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Your kids probably know better than you if you make more money than their friends' parents. With sleepovers and carpooling and all the time and activities they spend on both sides, there's really no way to hide this, especially at a $120k vs $60k disparity.



I've actually been surprised, more often than not, when I've found out how much people make (including some family friends I knew as a kid). It doesn't correlate all that well with how much I would've guessed they were making. One big reason is that people have wildly different savings rates, and I don't generally have a way to guess that: someone who "looks like" they're living at $70k/yr might actually be making a lot more and banking it for early retirement.

Another reason was that, even when only estimating spending, as a kid I tended to over-emphasize "conspicuous consumption" and gadgets: assumed the people with bigger TVs, new game consoles, better cars, etc. were wealthier. What I massively underestimated was the cost of "nice" vacations (esp. compared to relatively minor items like game consoles), so it was really the people who liked to travel a lot who spent more, but I never saw their spending happen when I was around.

edit: To add one more confound, I think I also put too much emphasis on "class" associations: I assumed parents working blue-collar jobs made less than white-collar, which was not always true, esp. when you took into account that some blue-collar families had 2x incomes.


In my experience, kids can see how much money is going out, or how much their parents care about saving money, buying luxury items, etc., but have no idea how much is coming in. A frugal $120k family can live identically to a profligate/indebted $60k family, and kids will be none the wiser until they gain a more subtle appreciation of earnings by profession.


Kids know if you spend more money than their friends' parents. Not if you make more.




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