4 money questions junior will ask, and how to answer them

They may seem awkward and intrusive, but talking about money will give your kids a healthier perspective on that topic.

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Among taboo topics for kids will bring up to parents, money probably ranks a close second after the all-time popular question, “How was I made?”.

Most of us will be tempted to change the topic or ignore it altogether. However, do remember that it’s best for your kids to get information from you – especially if it’s a sensitive topic – rather than an equally-clueless friend or worse yet, from the World Wide Web.

Another plus point: As you talk junior through a specific topic, you will also realise just how much you’ll learn about yourself and your money habits.

Here are four vey common questions that will pop into your peewee’s head at some point and they will blurt out at a time when you least expect it. Read on for tips on how to answer them well and in a way that your child will understand. Plus, it’s also a great way to instil good values about money in them.

Use this opportunity to remind your kids, or introduce them to the concept of needs and wants. For example, “We need a car, but we don’t need a new car.”

Awkward money question #1

Also known as The comparison question

Will sound like “Why does so-and-so have a new something and we don’t?”

Why your child will ask this This question can vary depending on the object and the person. For example, if your child is referring to a toy you don’t have the budget to buy, the question will sound like this: “Why does my classmate have the Nintendo Switch and I don’t?”. If she sees that your neighbour, sibling, or friend made a big purchase recently and compares it to what you have, then junior will phrase it this way: “How come Uncle Joe got a new car? Ours is a lot older”.

How to answer Use this opportunity to remind your kids, or introduce them to the concept of needs and wants. For example, “We need a car, but we don’t need a new car.” If you haven’t done so, also take this time to let them know every family has a different set of rules and values, and they may not always be the same as yours.

Awkward money question #2

Also known as The point-blank question

Will sound like “How much do you make?”

Why your child will ask this It can stem from feeling worried about whether you can afford the lifestyle you’re currently leading – yes, kids do notice such stuff! Sometimes, it can also be part of the comparison question. Junior curiosity might have also been sparked after hearing other kids boast about how much their parents earn or about a friend’s parent losing his or her job.

How to answer Revealing the actual figure isn’t as important as teaching your kids about how you use your salary. Such as, to buy groceries, pay for tuition, travel, and so on. It might also help if you break it down into “how much is enough”, “how much is not enough”, and “how much is more than enough”. This is similar to what you just told them about families not having the same rules and values. For example, you can say “Our family’s definition of ‘enough’ and differs from Uncle Joe’s or your classmate’s.”