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Mummy are we poor?; Contra the herd; Don't pay twice; 7 things you can make yourself; Full disclosure on the salary front

Mummy are we poor?; Contra the herd; Don't pay twice; 7 things you can make yourself; Full disclosure on the salary front

 By Amanda Morrall

1) Mummy are we poor?

Wealth is relative. Most of us know that but it can still be a tough for both kids and some adults to wrap their heads around particularly when the spectrum is really broad.

My own children, after visiting a friend's house for the first time, asked me bluntly afterwards if we were poor.

I had to explain the concept of median and average wealth both domestically and internationally and assure them that actually they were lucky little toads. 

Here, New York Times writer Ron Lieber ponders how to stick handle the awkward money questions that kids throw at us.  

2) Contra the herd

Investing isn't about skill so much as behaviour, says Carl Richard, author of a  most excellent book called the Behaviour Gap. Richard, writing for the Motley Fool, outlines three key reasons to avoid following the masses when it comes to successful investment strategies.

3) Don't pay twice

One of my bug bears is extended retail warranties. I'm sure there are some cases where they pay for themselves however I have yet to hear about it.

Another reason why they might be superfluous is that some credit cards out there automatically give you that added protection. With a word of caution about doubling up on unnecessarily expenses see this video blog from USA Today.

4) Go green save green

Yesterday after shelling out $8 on two cinnamon rolls to placate crabby peckish children, I decided to put on my pinny (metaphorically anyway) and try my hand at making them. A bit time consuming but with ingredients on hand I managed to bake 15 of the darnn things and turn myself into a super hero in the eyes of my kids. Surprisingly easy too.

Here's MNN Money with 7 other things you can make instead of buying to save money and to ease your imprint on the planet.

5) Full disclosure

As a follow to #1, another question snoopy son #2 loves to ask is how much I have in the bank, how much I make for writing a book, a column, teaching yoga etc. etc.

I try to answer his question as best as I can conscious of the fact that it will end up schoolyard gossip or some horrible by-product of a Chinese whisper exponentially shrunken or grown from the original value.

Is it appropriate to discuss salary with kids friends, family or colleagues?

Mark Goodman, a Canadian lawyer and tax specialist who writes his own blog, argues it's information best kept confidential. Your thoughts?

Like what you've read? You'll enjoy the book better. Here's how to order a copy of Amanda's book Money Matters: Get your Life and $ Sorted. The book is also available in ebook format as well via Amazon and is replete with hyper links to help you get your finances in order. 

You can also follow Amanda on Twitter @amandamorrall; check out her previous Take Fives here; Find out what she's up on on her own blog here.  

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7 Comments

... and turn myself into a super hero in the eyes of my kids.

What an outstanding return on investment.

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:) well put Ralph. 

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#2, I agree it is all about behaviour. 

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#3 You have never heard of the CGA?

Consumer items should last a reasonable amount of time and be fit for purpose.  So far I have not done too badly. Rock on into the shop and say Im making a claim via the CGA. The interesting thing is it gives you a good idea of what retailers treat you fairly and what ones take the mick...

regards

 

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One friend's four year old son asked him, 'what do you do dad?' to which he replied, 'I make profit son'.

 

I suspect it's not the talking about money (or not) that influences kids but rather the attitude that goes with it that counts.  Kids are very perceptive at reading between the lines.

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In a consumer society peopl'e self worth is tied up in how much they own. 

People go into debt so that other's think they are worth more than what they really are.

It can be difficult to say how much you are worth as it can be an open invitation to get judged by others.

Its probably a good idea for everyone to do some self reflection on how we judge our own worth.

As Socrates said "the unexamined life is not worth living".

Its also a good idea to start searching for the meaning of life.

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Kids one day came home from school and said other kids at school said we were rich.  I replied that we weren't.  'Do you wear brand named clothing to school?' 'No'.  Do these other kids?' 'Yes'.  'Well I don't buy you brand named clothing so whose parents are the rich ones?' 

As farmers, incomes fluctuated quite a bit at times and though we did talk about money, we never talked specifics when the kids were at primary school. It was always a case of, well payout is down this year so we aren't going to be making as much money so we have to watch what we spend. Or payout is up so we will be able to buy a new tv/bed whatever.  One thing all the kids did know at primary school was that I used to put aside x$ per month in to an account (one for each) once they started school and that money was used to pay for their expenses over and above the basics of food and clothing, eg birthday/christmas/scout camps/school uniforms etc.  So when a comment came about the good quality cricket bat they had etc they replied - but mum saves up for that.  It taught them that you need to save if you really want something. If they wanted to go to Scout Jamborees/ school overseas trips they had to work for it - my account didn't pay for that sort of thing.

 

As Ralph says - attitude has more of an influence. ;-) 

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