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How Much Things Cost According to a 6 Year Old

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six year old saving

As some of you may know Mrs. Frugal Rules and I have three little ones; the oldest little Frugal Rule will be turning six in just a few short months. Just like her parents she is very inquisitive about things and life which has made it quite natural for us to begin the process of teaching her about money and how much things cost. When I saw this infographic I knew right away that I wanted to share it as it really is cute and also funny to see how little ones think how much things cost and when they think they’ll get certain things, like a car. I just had to laugh when I saw that 25% of the kids asked in this informal poll thought they would be owning a car by age 12. This reminds me of how our daughter will often comment that the jar we put our spare change in will fund our entire summer vacation for our family of five. There were some other statistics in this infographic that gave me a chuckle, like the fact that 25% of the kids thought that a house costs roughly $155. Just imagine the real estate empire you could build if that were true! 😉

In all seriousness though, as our daughter gets older she really is starting to grapple with the concept of how much things cost – at least to the level that she can. This gives me further ambition to teach her and our other children about money, how to handle it and more importantly how to manage it wisely so they can grow up to be financially literate and impact those around them. As Shannon said last week, that is one of the most loving things parents can do for their children, to which I would also add that it is also our duty to pass on that wisdom so they can have a better life. Certainly life is about more than just money and how much things cost, but we would be seriously remiss to not direct them as they begin to grapple with the concept of finances.

What did you like in this infographic? Do you think it’s only children that grapple with how much things cost?

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John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.

55 Comments

  • Kim@Eyesonthedollar says:

    Our daughter asked us not too long ago if our house cost $100. That seemed like more money than she could imagine! Of course, she also wants to have a house painted with striped swirls when she grows up, so I guess she is going to live with the Cat in the Hat or something. I do think adults also struggle with this concept, but more so with buying things on credit and having no idea what they are actually paying after all the interest.

    • John says:

      Lol, I think our daughter would like to have our house painted in a similar way – or at least in all pink.

  • Jai Catalano says:

    There is a great scene from “The Cosby Show” that dealt with this same topic. Theo wanted to move out on his own and through great humor and love dad made him realize he will suffer financially without him. Classic.

    • Leslie Beslie says:

      There was an episode of The Munsters (i think) where the parents let the kids run the house for a bit, then when they come back the kids are like “There’s ton of money left over.” Then the parents asked if they paid any bills and the kids are all “what bills?”

    • John says:

      Lol, I remember that Cosby episode Jai…you’re right – it was a classic!

  • Michelle says:

    Haha this is funny. Kids and money are always an interesting topic.

  • Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter says:

    LOL. It’s hilarious how off these are, kids make me laugh. I wish a $10 salary would cover everything I need!

  • Janine says:

    Awwwwww this is adorable!

  • Greg@Thriftgenuity says:

    These statistics sound highly accurate πŸ™‚ .

    I don’t have kids yet, but I think it is infinitely important to teach them responsibility with money. I think it starts with them figuring out their allowance and being able to afford toys they want and then build out from there.

    • John says:

      Ha ha, I know, right?! πŸ˜‰

      That’s our plan as well with the hopes of teaching them how to handle their money appropriately.

  • Matt Becker says:

    Oh wow, this is hilarious. Unfortunately, I don’t think this stops when you grow up. Understanding what things actually cost and whether you can afford them is definitely a real problem with grown-ups too. But I’ll tell you what, if we could buy a house for $155 we sure as well wouldn’t be renting!

    • John says:

      That is definitely true Matt. I know, if houses cost $155, then I think I’d be buying a couple. πŸ˜‰

  • Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies says:

    Reminds me of when a kid guesses how old you are. They’ll either guess something just a few ears older than they are or something ridiculous like 100! The nuances and number sense don’t always click in early. =)

    • John says:

      I know, our middle child just announced to our friends the other day that I was 89… not so much. πŸ˜‰

  • Cat says:

    Very cute! My niece is soon to be six – I should get her take on these things!

  • Kyle @ Debt Free Diaries says:

    This is hilarious! I’m sure I was probably just like the kids in this infographic when I was growing up. $155 dollars for a house, lol. I think most kids don’t have much of a concept for numbers at that age, when I was 16 one kid asked me if I was 50!

