Money Talk: Did you know how much your parents earned when you were a child?
Not a damn clue.
No one talked to me about money, salary, saving, debt, nothing. Nada. Zilch.
I didn’t even know what things cost. I knew we had a 4-bedroom house in a nice area, and my dad drove a very nice car that was expensive because kids at school would ask curiously what my father did.
I’d reply he was a minimum-wage worker who only did work part-time and they would give me the oddest look.
It made me realize that maybe what my parents did was not normal. I guess everyone else’s parents went to work full-time, were in good jobs, but mine were unemployed and working minimum wage part-time, living in a huge house that made my other friends envious, and driving a fancy car.
It just seemed normal to me. I didn’t know differently. I didn’t know that expensive cars could be THAT much money, and completely out of the range of a part-time minimum wage worker.
I didn’t know that a 4-bedroom house was so expensive. I had no clue what anything had to do with anything else.
I think all my friends just assumed we were secretly rich from another country, and in some ways they were right because my father won the lottery (a small but substantial one, not millions) and then squandered it living a life he couldn’t sustain or afford.
My parents were, and still are, completely money clueless.
They are not money morons, per se.. now that the house is paid, and my mother is a little less of an Ostrich not caring about her money (5 categories of women and their money), and taking a little more charge, making sure she knows what she has, taxes to pay.. but just basic level stuff.
Even basic addition and subtraction can confuse my mother if the numbers are too big because she has always told herself she is too dumb to understand money or math and both are lies, but hey… she is a senior now, and she has us children to look out for her.
My parents were a thousand percent part of the reason why I got into so much student debt in school (spoiler alert: I did not know what being frugal meant, let alone what I had to do) and it wasn’t until I got out that I thought to myself — Oh. WHAT?!?... and then reality hit with my debt, and I just went to the other extreme, powering down on all expenses and sending pennies (literal pennies) towards my student loans.
I now know what that saved money costs. I know that there are taxes to be paid, expenses of the house, etc.
I had no clue what my parents made but it just seemed NORMAL that a part-time minimum wage worker had such a grand life, but it was clearly ridiculous in hindsight.
Goes to show you just how much we talked about money at home. I am aiming to be different with Little Bun.
I won’t tell him my real salary though because it isn’t realistic but I will give him my average salary, explaining that as a freelancer we make $0 and then a lot as well but we have to even out the income.
Did you know how much your parents made?
You can read the rest of the Money Talk questions here.