Many people interpret the Chinese proverb, 孩子帶財 as that children can bring the wealth to the family and improve the family economy. Therefore, many people do not agree with it. Because, the economy might not get better, and the parents still have to spend a lot of money for children. As a result, it is deemed as only an excuse to persuade people to have children.

However, there is a Chinese saying, 兒孫自有兒孫福 (the descendants have their own fortune). It shows not only that children have their own fortune, but also the correctness of 孩子帶財.

If 孩子帶財 is not a phrase to persuade people to have children, people must have some reasons to say it. What are the reasons? How to interpret it in detail and then its correctness? Is it possible to explain it from the viewpoint of "cause and effect"?




  • 1
    Might be better to put this on skeptics - than Chinese SE
    – Mou某
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 11:48
  • This seems more about Buddhism than the Chinese language. Seems off-topic to me.
    – Betty
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 13:05

5 Answers 5



Let me explain with an instance in the 《Miscellaneous Treasure Sutra》.


When King Pasenadi (6th century B.C.E.) lay down to sleep, he heard an argument of two internal officials.
A said, "I live by the king."
B answered, "I don't rely on anyone, but live by my own power of karma."


After hearing it, the king agreed with the official A in mind and wanted to reward him.
First the king sent a person on duty to tell the queen, "I will dispatch a person to you today. You give him a lot of money, clothes and precious necklaces."
Then the king immediately sent the official A to take the king's remaining wine to the queen.


When the official A went out with the wine, he had a nosebleed and couldn't go any further. Just at that time he met the official B and asked him to take the wine to the queen.


When the queen saw the official B, she recalled the king's words and gave him money, clothes and necklaces. Then she sent him back to the king.


When the king saw the official B, he was deeply astonished and confused. He immediately called the official A and asked, "I dispatched you. Why didn't you go?"
He answered with the facts. (same as above, omitted)
The king then sighed and said, "I am now aware that the Buddha's words are true. Who makes the cause bears the effect. It cannot be taken away."


According to this, good or evil results come from one's own actions. They cannot be given by gods or kings.


First of all I have to clarify that karma includes both good and evil actions and their effects.


The instance tells us that we live by our own karma.
The karma includes those made in the past and present lives.
Therefore, the children are born with their own karma made in the past lives, including wealth.
This shows that "孩子帶財來" is right.
They bring their own wealth for themselves.


But before children can make money, they must acquire their wealth through the parents.
Therefore, the parents' income may increase.

a. 父母在財富方面的業有多少?
b. 兒女的財業有多少?
c. 這些財富何時會得到?
d. 父母和子女雙方在前世有無債務?誰欠誰?
e. 可能還有很多我們想不到的業。

However, the karma is very complex. We cannot consider only one aspect. For example,
a. How much karma of wealth do the parents have?
b. How much karma of wealth do the children have?
c. When can the wealth be obtained?
d. Were there any debts between parents and children in their previous lives? Who owes whom?
e. There may be more karma that we cannot think of.


Taking into account these factors, there will be a lot of different situations.

  1. 父母和兒女都有富有的果報:


  1. Both parents and children have effects of richness:

After the birth of children, the parents' income can increase obviously. And they are also willing to spend money for their children. The children will then grow up in a good environment.
These parents are usually in favor of "孩子帶財".

  1. 父母和兒女都有貧窮的果報:


  1. Both parents and children have effects of poverty:

After the birth of children, the parents' income will not increase apparently. If the parents' karma of poverty happens to take effect in this period, their income will even reduce. It's not caused by the children, but by the parents' own fruits of karma. As a result, the children will be raised in a bad environment. This is the children's own effects of karma.
These parents are usually those who deny "孩子帶財".


Certainly there are more situations. I cannot explain all of them due to the limited space and the complexity of karma. Leave them to the smart you to think about.


Some people may ask, "How to increase the karma of wealth?"
The answer is very simple, and that is, "Do more good deeds and help those who need help."

The one who makes the causes, bears the effects.


