Americans think parents should teach kids about money, but many don’t – Reuters

Most Americans think it’s the job of parents to teach their children about money.

However, according to a poll by CNBC + Acorns Invest in You, many don’t actually talk about finances with their kids.

According to Momentive’s poll, approximately 83% of American adults said parents have the primary responsibility for educating their children on this topic. The online survey was conducted March 23-24 with a national sample of 3,953 adults, of whom 1,149 were parents.

At the same time, only 15% of parents reported discussing household finances with their children more than once a week, 13% once a week and 16% once a month. About 24% talk to their children less often and 31% never do.

The survey found that those who make less money are more likely to have these conversations about money once a week or more often, as are Black and Hispanic respondents.

“Every child’s very first teacher is their parent,” said Yanely Espinal, director of public relations at Next Gen Personal Finance, a nonprofit personal finance organization.

“This means that the first money lessons at home are essential. »

But many parents may have self-doubt.

“It seems like a Herculean task to teach your kids about money when you’re not really comfortable with money yourself,” said certified financial planner Tom Henske, managing partner of The New York. Wealthy insurance consultant.

Talking around the dinner table once a month can make a big difference, he said.

“What we need to do is create an environment where we get kids excited about it,” said Henske, whose parenting book It Makes Total Cents on how to teach kids about money is due out in June. .

The school case

Photo by Troy Aossey via Getty Images

Schools also have a role to play, advocates argue.

“Failure to include personal finance education in public schools would risk perpetuating generational cycles in which children whose parents had access to financial education themselves can pass on those lessons, while children whose parents did not have access to financial education would do so disadvantaged,” said Espinal, whose parents are immigrants from the Dominican Republic.

Growing up, her family didn’t have financial accounts and used cash instead. Espinal only learned how to manage money after making costly mistakes.

The trend towards personal finance courses in schools is slowly building. Recently, Florida became the largest state to require a personal finance course for high school graduation. According to the Council for Economic Education, 25 states now require students to take courses on finance, either in a standalone classroom or integrated into another course.

Additionally, 46 personal finance bills are pending in 21 states, according to Next Gen Personal Finance Bill Tracker.

“Research shows that students who are able to take a high school financial economics course make better decisions about their college funding,” said Nan Morrison, president and CEO of the Council for Economics Education.

“They have better credit ratings,” she added. “They have lower failure rates. »

Teach your kids about money

Sorting coins is one way to teach kids about money.

Michael Fox | CNBC

Nevertheless, parents should start teaching their children how to handle money at an early age.

Resources abound if you know where to look. The Council for Economic Education offers free family at-home financial fun packs that are age-appropriate games, activities, and worksheets that you can complete together.

Next Generation Personal Finance also offers free online games and activities on topics like investing and budgeting, and the National Foundation for Financial Education offers free online courses, learning activities, and quizzes.

Learn more about investing in you:
Do you want to teach your kids about money in a fun way? Try these games
Fears of inflation are forcing Americans to reconsider their financial decisions
Here’s what consumers want to cut if prices keep rising

You can also provide lessons using real-life examples, such as showing your children how to pay for items in the store. If you use a credit card, explain how it works.

Those monthly dinner conversations are also essential, Henske said. Start by asking your children an open-ended question, e.g. B. “How do you think we borrow money from this house?” »

“It sparks a whole conversation about borrowing, lending, mortgages, credit cards, car loans,” he said.

Money in your children’s hands is also a powerful learning tool, Henske said.

About 44% of respondents to the CNBC+ Acorns Invest in You survey said they pay their children an allowance, while 55% said they don’t. However, how your children make money is really a personal choice, he said. This can be done through a scholarship, employment or gifts.

“You would never take your kid to tennis lessons without a racquet,” Henske said.

“You can’t teach your kids enough about money without having money to practice with. »

AGREE: Join Sharon Epperson at 1:00 p.m. today as the governors of Mississippi, New Jersey and Nevada explain how their states are approaching financial education in schools.

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Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors glands.

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