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Money Lessons from Mom and Dad

New Survey Shows Good Money Habits Are Inherited From Mom & Dad

Raleigh, NC – May, 2011- Saving money for a rainy day? Clipping coupons? Chances are those are money saving tips you learned from your parents. Do you have a budget? Most likely, you watched your mom and dad follow a budget while you were growing up. Donate money and other items to charity? You probably didn’t come up with those traits on your own.

At this time of year, as we celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and honor our parents for all they did for us, a new survey commissioned by the national nonprofit credit counseling agency, CESI Solutions, found many of our money habits are learned from our parents as well.

The survey of 811 Americans, revealed a striking similarity between the saving and spending habits of adults and their childhood experience with money.

Consider: 49% of those surveyed grew up in a house with frugal parents, or whose parents taught them about spending money wisely and 47% were given an allowance growing up. As an adult, 46% of them save money on a regular basis and 51% set a regular budget and stick to it.

Consider: 73% of respondents say they were told by their parents the family could not afford something because of money issues and 75% were told they needed to wait a while to get something they wanted. As adults, 45% have only have one or two credit cards, 53% have less than $500 in credit card debt and 48% use credit cards sparingly.

“There are multiple factors that influence how we spend money, but if an adult has healthy spending habits, it is very likely because of what they experienced in childhood,” explains Neil Ellington, executive vice president of CESI Debt Solutions. “It is very difficult to go from one end of the spectrum to the other. If you’re a careful spender, you’ve probably always been that way and are unlikely to change. If you spend money frivolously, it’s a difficult habit to reverse. Either they learned from their parents’ mistakes or these healthy habits are a reflection of their parents’ behavior with money.”

The survey also found that among respondents,

  • As a child, 78% say they grew up in a home where they knew money was tight but it wasn’t always talked about.
  • 45% say they are saving for a rainy day or the comfort of knowing there is money for an emergency.
  • 70% consider themselves thrifty or at least careful spenders
  • On average, men save a little more than women when they put money away on a regular basis: 21% of men save 10% or more of their paycheck while only 12% of women do the same.

“This just reinforces the importance of parents teaching their kids healthy money habits. Parents should be talking openly with their children about financial matters and show by example how to save and spend money,” Ellington adds.


Filed Under: News and Press

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