Common Questions Little Kids Ask About Money—And How To Answer Them

An expert helps us figure things out.

Adults tend to keep mum about their finances, especially to their kids. Children, on the other hand, are innately curious; it is inevitable for them to be vocal about every question that pops in their head.

“When faced with the hard questions, it’s always good to find out first what kids are thinking,” says child expert Kat Balboa, school directress at Milestone Preschool, who has been teaching preschoolers for more than 15 years now. “You can start from there. Ask them to define terms according to their understanding: What does ‘rich’ mean to you? See if their definition is correct or acceptable, then elaborate and explain.” She says this does not only make it easier for you to answer the kid’s question; it also makes your child feel they’re active contributors to the discussion.

With the help of our expert, we try to give the best possible answers to the toughest, most common money questions kids aged seven and below ask.

See related topic: (This Game Could Be Teaching Kids To Become Good Entrepreneurs)

Is our family rich or poor?

“Rich means having a lot. Now, it depends on what we’re talking about. We have a lot of friends and family, so we are rich in love. We are not so busy, so we have a lot of time together. We don’t have too much things or money—we have enough. And enough is okay.”

How much money do you make?

“Enough to buy us food, take care of the household, and sometimes enjoy going out and buying gifts or toys.”

Why can’t we afford to go on a nice vacation?

“Let’s just go and play somewhere near for now. Don’t worry, we will go on a vacation soon. In fact, mom and dad are already saving so we can do something fun. We are just putting our needs for the house first.”

Why can’t you buy me the things that I want?

“Because on the top of our ‘to-buy’ list are the things that make us healthy. Everything else that makes us happy is up for approval. Why? because not everything that makes us happy, makes us healthy.”

What’s cheap and expensive?

“Cheap is easy to buy because you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get it. Expensive means you need a whole lot of money just so you can have it. Remember: cheap is known to be easily destroyed, but there are good cheap finds. Expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it’s sturdy. Expensive items break, too.”

Why is my classmate’s house so big, and ours is not?

“They have a bigger family, and they need more space to move around. I want us to be able to see each other always. Imagine if we have a big house like that, it would be so hard to find each other. Besides, we don’t really need to have a big house; we have everything we need to live comfortably. I think we have a very happy home because we get to be with each other all the time.”

See related topic: (10 Important Money Lessons To Teach Your Kids)

Why can’t we eat at restaurants more often?

“Because mom always makes the best meals, and she puts so much love in her cooking. In restaurants, we don’t even know how they prepare their food, and what they put in there. Remember, we have to give importance to being healthy, and you know that mom always makes sure of that when she cooks. But it won’t hurt to eat in restaurants once in a while—also, so that mom can the break that she deserves.”

Where does money come from?

“Money comes from the work that we do. Mommy and daddy contribute to the community, and they get paid for that. Just like a fireman makes sure that he puts out the fire, or a doctor sees to it that his patients get well. We are paid to do that too.” –Diana Lyn Balbalosa