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‘Daddy, Are We Rich?’ And Other Tough Questions

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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/10/your-money/10money.html?_r=1&ref=business

There is nothing like an inquisitive child to make you realize just how complicated the topic of money is. That’s what I ended up thinking after my 4-year-old daughter a few weeks ago stomped her feet, turned red and demanded to know why we did not own a summer house.

It might have been funny if it hadn’t totally knocked the wind out of me. My wife handled it better, noting that if we had spent money on a second home, our daughter wouldn’t have been able to go to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival this year or on a beach vacation. My wife also pointed out that it was generous of our friends to share their weekend home.

But it reminds me that while it may be possible to dodge the subject of money in polite adult company, there is no denying children and their often relentless follow-ups. Children ask tough questions — whether their families are rich, why they can’t have an iPod Touch like their friends do. So below you’ll find an introduction to five of the most difficult questions.

There are many more where these came from, and we’ll be discussing them one by one in a series of posts on our Bucks blog this weekend and for the rest of the month. Please join us there to improve upon anything you see below or to suggest new questions.

HOUSEHOLD INCOME How much money do you make? As with any financial question, your first response ought to be, “What made you think of that?”

Your children may not be looking for a number, especially if they’re young and have no context for five- or six-digit figures. They may just be worried about running out of money or wondering why you don’t live in a mansion.

Also, asking the nature of the inquiry gives you time to compose yourself if you’re rendered speechless or haven’t prepared for this query.

Brent Kessel, a financial planner in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and the author of “It’s Not About the Money,” says he believes that most questions about salary spring from the schoolyard. “There is so much comparison going on there,” he said. “Who is best looking? Who is most popular? And money just plugs right into that system. Who has the richest parents?”

He has not yet answered his oldest child’s question directly. Why not? “The honest answer is my own fear about my son sharing it with his friends and it creating pain for them or emotional shame for their parents,” he said. “Why is Brent telling my kid that he makes that much? Does Brent’s ego really need to rub it in?”

Indeed, the problem with disclosure in this context is that many younger children will immediately tell someone (or everyone). And the automatic social reflex is often a flash of shame among people who hear the number and make less, Mr. Kessel noted, or arrogance among those who make more. Who truly wants to put others in either situation?

If older children persist with their questioning, try instead to use this as a lesson in budgeting. Gary Shor, a financial planner with the American Economic Planning Group in Watchung, N.J., breaks down household expenses like mortgage payments, electricity and food costs. He and his wife help their children add other discretionary items to the list.

“They then get a sense of how much income someone needs to support this lifestyle,” he said. “We then discuss occupations that bring in that kind of income and the path to that career.”

Perhaps we should have children questioning the PM in future rather than the opposition?

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if we had spent money on a second home, our daughter wouldn’t have been able to go to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival this year or on a beach vacation

You know you're hard up when you can only afford to do this but not buy a summer house <_<

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Attrocious self satisfying drivel.

Children do not know the value of money, they can't comprehend it. Ten pounds used to sound a fortune to me in 1980, I probably thought I could buy the moon on a stick for that (or a one bedroom flat). They don't ask can we afford an iPod. What a load of twaddle. They just desire an iPod and if they are greedy then ask for one.

He's just poncing around writing an article that says, I can have this and that, and I am well off. Pr*t.

"my 4-year-old daughter a few weeks ago stomped her feet, turned red and demanded to know why we did not own a summer house."

Pretentious little t*rd takes after daddy.

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Guest Noodle

Attrocious self satisfying drivel.

Children do not know the value of money, they can't comprehend it. Ten pounds used to sound a fortune to me in 1980, I probably thought I could buy the moon on a stick for that (or a one bedroom flat). They don't ask can we afford an iPod. What a load of twaddle. They just desire an iPod and if they are greedy then ask for one.

He's just poncing around writing an article that says, I can have this and that, and I am well off. Pr*t.

"my 4-year-old daughter a few weeks ago stomped her feet, turned red and demanded to know why we did not own a summer house."

Pretentious little t*rd takes after daddy.

£10 bought a 3-bed semi in 1980.

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My eight year old son and I have no problem discussing money at all.

When he asks for something expensive I look at him as if he's stupid and say,

"We can't afford that."

He looks back and me as if I'm stupid and says,

"Yeah, you're right."

Then we move along.

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There is nothing like an inquisitive child to make you realize just how complicated the topic of money is. That’s what I ended up thinking after my 4-year-old daughter a few weeks ago stomped her feet, turned red and demanded to know why we did not own a summer house

What complete and utter pretentious ********.

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My eight year old son and I have no problem discussing money at all.

Glad you said that. Saves me recollecting my own childhood!

Left me with something of an aversion to expensive things. Like anything marketed by brand name over generic/supermarket-own-label, let alone deezyner label. Or even going into a hotel for a cuppa (that kind of place is too expensive for people like us ...).

If the parent can co-opt the child to see the evils of marketing (the eighty-quid trainers are exactly the same as the fifteen-quid ones, but you pay extra for the label), you can positively reverse pester-power from I must have it to telling friends who do have it why are you wasting all that money?

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when i was a child i was in no doubt as to how poor we were and thereore put up with the dunlop trainers and cheap clothes.

Turns out that we werent but by the time i realised that i was a grown up with charachter

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Guest X-QUORK

The poorest people in the UK are relatively well off (financially) compared to most in the world.

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The poorest people in the UK are relatively well off (financially) compared to most in the world.

Quite. Everything in life is relative.

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Quite. Everything in life is relative.

In the UK you can live amongst the rich even if you're poor. :D

Former asylum seeker on benefits given £2 million house (Telegraph 11 Jul 2010)

"A family of former asylum seekers have moved into a £2.1 million home in one of the smartest areas of London at a cost to the taxpayer of £8,000 a month after complaining about living in a poor area. Their previous home – also paid for by housing benefit – was not convenient for shopping and meant their children had to get the bus to school."

article-1293730-0A61B224000005DC-596_468x546.jpg

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The kid has picked up this behaviour from somewhere? They have seen this tactic which appeared to work and they are copying it...

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Most middle class parents are vacuous morons these days, fixated on money and obtaining stuff. Some of them don't have a single serious book in their magazine-spread homes.

At some tedious gathering I was at someone mentioned that the old £20 notes were now out of circulation and you had to check you had the ones with Adam Smith on.

'Who the heck's Adam Smith?' brayed some well-off bint, parading her stupidity.

Without sounding pretentious, some 'starving artist' type parent probably has much more of value to give than Mr Corporate.

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Guest Noodle

Most middle class parents are vacuous morons these days, fixated on money and obtaining stuff. Some of them don't have a single serious book in their magazine-spread homes.

At some tedious gathering I was at someone mentioned that the old £20 notes were now out of circulation and you had to check you had the ones with Adam Smith on.

'Who the heck's Adam Smith?' brayed some well-off bint, parading her stupidity.

Without sounding pretentious, some 'starving artist' type parent probably has much more of value to give than Mr Corporate.

Similar. Had to listen in monosyllabic detail some Epsom cow braying about it's new £150,000 . . . kitchen.

Yep, you read that right. £150,000 kitchen.

When it had left, the guy that knew these people told of their bizarre levels of debt.

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  • 261 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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