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!

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  1. Theginster55

    Theginster55 Earning My Ears

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    Talking about Money is such a taboo. I think most people are more comfortable with talking about sex. Personal finance is mostly about behavior. My daughters are 10 and 8. They know what we as a family earn. They are part of the budget decisions. And they earn a commission in which they must save a portion, give a portion and spend. It will increase in responsibility as they get older. My husband has 2 adult children who werenÂ’t provided with that framework and we are saddened by their choices. They have a big hole to work against in being successful financially. More concerned with instant gratification than long term goals.

    It is scary thinking of how many people are unprepared for financial responsibility when they enter adulthood.
     
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  3. ccgirl

    ccgirl DIS Veteran

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    How old is your DD? How does she know how to budget if she doesn't know how much to start with to begin with? I plan on sharing that with my DD10 in a couple of years. I plan to tell her it's private family information that does not need to be discussed. If she happens to tell friends, oh well. Not really a big deal to me.
     
  4. disykat

    disykat DIS Veteran

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    Although we've never tried to hide it, we had no reason to give that information to our kids until they were seniors in high school and we were filling out the FAFSA for college expenses.

    At that point, we wanted them to be fully aware of our financial situation. We gave them access to the entire form, but basically told them "here's the deal. We make x, x is taken out for taxes etc. making our take home about x. We've saved x. So you have x amount towards your college from us each year for four years as long as you are keeping up your grades etc."

    I WANTED them to know that this money wasn't just dropping out of the sky, but was a very big part of our income. I also wanted them to know that the number, just enough to cover a state school, wasn't random, but carefully planned out and sacrificed for.

    Prior to that, they could have figured it out fairly easily based on our career choices. Both of our salaries are public record. We also leave some of our financial records around the house - they could have easily opened our checkbook and seen how much is deposited each month.
     
  5. mnrose

    mnrose Queen of all she surveys

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    My kids do not know how much $$$ we make, or how much $$$ we have. And, they won't. They DO know that they are more fortunate (money wise) than the vast majority of their friends, and certainly more fortunate than 99.9% of the children in the world. They do not need to know the precise dollar amounts in order to understand that any "problems" they have are first world problems....if you have to worry about whether you have fresh water, a roof over your head when it rains, or enough food for three meals a day, then you have REAL problems. Everything else is just trivia in the scheme of things. :thumbsup2

    I checked other.
     
  6. Granny square

    Granny square Always planning a trip!

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    The fafsa was probably the first time we went into in depth, too.

    I don't have a clue what them knowing that they are better off than most children has to do with it.
     
  7. brockash

    brockash DIS Veteran

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    My kids don't, but it's only because they've never asked. If they've ever asked, I'd absolutely tell them. I don't get why it should be a secret from your own kids??? I think anything that will help teach my kids about money and budgeting is good and helpful. I'm not ashamed of what we make and I think in times in which money is tight, it's good to be able to explain to kids why it is etc., and what to do when you have extra money etc.

    Having said that, I never knew what my parents made growing up, but I really never asked either. I now know the ballpark of what my parents make.
     
  8. Sadie22

    Sadie22 DIS Veteran

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    By middle school I believe that chldren should have a good idea of what the family budget is. How much my husband makes has always been openly discussed. The children also understood what we discussed in our family was not for discussion with others. It shocks me that some of you are not telling your children things because you fear they'll tell the neighbors or their classmates. :confused3

    It was also important for them to understand that although we didn't have extra money for some things that other people take for granted (such as we didn't choose to rent a condo on the beach for two weeks every summer, or go to Disney with the kids more than once, instead visiting the Smithsonian and national parks and the like), that they were better off than many. It is important to give to charities for the benefit of those who cannot afford food and clothing, for example.
     
  9. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    I meant to ask the OP, how old is your DD? You never said in the OP. (My apologies if I missed it later.)

    I guess that - like everything else around here - we're all different. :p

    I do seem to be noticing a trend, though, that people who have "plenty" of money don't always seem to share as much info with their kids, as opposed to "middle of the road" or even more so, "less than most". Am I off on that?

    Could it be that if you don't have to worry about it, it's not as critical to teach it? I'd think that people who have less perhaps have more to teach about how they make it work, how they can earn more, etc. Just my thoughts...
     
  10. indygirl99

    indygirl99 Choose Happiness

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    They were given an early foundation of budgeting and involved with the family budget. They knew they had a save, spend and give catagory and were able to budget within those catagories at an early age for their own money. So working with the family budget I would say yes they knew what we made and do to this day eventhough they are grown adults.

    They are now passing on the same lessons to their children.

    I knew as a child what the family budget was and where the money for that budget came from. I was taught from an early age that there are no secrets with money.

    Our adult children even know where to access our wills and financial papers if something were to happen to us, same with their grandmother.

    It was never kept a secret from us growing up and we never saw it as a problem with our children. How will they know how to handle money and budget if we don't teach them?
     
