Parents & Money Survey

Parents seek prescription for raising financially healthy kids

A 2008 Schwab survey on the topic of families and money found that American parents are worried about their kids' financial futures—but they may not be acting on their fears.

Nearly all (93 percent) American parents with teens age 13-18 worry their teens might make financial missteps such as overspending (67 percent) or getting in over their head with credit card debt (65 percent).

Sixty percent of parents identify their teens as "quick spenders," and most acknowledge they could do a better job of teaching and preparing their kids for the financial challenges of adulthood, including budgeting, saving and investing.

Parents & Money Survey
 
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And while most agree that the best way for teens to learn about money is from guided, hands-on experience or their own example (71 percent), only one in five parents involves their teen to a great extent in the family's budgeting and spending decisions. In fact, parents are much more likely to teach their kids how to do laundry (70 percent) than how to balance a checkbook (34 percent).

"Parents prepare their kids for so many of life's milestones—getting a driver's license, choosing a college, getting a job," said Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of Charles Schwab Foundation. "But this year's survey shows that they may be missing opportunities to prepare their teens for important financial milestones like managing an allowance, getting their first job, getting a credit card or buying a car."

The good news is you don't have to be a financial whiz to help the kids in your life become financially savvy. Read on for practical tips to help you get started.

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About the Parents & Money Survey
The 2008 Parents & Money survey was conducted by Kelton Research, a research consulting firm, on behalf of Schwab. The nationally-representative online survey polled 1,000 American parents with teens between the ages of 13-18 to better understand their views, behavior and knowledge of spending, saving, borrowing and earning money. The survey findings have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner or investment manager.

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