In a viral TikTok video, a tween gets a budget lesson from her mom and learns that the entire world is filled with “little scammers”

If you ask us, it’s never too soon to start teaching kids about things like money management and budgeting. These are absolutely crucial skills that they will need for the rest of their lives—and they never get any easier. Just ask the tween in this viral TikTok video, who got a surprise budget lesson from her mom and quickly learned that being an adult is a total scam.

TikToker Ariel B shared the video, in which she gives her daughter a pretend $3,000 monthly income and $1,200 rent payment and tasks her with setting up a monthly budget. Seems easy, right? Except Ariel decided to make it as realistic as possible, dropping the bomb that this month, her daughter is moving—so not only is rent $1,200, but she needs to make her $3,000 budget stretch to cover first and last month’s rent and a security deposit.


Teaching my kids budgeting, they only have $3,000 a month. 💰 FREE PDF 🔗 in bio ❤️

♬ original sound – The__Ariel_B

At first, she’s skeptical.

“Why do they need last month’s rent if I wasn’t in there?” she asks.

Ariel, acting as landlord, explains, “You’re signing for a year… and we get the first month and the last month [so] you’ll make sure to stay because you already paid for it. You won’t leave us out in the wind to try to find another tenant.”

Rolling her eyes, her daughter replies, “Little scammers! Like, what are y’all doing?”

With this realization, the daughter quickly gathers that she can’t afford a car payment in her budget—not even for “a used, 2010 car” that’s “still $400.” Instead, she opts to stick with her bike.

“You’re gonna pedal to work every day?” Ariel asks.

Her daughter responds, “I don’t have a choice!”

Ariel follows up, “What if it’s raining? What about your child?”

Her daughter answers, “I’m not having kids!”

The lesson is clearly hitting. Ariel asks her daughter about her views on adulthood, and what she has to say will feel relatable to anyone who’s out here living it.

“I’m in debt already, and it’s not even real money,” she says. “I have nothing. I already cut $486 on my wants. Where did my freedom go? Where did my friends go? Where does this say I’ve got money for friends? I have nothing.”

Wish I could say it gets easier, kid.

Your daily dose of joy and connection
Get the Tinybeans app