  • KC @ genxfinance says:

    These are so cute. It’s amazing how the children’s mind work. It’s refreshing to pick on their brains as well. Their imagination is just amazing. Oh the innocence. I wish these are true, that we could have a home for $155.

    • John says:

      I agree KC, it just is hysterical some times. It just makes me appreciate this time so much more with our little ones.

  • anna says:

    This is so cute! It’s so entertaining to see kids’ perspectives on things – I had a relative’s 5 year old kid ask how old I was, and when I said to guess she said 18. Needless to say, I loved that kid! haha

  • Jake @ Common Cents Wealth says:

    Wow, this is great. It’s amazing how we all think when we’re kids. I used to think that I’d never sleep and always stay up late too. Now I’m excited to go to bed. I’d be a little more worried if the results were similar for 16 year olds, 6 year olds are still really young to grasp the details of money.

    • John says:

      I agree Jake. We tell our kids the same thing and they look at us like we have 3 heads when we tell them there’ll be a time when they’re excited to go to bed.

  • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse says:

    Adorable! Oh, how I wish a house only cost $100. We would all be real estate barons. πŸ™‚ And I’m not entirely sure what a 12 year old would do with a car, but hey – who doesn’t want a car! The sad part is this is incredibly cute when they are six, but less hilarious when they are 18 and really don’t think that much differently. I don’t think many 18 years old really realize how much a home costs, how much a person makes when they leave college or how to live on a salary.

    • John says:

      I know Shannon! I think we’d own a few blocks in our neighborhood. πŸ˜‰ You’re right on though…this at 6 is cute, this at 18…not so much.

  • Jacob @ iHeartBudgets says:

    This is awesome, lol! Out 1.5 year old has no concept of money, but I’m sure I’ll see this in a few years. If I could live on $1,000 a year….hmmmm

    • John says:

      Yes you will Jacob. We see it with our 3 & 5 year olds. It does generally provide for a good laugh, but also a teaching time for them.

  • Bob @ Cubicle Sherpa says:

    Cute idea for an infographic.
    I want these kids setting prices when I buy my next car πŸ™‚

    -Bob

  • Jen @ Healthful Saver says:

    Love it!
    We recently went on a long walk with our daughter (age 8) and had a bagel shop breakfast and later Starbucks. She did comment that the Starbucks for 3 people cost more than the breakfast which was a little shocking to all of us!

  • Grayson @ Debt Roundup says:

    It is great that kids have such an imagination, but I am sure that some get into the real world with false expectations because no one teaches them how much things actually cost.

  • Andrew@LivingRichCheaply says:

    Love the infographic. I had a little cousin who was talking about the cost of something say, “don’t worry just use the credit card.” As if paying with a credit card makes it free! Scary!

    • John says:

      What, credit cards AREN’T free money. πŸ˜‰ We’ve had the same conversation numerous times with our 5 year old.

  • AverageJoe says:

    That’s awesome. My favorite advice comes from Melissa, age 8: If you want a kitty, start out by asking for a horse. Wise, wise words.

  • Amanda says:

    Hilarious! I remember back when I was like 8 or 9, I had saved and saved and had $200 in my bank account and I thought I was rich. I guess I was by a 6 year old’s standards!

    • John says:

      I remember the same thing happening to me when I was 10 or so. I had saved like $300 and I thought that I had it all. πŸ˜‰

  • The First Million is the Hardest says:

    haha, I picture all the kids giving answers to this like in those AT&T commercials.

  • pauline says:

    So cute! I wish I made $1,000 per year and live in a $100 house..

  • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

    LOL, I think our kids are way past this point educationally – we must be overdoing it. Too much talk about our debt, maybe? πŸ™‚

  • Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce says:

    Very cute, loved this post. My friend’s niece once tried to buy my car for 75 cents.

  • Lindsey @ Cents & Sensibility says:

    This is the cutest darn thing I’ve seen in awhile. What I love about articles/infographics like this is that it can get people thinking meaningfully about how they want to teach their children about money. Since it’s such an important subject – the younger the conversation starts, the better. Honestly, I think it has to be up there with the conversation about the birds and bees. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Michael @ The Student Loan Sherpa says:

    This was awesome! I wish those 6 year olds were right about the cost of housing.

  • Debt and the Girl says:

    This was a very cute post. I remember thinking that $20 was a fortune back when I was a kid. Growing up seemed like years ago at the time. Sometimes, it still does πŸ™‚

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