because Mickey keeps personally inviting them. This started because they saw some DVC mail, so we played along. We even had a CM give them their PAP's. They see all this Disney mail and figure Mickey really must miss them.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:41 PM   #71
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I think the teacher is wrong to impose her opinion.

Children need to learn the value of money and appreciate what they receive, but not need to know the gory details of the household budget. My mother was always complaining about how tight our budget was when I was a child, and would say we were going to lose our home. I would be stressed out about what would happen to us, where were we going to live, a 7 year old does not need that on their mind.

My parents never lost their home, they actually own 2 homes, 3 cars and vacation once a year.....

Kids need to focus on being kids, go to school to assure their future.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:56 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by mefordis View Post
When I was a teenager I knew what my parents made. I don't see why it should be a big secret. It helped me keep in perspective what we could afford, etc. as a family.
I knew what my dad made growing up (my mom didn't make anything since she never worked!)- my daughter knows how much I make, as does anyone else that googles my name since its public info! She has looked at my paychecks from time to time, the first time she was shocked that I made X amount of dollars but took home 400+ a week less than I made due to taxes- she now grasps the concept that you take home way less than you make!
I don't get the big secret- we talk about anything and everything. She knows whats in the bank too, how much my pension will be etc. When I started talking about retiring she kept saying she didn't think I should retire- well it turned out that she didn't get the concept of a pension, she thought if I didn't work I didn't get paid. So I sat her down with my pension papers and showed her exactly what I would have coming in and how I wouldn't be making any less with my pension than I am while I am working.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:30 PM   #73
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When I was little I knew how much my dad made. The older I got the less info I got. Probably cause they didn't want me spreading it around. I found out how much my dad made about 8 years ago when we did our taxes togther. Man did I feel poor. I am incharge of their will, so I know all the fiancial info. My kids think we are broke cause we never have any money for toys at Target.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:34 PM   #74
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My kids have a pretty good idea. They haven't ever asked specifically. When I was growing up it wasn't discussed in our house.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:46 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Micca View Post
When you think about it, how are kids supposed to understand the financial workings of a household if they don't know how much money it takes to maintain an environment similar to what they are growing up with?
I agree. We have told our kids what we make. We want them to understand the difference between what comes in vs. what you have left after the bills get paid. To them it looks like a lot (teenagers!), but in reality it really isn't as much as it looks.

It's a great lesson in budgeting, paying bills, paying taxes, health insurance, etc. It's been eye opening for them.

We see no reason to keep it from them. It really doesn't bother us.
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