The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) recently surveyed peoples’ opinions of their mother’s personal finance skills. An overwhelming majority, 67 percent, saw their mother as either someone who is intimidated by money, views managing money as a necessary evil, or has never managed money.
“Perhaps the ideal gift this Mother’s Day is a lesson in personal finance,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC. “What mothers may not realize is that a lack of financial skills has the potential to negatively impact not only their future, but also that of their children, as negative habits are picked up as readily as positive ones. Mothers have the opportunity to influence multiple generations by improving their own personal financial abilities.”
Consider the following statistics:
• The NFCC’s 2013 Financial Literacy Survey (FLS) results revealed that most people, 33 percent, learned their financial skills at home.
• The typical single parent is the mother; therefore the sole responsibility is placed on her to demonstrate and teach sound financial habits.
• Fewer than half of the states require a course in personal finance for graduation from high school. Accordingly, only five percent of FLS respondents indicated schools were their main source of personal finance skills.
There is no lack of personal finance education materials. The bookshelves are filled with financial self-help information; solid advice can be found online, and the NFCC Member Agencies offer free or low-cost education on a variety of topics delivered one-on-one, in a group setting or online.
“It’s never too late to start. The first step is for mothers to take advantage of the opportunities available to improve their grasp of personal finance; then look for teachable moments to demonstrate those new skills to the children,” continued Cunningham. “After all, the gift of financial literacy is a gift that lasts a lifetime.”
For help finding the skills to become financially savvy, reach out to one of more than 700 NFCC Member Agencies. To be automatically connected to the closest office, call (800) 388-2227, or go online to http://www.DebtAdvice.org. For assistance in Spanish dial (800) 682-9832.
The actual poll question and answer choices are below:
Thinking of my mom and personal finance, I’d say she
A. Is pretty savvy managing money, and enjoys it = 35%
B. Is intimidated by financial matters, and avoids them = 21%
C. Sees managing money as a necessary evil, and doesn’t enjoy it = 26%
D. Has never managed money on her own =18%
Note: The NFCC’s April Financial Literacy Opinion Index was conducted via the homepage of the NFCC Web site (www.DebtAdvice.org) from April 1 – 01, 2013 and was answered by 735 individuals.