Do your kids know how much you make?

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by jeepgirl30, Feb 22, 2013.


Do you tell your kids your salary?

  1. Yes I tell my kids my salary

  2. Sort of, I tell them ballpark figures

  3. No, they do not need to know

  4. Other - always an other!

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. descovy

    descovy DIS Veteran

    Jun 5, 2008
    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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  3. SC Minnie

    SC Minnie <font color=purple>Are we there yet???<br><font co

    May 18, 2001
    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.
  4. Momvic5

    Momvic5 DIS Veteran

    Sep 24, 2007
    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.
  5. elaine amj

    elaine amj DIS Veteran

    Jan 26, 2012
    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".
  6. A_Princess'_Daddy

    A_Princess'_Daddy DIS Veteran

    Jan 5, 2010
    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.
  7. Trish.Glenn

    Trish.Glenn Mouseketeer

    Feb 16, 2007
    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....
  8. Micca

    Micca Where there's a will, there's an heir

    Dec 5, 2000
    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? :confused3
  9. scrapquitler

    scrapquitler DIS Veteran

    Aug 15, 2007
    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.
  10. scrapquitler

    scrapquitler DIS Veteran

    Aug 15, 2007
  11. NYEmomma

    NYEmomma DIS Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    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.
  12. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

    Jul 18, 2004
    I have discussed what we earn with my kids in terms of teaching them about finances, money management and career choices. At 15, they are both earning their own money now and it feels good to them, as a start. We have been talking about college costs and they understand how steep they are, which has helped them stay motivated to do well in school, etc. I think it's necessary for them to understand all this in today's world, especially given the tenuous economic climate we live with, so I don't have an issue with what the teacher said.

    Last night we were watching the news when they showed a youth group protesting at our state house for "money for more jobs". My DS said, perplexed, "Where do they think that money is going to come from?", and I realized he's been paying attention.

    momtorb, I think your having your kids pay bills with you was a great idea!
  13. Granny square

    Granny square Always planning a trip!

    Feb 10, 2012
    Mine know, because they've talked about entering the same careers and are all teens and twenty something's. the teacher is ridiculous though.
  14. RitaE

    RitaE DIS Veteran

    May 29, 2008
    I don't think I've ever told them an exact figure but ballpark number, sure. Especially the older kids. As they were growing up I was much more concerned that the realized how much things COST. I think children do need to know what various jobs pay and how that effects family lifestyle. An 8 year old doesn't necessarily need to know the family Adjusted Gross Income but he/she should realize that houses, cars, and food aren't free.

    Personally, I see way too many 25 year olds that think they are going to live a $180k lifestyle on their $45,000 a year jobs.
  15. ForMyBoys

    ForMyBoys Mouseketeer

    Jan 13, 2013
    They do not. They are only 9, 6 and 3. I make quite a bit more then my dh and honestly they don't need to know that.

    HOWEVER, when my kids are older... say late teens, early adult, I will likely share with them what we both make. Its not some sort of huge secret, just something that I'm not comfortable sharing with them before they are old enough to know to keep it mum.
  16. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

    Jul 18, 2004
    An additional thought... Last night My DD and I were up late talking and I read her the thread on the single parent needing lunch and field trip money, and asked her to think about, as a parent, how she would handle that. (She's been thinking about parenting issues more as she babysits.) We also talked about kids at different ages and whether knowing about the money difficulties might cause some anxiety, and if so, would that be a reason not to know, and/or what could be done about that, etc. I, personally, enjoy talking about these types of things with my kids as it helps them to learn to think critically, and hopefully the'll be prepared for dealing with situations they'll face as they get older.
  17. momto2girls

    momto2girls DIS Veteran

    Jan 21, 2004
    This is exactly why we will be open with our kids about our finances. DH and I are blessed with a much higher than average income. We live a very nice lifestyle. It is important to me that my daughters understand that this isn't typical of most people, and that they certainly won't be able to replicate it once they are on their own. Hopefully, our frank discussions will help them choose their careers wisely and be more realistic about their expectations of what life will be like once they are out of college. I feel that it is even more vital that we have these discussions as we live in a very affluent area and virtually everyone they know in their day-to-day interactions is well off. It is super-important to me that they understand that this is not typical, nor a given.
  18. eliza61


    Jun 2, 2003
    My sons are now young adults and still don't know my exact salary but I think we've done a decent job with letting them know the cost of their lifestyles. Now they do know a few things.

    1) how much food cost. when my kids were young we took them food shopping with us constantly and then we began sending them to the store by themselves.
    2) they also know what our monthly house hold bills are. LOL. when I scream at them for taking 45 minute showers I show them the water and gas bill. When they turn on the tv, every light upstairs, and the stereo all at the same time, while on the computer Ilet them know how much electricity cost.
    3) now that we are discussing careers and salaries we talk about mortgages etc etc
    4) of course like most teens and young adults, they want new cars and not just new ford fiesta's , LOL oh no my kids want new BMW's. So whenever they'd start talking about new cars we'd simply go on line calculate up new car loan, insurance etc etc.

    tons of ways for them to get a realistic idea of household budget without disclosing my salary. as a general rule I don't go around asking folks howmuch they make and I wouldn't want my kids disclosing that type of information.
  19. tasha99

    tasha99 DIS Veteran

    Aug 20, 2006
    My kids are 22, 20, and 15, and they all know the ballpark figure. The older 2 know pretty exactly because of their FAFSAs. I think it's important for teens to have a rough idea of what various careers pay and what it takes to maintain a certain lifestyle.
  20. clm10308

    clm10308 DIS Veteran

    Jun 23, 2010
    My kids have never asked, but they know that we make substantially less now then we did just a few years ago. The older one knows that we are working very hard to pay off a lot of debt that was based on bad decisions.
    I don't think I would tell them a specific amount because the younger one would immediately broadcast that information all over school, but we have done a lot of talking over the last couple of years about budgeting and financial decision making.
  21. Kellydelly

    Kellydelly DIS Veteran

    Aug 25, 2004
    My children don't know how much their father's salary is, but they do know what my hourly wage is (I am an RN). I don't need them telling the neighbor kids our financial business :). I share with my friends my income (and they share too), but none of us share what our spouses bring home.

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