Mommy, Where Does Money Come From? Here’s What Some Kids Have to Say

Boy holding fifty dollar bill
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

Sometimes, kids really do say the darndest things.

But when it comes to money, kids also believe the darndest things.

I mean, is there a kid out there who didn’t think that the ATM handed out free money?

But while it may be cute (like, ridiculously, over-the-top cute) to hear kids’ crazy ideas and beliefs about money, those aren’t really beliefs you want them carrying with them as they get older.

By asking your kids questions like, “Where does money come from?” or “How much do you think your favorite toy cost?” you can set the groundwork for important money-related conversations and learning opportunities in the future.

In the meantime, we’re just really enjoying hearing what your kids have to say.

Penny Hoarder Parents Tell Us Their Kids’ Beliefs About Money

We asked our readers to tell us the funniest and downright most absurd things their kids believed (or still believe) about money. Here are some of our favorite answers.

Money Grows on Trees

“When my son was 7 years old, he asked me to take him to the money tree.” — Larissa Leconte

Checks Are Made of Paper, and Paper Does Come From Trees…

“My kids thought if you didn’t have any money, you could just write a check.” — Sandy Kelley

“My son asked me for money, and I told him I didn’t have any. He grabbed my checkbook from the table and opened it and said to me, ‘You still have checks! That means you have money.’” — Christine Lightner Orvis

False Advertising?

“My son likes the Quicken Loans commercial because ‘they save you money.’ Every time it comes on he yells ‘Mommy! Mommy! Quicken Loans is here to save you money.’” — Kimberly Roldan

Well, That’s One Way to Make Money

“For several years when she was very young, my oldest daughter’s plan for acquiring money was to wait until St. Patrick’s Day so she could rob a leprechaun.” — Veronica Hathaway

If Only

“My son is 3. He thinks everything costs six bucks. New car? Six bucks. Dinner? Six bucks. Ball at Walmart? You guessed it.” — Kate Langdon

A Fair Exchange

“I once told my little one I didn’t have enough money with me to buy something, and he said, ‘Let’s go to Burger King to get some.’

“I explained that Burger King doesn’t give out money, and he said, ‘Yes, they do! When you give them a dollar, they give you a bunch of dollars back.’

“He was young and thought I was making a profit every time they gave me smaller bills as change for a larger bill.” — Kimberley Ann

Hundred Ten Monies

“My 3 ½-year-old always asks if we can get tickets to fly on a plane to visit family. I told her ‘That takes some saving to pay for,’ and her response was, ‘Oh yeah, we need hundred ten monies.’ And her 4 ½-year-old brother’s thought was, ‘No, I have a ticket for Monster Jam. Just use that ticket for the plane instead.’” — Christina Hart

A Real Rip-Off

“When my daughter was about 9, we went to the movies and she had bought a box of Gummy Bears with her own money that she had saved up. We go and sit down in the theater and she opens the box and becomes angry. She says, ‘This is a rip-off.’ I told her, ‘Well, go back and tell the guy’ — and she did. All by herself! (her father and I watching from around the corner). She slammed the box on the counter and said, “This is a rip-off and I want my money back.” The guy was so shocked, he gave her her money back… lol…” — Sheri Cochran

How to Teach Your Kids About Money

Thankfully, there are money lessons you can be teaching kids of every age — from toddlers to teens — to help set them up for a lifetime of financial literacy.

While it’s pretty cute when they’re small, it’s important to bust the most common money myths kids believe before they become truths to them. Plus, teaching younger children age-appropriate information about finances sets the groundwork for a lifetime of money conversations and financial education.

Wondering where to start? Try these nine tips for teaching kids about money — and then check out our ultimate guide to teaching your kids about money.

Grace Schweizer is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.