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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, 09:42 AM   #16
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I answered "ballpark figure" because I want them to know how much is taken out of my paycheck (for their health insurance, taxes, 401k, savings, etc).

I want them to realize just because you MAKE $$ doesn't mean you get to keep it all.

DH gets paid every 2 weeks so that is a good lesson in budgeting.

They are young adults with their own money (except for ds17) so they do have a taste of reality.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:43 AM   #17
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My husband pays the bills. I pay for everything for the kids, dance, gymnastics, private school, competition and travel fees, ect. For about a year I made the boys pay the bills with me. They needed to see that I was working for them and I needed help around the house. It made a world of difference with their appreciation of everything I do. They now thank me when I cook and they help more.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:48 AM   #18
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I never knew what my parents made and our kids (both late teens) don't know how much we make either. That teacher is wrong.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:48 AM   #19
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My daughter is in 8th grade, but she's taking an AP class at the high school which is excellent. It's called Career and Financial Management, and it has led to many interesting discussions in our house. She had to research several careers, and learn how to create a budget from a minimum wage job, and then a higher paying job. At the end of the year she's going to shadow a professional in a career that she might be interested in. I can't say enough good things about this class.

Anyway, my daughter was curious how much money a teacher makes (I'm a teacher) so I told her. I didn't want to keep it a secret.

I would NEVER encourage my own students to ask their parents such a personal question.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:49 AM   #20
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I can remember when I was a junior in high school, I had to do the family income section of the SAT form. I went to my dad, and he filled it. So, I obviously had no clue. My kids do not know what my DH makes; however, they do know that my new job makes just about 50 cents more than I pay a babysitter. Ha!
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:49 AM   #21
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My oldest has probably figured out ballpark figures.

I think as they get older and close to choosing careers and moving on their own, they really need to know. The life they get to live under their parents roof (usually best years in terms of income) does not reflect life as an entry level worker at 22. I think it's beneficial to know it costs X for this standard of living, and when you start out, you will only make Y which affords a smaller standard of living.

Btw I learned my parents income when they filled out the FAFSA for college. I was shocked they earned so little and yet we always felt "fine"
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:51 AM   #22
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DD18 has no clue how much DH and I actually make but she does know we work hard for what we do make. She also knows that we don't make enough to buy whatever she wants when ever she wants.

I never knew how much my own parents made. It was none of my business.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:53 AM   #23
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Yes and no. Yes, in that our oldest child is turning 17 in a month, and he has been very interested in the engineering field. My dh is an engineer, and they have discussed different aspects of the field including salaries. My dh shared his past salaries and growth in their discussions.

No, meaning we just don't give them a dollar amount for general knowledge.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:56 AM   #24
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No - they don't know. My son has asked a few times and I brush it off with something noncommital like "enough". Growing up, my mom always said we had no need to know. Actually I always thought we made a whole lot less than we did because she was so frugal. I never had all the latest toys or whatever.

I only found out how much my dad made when he had to give me his income statement for some paperwork I had to fill out for college. I only have some vague ideas how much he makes now and really don't consider it any of my business.

Because of everything my mom said growing up, I am extremely hesitant in letting my kids know how much we make. Plus, salary is just not something you talk about. Knowing my son, he would blabber it to everyone everywhere.

We do talk about not spending on something so we can save it for something else. And I constantly say, "no we don't have the money for such and such treat". We travel a LOT though - so my kids' friends think we are rich. I tell my kids, "no - we just spend a lot of time hunting for really good deals".
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:58 AM   #25
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We don't explicitly tell our children what we make; doing that strikes me as rather odd. They do know that we are very fortunate to be comfortable and they realize that we have a nice home and lots of nice opportunities, but my daughter and I had a conversation after one of her friends told her that we are "rich" about what that means, why it is an arbitrary measure that doesn't actually mean anything, why/when having money matters and why/when it doesn't matter, and most importantly why it should never be a measure by which she defines herself or her personal worth.

Growing up, my father was the Chairman and CEO of a major corporation so every year his compensation was published in the papers, magazines, etc. That was deeply awkward for all of us. He used to try to embargo the news when the annual reports would come out, but friends would always mention it and I didn't like it.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:10 AM   #26
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I don't understand the secret aspect of this. I don't think I ever outright told my daughter what my husband and I made but only because she has never asked. I don't understand how we expect and want our children to be open with us but this is a "private" issue. Just my confused two cents....
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:11 AM   #27
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Our adult DDs still don't know. When you think about it, it's an odd thing to keep secret but so many people do. Hardly anyone wants to disclose their income to anybody. I do it too, but not sure why.

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?
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:13 AM   #28
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We never told them directly, but my 16 year old is no dummy, so I'm sure she has a ballpark idea. She knows how much our house costs, she knows how much cars cost, she knows how much we pay for dance classes and school expenses and clothes, we discuss budgeting, so she knows more or less how much utilities cost, etc. She does know exactly how much I make because she has been considering a job training program for a very similar job to mine, and we have discussed this in terms of her future. She is getting ready to go to college and we have been discussing how much Dad and I can realistically pay for tuition, room and board, etc. But she doesn't know exactly how much Dad makes.

I do think kids should be involved in the family budget to some extent (like helping with menu planning and grocery shopping) and helping to figure out vacation trips and the spending of discretionary income directly related to themselves (you can take THIS dance class or THAT gymnastics class, but not both because I can only afford $X for your activities). I give my daughter $X for buying clothes, she has to figure out how to spend that. If they don't get that experience, how can we expect them to fend for themselves later?

My 10 year old son, on the other hand, still doesn't really have any concept about these sorts of things.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:16 AM   #29
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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?
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:16 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by EMHDad View Post
I picked other. My kids are too young to understand.
Ditto. Mine are too young to ask or understand if they DID ask. But if (when?) they do, I'll tell them. Money isn't a super-secret thing to me... if DD wants to know, I can't think of a reason not to tell her.

I asked my mom how much my dad made once & she told me. I was probably late elementary school and didn't really know what "$60,000" meant in terms of richness or poorness. But kids are going to have a ballpark idea whether or not you tell them... I could always tell that my family made a LOT more than some of my friends & less than some of my other friends.
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