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Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis Teach Their Kids the Value of Money Early

Mila Kunis, left, and her husband Ashton Kutcher are seen with their children at the 17th FINA Swimming World Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Monday, July 17, 2017. Tibor Illyes/MTI via AP
Mila Kunis, left, and her husband Ashton Kutcher are seen with their children at the 17th FINA Swimming World Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Monday, July 17, 2017. Tibor Illyes/MTI via AP


You would think one of the benefits of being a celebrity’s kid is never having to worry about money when you get older.

But that isn’t always so.

Actor Ashton Kutcher recently made headlines after stating he wouldn’t be setting up trust funds for his two kids with wife Mila Kunis.

“I’m not setting up a trust for them,” Kutcher said in a February 14 episode of Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast. “We’ll end up giving our money away to charity and to various things.”

Kutcher and Kunis — parents of 3-year-old daughter Wyatt and 1-year-old son Dimitri — have a combined estimated net worth of $255 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Though Kutcher balks at leaving millions to the children, he does want his kids to live successful adult lives.

Hopefully, they’ll be motivated to have what they had [while growing up] or some version of what they had,” he said in the podcast.

Kutcher also said if his kids want to start a business and have a good business plan, he’ll invest in it. But he doesn’t want his kids expecting to receive a bunch of money that’ll set them up for life.

Instead, Kutcher wants them to understand how to get by without depending on material advantages.

“I’m going to take them camping a lot just because I want them to be really resourceful and I want to teach them how to be resourceful,” he said.

Kutcher and Kunis aren’t the only celebrities who hope to teach their kids the value of working for themselves. Last year, we wrote about celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay telling the media he wasn’t leaving his fortune to his four children.

Though some might think it’s unreasonable for these multimillionaires not to share their wealth with their offspring, the underlying lesson is to teach kids the importance of earning a living and valuing what they work for.

“What our kids can learn from paid employment is a work ethic, that loose phrase that captures the ability to listen, exert ourselves, cooperate with others, do our best, and stick to a task until we’ve done it, and done it right,” personal-finance columnist Ron Lieber writes in his book, “The Opposite of Spoiled.”

Even we ordinary folks sometimes find ourselves guilty of overindulging our kids. A little spoiling isn’t the end of the world, but not preparing our children to be financially independent adults is doing a disservice to them.

So don’t be afraid to talk to your kids about money. Teach them not everything will automatically be handed to them.

Start young with introductions to concepts like needs versus wants. Then continue the discussions so that your teens master the concepts of earning money and budgeting before they go out into the world.

It may not be the same as leaving an inheritance, but passing down personal-finance knowledge is incredibly valuable in its own right.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She enjoys writing about parenting and money.

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