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. A_Princess'_Daddy

    A_Princess'_Daddy DIS Veteran

    Jan 5, 2010
    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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  3. Fortuosity

    Fortuosity That's me byword

    Nov 15, 2004
    None of their business.
  4. mrodgers

    mrodgers DIS Veteran

    Oct 29, 2009
    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.
  5. violetrose

    violetrose DIS Veteran

    Sep 22, 2010
    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.
  6. bigbabyblues

    bigbabyblues DIS Veteran

    Mar 25, 2004
    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 isn't something we "have" to do.
  7. NMAmy

    NMAmy Can speak food in German

    Oct 25, 2000
    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.
  8. Lilliputian

    Lilliputian DIS Veteran

    Jul 1, 2012
    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.
  9. 2girls4me

    2girls4me DIS Veteran

    Oct 14, 2010
    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.
  10. mefordis

    mefordis If you can dream it, you can do it.

    Jun 23, 2006
    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.
  11. WMorganS

    WMorganS Flapping My Ears

    Feb 4, 2013
    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.
  12. Pinup Mommy

    Pinup Mommy Making everyday a Dapper Day!!

    Aug 12, 2012
    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.
  13. aprilgail2

    aprilgail2 Guest

    :thumbsup2 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.
  14. superme80

    superme80 DIS Veteran

    May 2, 2010
    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. :rolleyes1 I found out how much my dad made about 8 years ago when we did our taxes togther. Man did I feel poor. :lmao: 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. ;)
  15. JessicaR

    JessicaR <font color=blue>DIS Veteran<br><font color=green>

    Sep 26, 2000
    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. :confused3
  16. nancygirl1

    nancygirl1 Mouseketeer

    Feb 18, 2008
    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.
  17. mom2boys

    mom2boys <font color=blue>Horseshoe Mesa - 3 miles, 31 swit

    Aug 17, 1999
    I don't tell my teens. They've never really asked. That said, it's public information since I'm a Federal employee. That said, I don't broadcast my salary to them because it sounds like a lot more than it buys. Of course, we live in a high cost of living area.
  18. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Dec 15, 2003
    My son is in college still, and working full time. He asked me to help him with his tax return. Mistake on his part. He doesn't know what I make, he just knows now he makes more than I do! He was already paying for his car, his insurance, gas, health insurance, but is still living at home. DW and I have very strong feelings that a child should never pay rent to live at home, but we want him to understand, as he goes to Las Vegas for the weekend, or drops $200 on a fancy dinner for him and his girlfriend, how lucky he is.
  19. sonnyjane

    sonnyjane DIS Veteran

    Mar 11, 2009
    I haven't read all the responses.

    I'm not sure that I would have understood salary comparisons as a kid or even an early teenager. Now that I'm 30 I do talk to my parents about their finances because I worry about their future. I know how much they make, how much their pension will pay, and what they have in investments. I'm also, as their oldest, the beneficiary (they are divorced) and executor of their living wills, so as an adult, I know a lot about their financial situation and am glad that I do for my own peace of mind. As I said, though, I don't think I would have understood that information before being a financially independent adult myself. I don't think it needs to be a secret, I'm just not sure what the point of a young child knowing that information would be.
  20. Colleen27

    Colleen27 DIS Veteran

    Mar 31, 2007
    We've never really talked about it. There's no big secrecy, but the kids just don't seem terribly interested in specifics. They know we're better off than some of their friends and not as well off as others, and they know that we're able to enjoy the lifestyle we have based on smart/frugal choices rather than high income.

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