We parents play an important role in preparing our children for self-sufficiency and helping them establish a firm financial foundation. But the latest National Financial Educators Council’s (NFEC) survey shows that many of us are failing our children by not teaching them enough about money and not helping them establish the financial systems they need. We’re also, it turns out, molding negative financial behaviors.
In its latest survey, the NFEC polled 1,208 people across the United States about the influence of their parents on their financial situation. While 53 percent responded that they picked up “very positive” or ‘somewhat positive” financial habits and behaviors from their parents, 47 percent reported getting neutral, somewhat negative or very negative habits. Additionally, 53 percent responded that they were neutral, somewhat unprepared or very unprepared by their parents for the financial realities of living on their own.
Childhood influencers are often the root causes of an individual’s financial situation. People’s upbringing affects their financial situations and the challenges they face as adults. Parents are among the top financial influencers on a child’s life; yet the data shows that most parents need help to prepare their children for the financial realities of life.
These latest published surveys align with the survey the NFEC published last month where 1,200 people from around the country were asked, “Which parent taught you the most about money and personal finance?” “Mother” received 28 percent of the credit, and fathers 24 percent. But the top response (48 percent) was “neither.”
The NFEC’s research and advocacy are focused on five central areas where parents play an important role in the development of their children and helping them work toward financial self-sufficiency: the financial situations into which children are born; how financial behaviors develop; how parents shape financial sentiment; the financial systems youth have in place; and the financial education young people receive.