While most parents say they want to be better financial role models for their teens, too few parents are capitalizing on key opportunities to talk with teens about important money management topics, according to a new survey of parents and teens from Capital One.
More than 80 percent of parents surveyed say they want to be better role models for their children regarding money management and that they have made money mistakes they want their own children to avoid. Yet, more than a third (35 percent) of teen respondents said that when they ask for money, their parents rarely or never use these occasions to discuss topics such as budgeting and planning for the future. More than half (53 percent) of parents surveyed report that their teen asks them for money at least once a week, providing ample opportunities for parents to talk with teens about making positive financial choices. However, for many parents and teens, these conversations instead turn into disagreements. Nearly one-third (29 percent) of parents of teens surveyed said they argue with their teen about money at least every month.
While talking about money can be difficult, more than half of teen respondents (53 percent) said they want to learn more about topics like budgeting, saving and credit. Teens also reported that their parents are their primary resource for learning about money management.
In recognition of Financial Literacy Month and the importance of developing solid money management skills as part of a teen's successful development, Capital One and Search Institute have partnered to create Bank It, a multimedia financial literacy program that helps parents and teens talk about, understand and manage money. Through an interactive web site (www.bankit.com) and local face-to-face workshops, the program empowers families to explore twelve key topics, including budgets, goals and strategies for making financial choices that count. Bank It is also designed to reach families where they are most comfortable, whether online or through a local community-based organization. The survey results found that the number one preferred setting for both parents and teens to learn about how to discuss money management topics is through an online resource.
"Bank It was designed to help parents and teens more easily and effectively talk about financial choices, challenges and dreams. Through free, easy-to-use online tools, parents and teens can work together to learn practical skills for making positive money choices and avoiding common mistakes," said Carolyn Berkowitz, vice president, community affairs, Capital One. "Capital One is committed to investing in programs that help children, teens and adults increase their money management skills through innovative, interactive learning opportunities. Our goal with these programs is to help to set individuals of all ages on the path to a life of fiscal responsibility and economic success."
Bank It blends financial information with Search Institute's research-based framework of Developmental Assets, a widely used approach to youth development in communities, schools, families and youth organizations. The Institute's Developmental Assets identify the relationships, opportunities, skills, values and commitments young people need to make wise choices and succeed in life.
Braun Research was engaged to conduct 500 interviews with parents as well as their 13-18 year olds throughout the U.S. In order to achieve two interviews per household, Braun Research interviewed 802 households with parents and continued until 500 teens were reached in the same households.