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Survey flags differences among generations in money matters

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Nearly three-fourths of parents regularly have conversations with their kids about money, and 59 percent of these parents agree that their parents did a good job teaching them about money matters.

These are among the key findings in the “5th Annual Parents, Kids & Money Survey,” published by T. Rowe Price, Baltimore, Md.

When asked how often they have conversations with their children about money and the importance of spending and saving, a large majority of the responding parents said very often (28 percent) or somewhat often (45 percent). However, fewer of the kids surveyed recall having frequent (20 percent) or periodic (41 percent) conversations.  

When asked about which financial conversations and decisions they included their child, the parents surveyed answered:

  • Back-to-school shopping — 62 percent;
  • Holiday shopping — 57 percent;
  • Planning a family vacation — 51 percent;
  • Setting family savings goals — 39 percent;
  • None — 17 percent.

The survey observes that more than one-third (38 percent) of parents avoid talking to their kids about their family’s current financial situation. Conversely, more than four in 10 parents (42 percent) think they strongly encourage their kids to talk about money, but 19 percent of kids strongly agree they do.

Nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of kids think their parents discourage them from talking about money, compared to only 14 percent of parents, the survey adds.

The survey notes also that most (74 percent) of kids say that they tell the truth about money matters, but nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of parents are not always sure.

When asked what they want to know about money, the responding kids cited:

How banks and credit cards work — 34 percent;

How to manage money — 29 percent;

What things will cost (inflation) — 27 percent;

How to set a savings goal — 23 percent;

How long to achieve a savings goal — 22 percent;

How to save/invest in different things (diversification) — 20 percent;

Investing and how the stock markets works — 20 percent;

My family’s financial situation — 18 percent.