As one sows, so shall one reap.


On the basis of Buddhism, all of us have done some good deeds in our past lives so that we can be human beings in this life. The effects of these good deeds will show up in different periods during the lifetime. The part shown in youth is used for growth and education.


Besides a few exceptions, the parents will raise and educate the children. The upbringing expenses are mostly the wealth brought by the children. In other words, the money that parents spend for their children is mostly the wealth brought by the children. These are the children's fruits of karma due to their good deeds in the past lives.


I have never heard of the phrase 孩子帶財,but judging from the wording, it sounded like a logical fallacy of "correlation imply causation "

The fallacy: "Couples who have money tend to have children, therefore people who have children must also have money ." It is an illogical argument. Wealthy people have children doesn't mean having children make them wealthy.

As for「兒孫自有兒孫福」, it is a folk saying that means " You will die before your children. It is useless to worry about their future too much. Your children will have their own fortune. For that reason, you don't have to leave them too much money. It has nothing to do with "children bring wealth" . A similar expression of 「兒孫自有兒孫福」is 「不替子女買良田」( don't leave your children too much wealth because they would not be motivated to make it on their own )

In the old time, to persuade someone to marry a person he or she never met, people would use the same fallacy and told that person " See how most married couple love each other? After you married, you will grow to love each other."

My conclusion is, 孩子帶財(Children will bring you wealth) is a phrase to persuade people to have children based on the logically fallacy of "correlation imply causation"

  • People also use 儿孙自有儿孙福 to try to persuade other people not to interfere with their children's own life or decision.
    – Huang
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 23:12

Not sure where you've got this statement."孩子帶財" can be interpreted as either the child will bring wealth to the family (literally), or the child will bring their own money (that is, the money needed to raise them up). The second one is more common as young couples who plan to have a child are often told "don't worry, the child will bring his/ her own money to the world".

However, there is a Chinese saying, 兒孫自有兒孫福
(the descendants have their own fortune).
It shows not only that children have their own fortune,
but also the correctness of 孩子帶財.

i would interpret "福" as "福份", "福氣" (blessed, or fortune); while "財" as "錢財" (wealth). these two are different concepts; so, "兒孫自有兒孫福" cannot prove, or refute the saying "孩子帶財".


well, based on my experience, the saying "孩子帶財" is un-literary-chinese.

several sites are searched, including kanseki repository, chinese text project & cbeta 漢文大藏經.

none of these site shown exact match results.

then, old hk newspapers was tried, also, no exact match result. which means this saying didn't occur in newspapers, periodicals in hong kong, between 1853 - 1984.

therefore, the interim conclusion is: "孩子帶財" is not a revival of ancient saying; it's a new & recent one.

next, i tried bing on windows, and google on mac os; the search results is interesting:

the earliest exact match is in 2003:



next one is in 2004, in the same forum:



another one is in 2007:



afterward, it flourished in 2010s.

my opinion about this saying "孩子帶財", in sequence :)

my initial response when reading this saying is: bxxx sxxx (actually, it's an uncivilised word, in cantonese; which i'm not dare to write it here).

next, i tried to analyse the regional, cultural origin, usage.

last, after the above searching, i would accept that this saying has its positive psychological effect, for those pregnant women who are facing financial difficulty.

If 孩子帶財 is not a phrase to persuade people to have children,
people must have some reasons to say it. What are the reasons?
How to interpret it in detail and then its correctness?
Is it possible to explain it from the viewpoint of "cause and effect"?

about its correctness. for developed society, with a low rate of infant mortality, when parents do not worry about the health of their babies, when, they concern the expense of parentings; then, "孩子帶財" has its positive comforting effect.

but, for undeveloped world, or war zone; when everyone is struggle for survival, such saying is non-sense. it's "more" proper to use "兒孫自有兒孫福" in this situation, to encourage people to have children.

have fun :)

  • you're welcome :) just curious; may i ask, well, why you set a bounty for this question? is it related to your own situation? Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 11:31

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