I read an interesting post today from CorporateMonkey about children in the workforce and its relative cultural appropriateness.
It got me to thinking.
Childhood is a relatively new concept, even in America. Probably a good idea. We protect our children from the rigors of the grownup world and allow them to grow, learn, play, and explore in a semi protective bubble.
The notion is that there is plenty of time to have to be a grownup and learn the hard truths of our world.
Part of their transition from the LaLa land of childhood is the understanding of economic concepts and how life/money works.
We often lament how formal education does not really do enough to address this dimension of adulthood. It is often left up to us as parents to teach them about money.
I was curious to see where my own kids were at on this spectrum. They are ages 8 and 12 and I thought it would be an interesting exercise to quiz them about some advanced notions of money.
I put forth the following questions;
- What would you want your yearly salary to be in order for you to live a comfortable middle class lifestyle?
- How much does a pretty good car cost, brand new?
- What percentage of your salary do you end up paying in taxes to the government?
- How much does a pretty nice house cost?
- What is a good hourly wage?
I purposely asked the 8 year old by himself first, so as not to askew the answers by letting them hear each other’s answers.
Their answers were enlightening;
8 Year old’s answers
- $ 10,000 (fail)
- $ 20,000 (spot on!)
- 30% (impressive)
- $ 30,000 (Please tell me where I can get this real estate)
- $ 50 (baller money)
12 Year old’s answers
- $ 75,000 (good job)
- $ 50,000 (too rich for my blood)
- 4 % (fail, no roads for you apparently)
- $ 250,000 (good answer for our area)
- $25 (acceptable)
I would love for you to share (below) the ages and answers your own kids gave. Along with any additional questions you think fit well with the spirit of this little quiz.
I, for one, apparently have some work to do. 🙂
P.S. The movie Kidco, circa 1984 was my first foray into the inter-workings of Capitalism from a kid’s perspective. I also wrote a post about my own dabbling into the world of the childhood hustle.