Wednesday, January 14, 2009

An Interesting Question

Kaia told me on the drive to school yesterday morning, that she wanted to be rich. "Don't you want to be rich mom?" "No," I answered, "I just want to have my bills paid off." She thought about this for a bit. Then she asked, "How much money do you need to be rich?"

Ahh, how do I answer such an ambiguous question to a 5 year old? More importantly, how do I help her see life is not all about money. I answered thoughtfully, "It isn't how much money you have that makes you rich. It's how much money you spend." Realizing that was a little too philosophical for a 5 year old, I clarified by saying, "Someone could have lots and lots of money, but if they are always spending that money and spending more than they have, they will never be rich. But, someone could have less money, and if they didn't spend very much, they could be considered rich."

The answer satisfied her, but how about you? What do you think?


Anonymous said...

You need to start teaching her now that rich and poor are not so abstract. I would love it if my dd asked me this question.
I think that it's gotten to the point nowdays where you can't tell if someone is well off, struggling, etc, by the things they own. You and I were raised that having certain things made a person "rich" or "poor". We grew up and found out that they might have those things, but struggling to pay them off.

Mrs. Mordecai said...

Yes! There are people who live like they're rich, but are up past their ears in debt. That's not rich to me.

To me, being rich is having everything that you need, and being happy with it. I'm rich!

Anonymous said...

Another thing to consider, all controversy aside-
John Travolta. He is the only private party that owns a Boeing 747. That's how material wealthy he is. But, he's lost his child and it looks like his son hasn't had much of a good quality of life as short as it was. You and I don't have our own 747's, but we have healthy children who are alive and living full lives. I'd say we're richer.

Art said...

I agree. We were just going through our budget and were appalled at how much money we waste on stupid stuff. We've resolved to spend less...

Carla said...

I think you are one wise mama:)

Casii said...

I could write a a lot on this. Unfortunately, there are lots of adults who perpetuate the belief that a show of material goods and an excessive lifestyle=rich.
My oldest has now read the book "The Millionaire Next Door" and has a bigger picture.
They haven't written it for a much younger audience yet though, lol.

Our children still have trouble reconciling that their parents are 'secure' since we've chosen a simpler lifetyle that doesn't include high end homes, cars or possessions. We're hardwired to save and love the thrill of a good bargain. My dream car is a 1967 Mustang convertible, not a Ferrari. And actually I kind of hope that we can prove ourselves an able generation through this time of recession much like the Great Generation. That's my prayer at least.

Sorry for the novel! :)

Visiting Voyeur said...

Well I guess I would have said well honey being rich really doesn't have anything to do with money. Being rich is having more than enough of what you need so much that you can give it away... So if you have a ton of love that it overflows than your rich... and you can give some of it away.. just my thought but I liked your thought as well. I have seen many people who were rich and they didn't have two pennies to rub together and I have seen some people who were really poor and they had tons in their bank accounts... :) Children are wonders.. I bet one day she will turn to you with an answer to that question and surprise us all.. keep me updated.