Should you tell your kids how much money you make?
According to a recent New York Times article by personal finance columnist Ron Lieber, you should, and one father found a particularly creative way to do it.
Scott Parker, the story details, once withdrew a whole month’s salary in $US1 bills to impress upon his children how he spent his money.
From the Times:
One day, he stopped by his local Wells Fargo branch in Encinitas, Calif., and asked to withdraw his entire monthly salary in cash. In singles. It took 24 hours for the tellers to round up that many bills, so he returned the next day and took away the $US100 stacks in a canvas bag.
His oldest son, Daniel, who was 15 at the time, remembers the moment his father walked into the house and dumped the $US10,000 or so on a table. “It looked like he had robbed a bank,” he said.
After a pause to let it all sink in, Mr. Parker began peeling off bills. He told them about taxes, set aside money for a tithe to their church and made a big pile for the house payment. The singles piled up for soccer and scouting and hamburger night. By the end, there wasn’t much left over. “I was trying to make as big of an impact as I could, and I definitely had their attention,” he said recently.
Lieber, the author of “The Opposite Of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Generous, Grounded, And Smart About Money,” argues that children deserve to know what their parents earn.
“Here’s the bigger problem this helps to solve: Money is a source of mystery to children,” he says. “They sense its power, so they ask questions, lots of them, over many years.”
Whether you decide to answer them — and how — is up to you.