Consumer Comeback Blog

Nearly 75% of Adults Think Kids Need to Learn Money Management

It may be easy to blame the economy, but financial hard times are often exacerbated by poor spending habits. A Harris Interactive survey conducted for reveals that nearly 75% of U.S. adults wish they had learned more about money management earlier in life.

Of the 2,262 adults surveyed, 461 were parents of children ages 3 to17. The majority of the parents surveyed (77%) said they try to teach their children about the value of a dollar and other financial issues, whereas 21% of parents said they plan to teach their children about financial literacy in the near future.

Parents surveyed rated the following topics as the most important for children to learn:

  • 79% – basics of a savings account
  • 75%- creating budgets
  • 72%- being frugal, such as bargain hunting, using coupons, saving money, etc.
  • 65% -basics of credit cards
  • 48%-basics of student loans for higher education
  • 40%- making investments

Financial issues can be difficult for children to understand, so parents employ a number of strategies to explain money management. The national news can be helpful, as 26% of the parents surveyed said they refer to finance-related current events such as stock market changes and debt debates in Congress as an example.

“It can be tough to fit in financial learning amidst busy school and activity schedules, but many parents take advantage of everyday happenings to talk to their kids about good money habits,” Jackie Warrick, President and Chief Savings Officer at, said in a press release. “Start conversations with your children when you pay for something at the grocery store or they see you using coupons. Small and natural discussions about money can be the best building blocks to raising financially fit kids.”

The overall favored teaching method is the tried and true allowance, with 72% of parents saying their kids earn a regular stipend for chores, grades and other services and accomplishments. Parents say an allowance teaches kids the value of a dollar, encourages them to be responsible and to do their chores, and introduces them to the basics of budgeting.