Thursday, May 27, 2010

Childhood Money Misperceptions

"Money doesn't grow on trees." ~ idiom

Most children know that money doesn't grow on trees. However, based on my experience, young children sometimes have ideas that are very similar to money growing on trees. Here are some of the misperceptions:
  • Credit cards - When I was seven, I thought credit cards let people get things without using money. My dad had a gas station credit card and I thought he got all his gasoline for free. One day, my visiting uncle paid for gasoline with cash. I became frantic because I thought he was wasting money. I waved and screamed at him from the inside of the car to use my dad's credit card. After a few minutes, my dad finally figured out my message. He explained to my uncle and they both had a good laugh.
  • ATMs - One of my colleagues shared a solution that her children offered for spending cutbacks being considered in their family. They suggested that she go to the ATM to get more money. Her children believed that everybody could get any amount money they needed at an ATM.
  • Parental funds - Our five year old daughter believes that she will never need to earn money. As she explained to my mother-in-law, there is enough unclaimed loose money in our house to meet her financial requirements. Therefore, why waste time working to earn money?
  • After writing this, I realized that some children do not grow out these beliefs :-) Fortunately, I did learn my childhood perception about credit cards was wrong. Hopefully, my daughter will also learn she needs more money than she finds around our house.

    For more on Crossing Generations check back every Thursday for a new segment.

    This is not financial or parenting advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2010 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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