Hiding the truth: Experts urge parents not to keep financial secrets from children

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    June 11, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    "I let him sit down with me when I pay the bills, so he can see how much the water bill is. He knows how much the water costs per gallon and the difference in cost between a 10-minute and a 20-minute shower. So I don't have to hint around things," Wolan said. "I don't want my kid to worry about things, but he doesn't seem to be too worried. He still takes 20-minute showers. He's not worried with my money, but if it is his money, he thinks twice.""

    I know this article was about teaching children about finances, but really ... using the cost of water as an example is terrible. You should be teaching your children about water conservation. They learn young that as long as they can afford to pay the bill they can waste all the resources they want to. He should be worried about the overuse of clean, pure water while taking those 20-minute showers. Frankly as a parent its hard for me to understand why you are allowing your child to waste that much water!

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    June 9, 2012 11:33 a.m.

    I don't get it. Are the photos (usually discussing very serious matters) by Mr. Nicholson supposed to be "funny?" Or is he simply amateurish? This one isn't as bad as some, but these accompanying photos and the tone they bring to important articles, seem rather "high school".

  • Jeanie b. Orem, UT
    June 8, 2012 3:30 p.m.

    Our kids had an allowance until my husband got laid off and we were out of work for 8 months. Instead of an allowance, I arranged for them to clean my dad's doctor's office each weekend to earn spending money. We never did go back to allowances. Instead along with cleaning my dad's office we started a little family business making and selling nativities. Until they were 16 and could get their own job participating in the family business was how they earned their money.

    They learned so much about finances and business doing this. They understood cost and profit, hard work and the value of money. When they would ask about a price for something I'd compare the cost to how many nativity sets they would have to make for that amount. They could really relate to that.

    When our kids are seniors in high school we involve them in the monthly family budgeting sessions. This has been a real eye-opener for them and helped them prepare to take on the adult world of finances much better.

  • The Final Word Alpine, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 2:50 p.m.

    Most kids by their very nature don't do well keeping secrets. If you want your finanical details broadcast around the neighborhood and church then go ahead and tell them. Most do not understand how private some of those issues can and should be.

    My Dad taught me to manage money and how important it was to take care of money but did not disclose ANY of his personal finanical details to me. He is still interestingly quiet to this day about them and he is nearly 80.

    I am in my 40's, wife, 3 kids, and I have one debt which is my mortgage and I owe less than my house is worth by over $200 000.

    The financial experts who know everything....don't know everything. They were the same financial experts that had people investing full speed in the dot com and housing bubbles.

    The experts are also expert at selling their books and advice.

    All that being said there are alot of people out there that are really financially stupid and irresponsible and unfortunately they learned the behavior from watching parents show exactly zero financial discipline.

    Spending when you can't afford is a systemic cancer in todays world.

  • jimmyjones Provo, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 1:39 p.m.

    @Johnny Triumph

    It is all about being age appropriate. Also having discussions about how we don't share these things with others rather we keep them in our family. It is the difference between telling a 6 year old everything and a 12-14 year old everything about family finances. One age group will be able to respect that some things need privacy and one age group will not.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 12:17 p.m.

    Discussing problems and cuts with kids is one thing but how in the world do you trust children with financial info that could damage relationships in the neighborhood? My Dad makes a lot more than your dad. We're poor because the housing bubble burst and we owe more money than you do on our house. We have money saved, what do you have? Just seems like more trouble than it's worth to disclose too much information to kids when one can still teach fiscal responsibility without specifics.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    Dec. 13, 2011 10:29 a.m.

    Hard to teach the kids finances when most adults don't know how to manage their own.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 9:30 a.m.

    Great article. Totally agree.

    Don't live a lie to your kids or to yourself.