  11. jgh

    jgh Peter Pan!

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    I don't have kids yet, but I have no idea what my dad makes per year. I can take a guess, but other than that...he's never mentioned it. I'll probably do the same.
     
  12. disykat

    disykat DIS Veteran

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    I have to add that we've always talked about finances with the kids, just not exact amounts until those pre-college talks. I think kids can get a ballpark understanding of how their household budget works (and those of their friends as well for that matter!) without knowing numbers.

    It's interesting with the government furlough stuff going on. We still have one at home and he's a senior in high school and we've already done FAFSA. We had laid it all out on the line, so now he's done the math and knows exactly how much money will be out of our household budget. I kind of wish he was blissfully ignorant instead of worrying, based on numbers he knows, that this will make his college plans more of a challenge. ( I wish I was blissfully ignorant too!;))

    I'm 51 and I still don't know how much money my parents have and what their monthly income looks like. I do know they're comfortable though. DH doesn't know about his either. With DH's parents, I've been kind of encouraging him to try to find out because I think they may need help at some point soon.
     
  13. POPCITY

    POPCITY Mouseketeer

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    I've never understood why money is such a taboo subject. I've told DS10 how much our income is, in passing, but as I remember it wasn't really anything interesting to him. If he asked me about it, though, I would definitely tell him. I don't feel it's private.

    Now, my weight, that's private!
     
  14. Bella the Ball 360

    Bella the Ball 360 Keyboarding is not my thing excuse typos.<br><font

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    Unfortunately, my salay is a matter of public record so not only my kids but anyone who wants to find out can! Our new mayor, jerk that he is, published ALL the salaries for municipal workers in the city this year. Lucky for me I get an additional stipend so my salary looks much less than it is because IMO it is no one's business. The amount of the salary should or could be published but not the names of the people who get it. That is wrong on so many levels.
     
  15. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  16. Gumbo4x4

    Gumbo4x4 Note to the ladies who forgot to

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    It's private because children do not keep secrets very well. ;) DD7 sometimes comes home with stories like, "Cora's daddy makes "___" an hour doing "___". Aside from the fact it's none of my business, I know for a fact that the # isn't correct. So, now that leaves me with a dilemma of either having to correct her (and then her correct her friend), or just bite my tongue. I usually reply with, "Honey, it's really not any of our business what Cora's daddy makes".

    My children (7 & 12) don't know what we make, but they do know that Daddy makes more than Mommy. And they do know that Mommy took a big salary hit in order to take a job that allows her much, much, much more time home with them. It was important to us for them to understand that with that time comes some sacrifices when it comes to "things" we could afford much more easily a few years back.

    I don't know what my parents made, nor what their pensions pay now, though it is public record so I could always look it up if I desired to know. I just don't though.
     
  17. disykat

    disykat DIS Veteran

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    As for public record, those salaries are pretty easy to find with the internet.
    An internet search using my name and employer pops mine right up.

    I've never found dh's by name, but you can find his salary schedule so if you know his title/level/years of service you can find out easily.
     
  18. ZephyrHawk

    ZephyrHawk Confirmed Disneyphile

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    I never asked my parents what they made, but they either told me or I picked it up from conversations. I do remember my dad talking with me one day about what his salary came out to on an hourly basis. Basically, he was trying to impart to me how long he had to work in order to afford some of the things we spent money on. I doubt they would have worried about me "blabbing" to my friends, as I didn't need a salary comparison to know that in my hometown full of upper class folks, my upper middle class family had nothing to brag about.

    I'll probably share this sort of information with my own kid when she gets old enough for the same reasons my parents did with me: So that she doesn't take for granted any of the nice things we have.
     
  19. DLgal

    DLgal DIS Veteran

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    I've never understood the secrecy either. I always knew how much my dad made growing up. I just never knew how much they spent every month, or how much stuff cost! My parents were habitual overspenders. I wish I had known THAT when I was younger. I learned how to manage money upon finding out in my adulthood how much in debt my parents actually were. Salary is an arbitrary number. Household spending is a much more important thing to make kids aware of.

    My husband is in the military. His salary is viewable to the public. It's not a secret.
     
  20. Pigeon

    Pigeon DIS Veteran

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    They could figure it out. We talk careers with them and my older one is trying to figure out what to do in life. She has looked at the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which would give her a ballpark number.
     
  21. eliza61

    eliza61 http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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    :thumbsup2

    It's not that it's a "secret" but I do know my kids until much older had no real "concept" of salaries.

    If I told my kids, we make say 150K, my sons would think "rich" which for where we live is the farthest thing from it.

    So imo simply saying I make 85,000 dollars is a pretty useless number. why would they need that. If my kids did ask say "how much do you make" my first response would probably be "what do you need to know"? and then take the discussion from there.

    Now as far as wills and stuff go, they know where they are and they know who they would have to get in contact with should some thing happen to me. their guardian and the executor of the estate would have to be notified and they know how to do that.
     

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