Childish Misunderstandings About Money

by Mr. Cheap

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I’ve answered a couple of memes in the past, so I’m at the point where I’d like to try starting my own.

What early (i.e. before you were 10 years old) ideas did you have about money or finance that turned out to be totally (and amusingly) wrong? Please tag at least 3 people when you answer this meme, and link or traceback to  http://www.moneysmartsblog.com/childish-misunderstandings-about-money/, or leave a comment with a link to your response at the same address (so we can collect all answers generated in one place). Feel free to cut and paste this paragraph into your response post.

To begin with, when I was a kid (like 5 or something) I thought that you had to buy jobs. I got the concept that there were jobs that were better then other jobs, but I thought you got them by paying more money for them (so if you wanted to be a doctor, you’d have to pay the hospital $100,000 but if you wanted to be a paperboy, you only had to pay the newspaper $500). I realized that you did get paid for a job, but I thought you needed to pay them first. I *think* I thought you’d be able to sell a job when you left too… So I thought people saved up, then bought a better job.

The funny thing is, in SOME ways this *is* a little bit correct (e.g. you have to pay for an expensive education to become a doctor or lawyer). In many ways families buy better jobs for their children. Dividend paying stocks, annuities, GICs and whatnot have always made sense to me, because that’s how I thought even employement worked (you paid a lump sum of money then collected the ongoing payments).

I’d like to tag Million Dollar Journey, The Dividend Guy, Wooly Woman and Krystal to continue this meme.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jsand

I don’t have a blog but I wanted to chime in on this one. Personally I don’t remember my strange thoughts about money as a child. However, my children have given me some incite.

My kids use to think that I went to work to actually MAKE money. So they thought that if I didn’t have enough money for something that I could go to work make some money and we would have enough for them. It took along time to help them understand that I earned money from my employer. I had to explain where money was made and that there were places where people went to work that actually MADE money.

2 Mr. Cheap

Jsand: That’s a good one! When I posted this I worried that people might not remember their childhood ideas, so maybe encouraging them to post things their kids thought (like your’s) would have been better.

Thanks for the comment!

3 The Dividend Guy
4 Mr. Cheap

Krystal answered this here.

5 SavingDiva

I grew up in a small town with no shopping and one grocery store. My only real want was ice cream (which I knew I would get if I was good). I didn’t really think about money as anything except to count and to put the coins into rolls.

6 MillionDollarJourney

Thanks for the tag Mike. The problem is, I don’t remember much about what I thought about money when I was a child. :) I’ll have to do some thinking!

7 Mr. Cheap

MDJ: Yes, I think that might be the problem with this meme, I’m trying to get people to tap into long-lost memories.

If you have any kids in your life, funny ideas they’ve come up with will work too!

8 Mr. Cheap

Wooly Woman gave a great experience she had with currency exchange as a kid here.

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