Kid Wisdom: What Is Money?

Thus far, I have spoken with 13 kids about the ideas of love, fear, and work. When I got to money, it was like a foreign idea to some of the kids. Grasping the concept of money was like trying to explain what “Facebook official” is to technologically inept grandparents. “I don’t know, grandma, it just is.”

Sure, the actual currency itself is tangible, but the idea of money is more obscure. Kids might realize they can buy things with money, but grasping the true value of money is a lesson all on its own. In a kid’s world, every bill is a dollar and every coin is a penny. Let me tell you, it makes for a really good trade.

[gdlr_quote align=”center” ]In a kid’s world, every bill is a dollar and every coin is a penny.[/gdlr_quote]

When I interviewed them, most of the kids could agree on what money was. One little boy said, “little dollars and coins.” A little girl backed him up, adding, “those green dollars and those circles—quarters, dimes, pennies, and…” That’s all the further she got. It’s okay, nobody uses nickles anyway.

What you can do with money was also pretty standard. You can “buy stuff” or “use it for goods and services.” Whether it’s groceries or food, (which apparently are two different things), drinks, houses, or clothes, the kids agreed you should spend it on “things [you] need, not things [you] want.” Although, one little boy did mention an alternative option…“If you’re a bad guy, you could take [it]!” You bet, kid… but I’m hoping you don’t.

The biggest dilemma tied to money is worth. What’s a lot of money? Good question. That answer ranged from $66 to a zillion. Sometimes a lot of money can’t even be described numerically. One boy said, a lot of money is “someone who has a lot of money and they spend it on some things and they still have some left over.” Exactly. What good is a lot of money if you spend it all?

I agree that it’s truly unfair that the world revolves around money—almost everything requires it. But seriously, lemonade and ice cream should always be free. Oh, and so should “little LEGO sets” (not the big ones) and “some certain tattoos.” And Gap? Listen up. We expect “little Gap bracelets” for free next time we visit your store.

In the end, don’t spend all your time worrying about money. You only need “30 grand—I mean—80 ground” to live anyway. If you run out, you have plenty of options. You can “get some from the bank,” “get a job—start out as an easy job,” or a few of these kids are willing to give you some of theirs. That’s the way the world should be. Until the Generosity Movement hits us, just remember, “you don’t have to have that much money to be rich and cool.”

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