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Suze Orman Says Tell Your Kids Your Salary

Parents who are honest with their children about finances create a more honest and feasible college search process.

Lauren Bayne Anderson

April 21, 2009

Suze Orman Says Tell Your Kids Your Salary

Financial expert Suze Orman shocked parents nationwide on Oprah when she told the audience parents should share the details of their finances with their kids.

Oprah found most kids were shocked when they learned the details of their parents’ finances and exactly how much they make. Some kids only found out the actual details when submitting their family’s data to the financial aid office, when applying to college.

Many parents felt it was a bad idea to talk about money with their kids because they felt it added unnecessary financial worries to their kids' lives. Others simply feel it's none of their kids' business. But Orman says having a conversation with your kids about cash is one of the best things you can do to teach them how to manage money wisely.

Orman said by including kids in on the bills, they see how much comes into the household and how much is left over after expenses. When kids see how much the family is living on, they are a lot less demanding and a lot more understanding when parents tell them “no”.

“Don’t let their imagination run wild-- a silent conversation is worse than a real one,” Orman said. “Don’t let your kids think they’re doing something wrong when it’s just money.”

Talk about it and work through it together, she said.

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“They see what you do and not what you tell them,” Orman said. “It’s never too late to talk to kids about money.”

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