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Survey: Only Half of Parents Regularly Talk to Kids About Money

Brian Hagiwara

You would be hard pressed to find parents who didn't believe in the importance of giving their kids a financial education. 

We couldn't. 

A recent survey that Parenting conducted with Citi Community Development found that parents overwhelmingly believe in the importance of talking about household budgets, savings and financial goals—but not many are actually doing it on an ongoing basis.

Ninety percent of the 1,026 parents surveyed agreed that teaching their kids the financial facts of life was an important parental task, and yet nearly half of them (48 percent) admit to not talking about money and finances with their kids on a regular basis. 

The reason? Parents report feeling that their children aren't quite old enough yet: 79 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement that "my children are too young to understand money concepts." 

Plus: Money Saving Tips for Mom

Still, 52 percent of parents in the Parenting/Citi survey reported that financial education is an important topic of conversation at home. Two-thirds of these parents have opened a savings account in at least one of their child's names. Half of those who haven't say "my child is too young."

But research has shown that children who learn the importance of saving—and how to manage money—grow up to have better control of their spending and even have a more positive outlook on life. To coincide with National Financial Literacy Month this April, the Council for Economic Education recently released new guidelines for financial education with the hope that more schools and parents recognize the importance of teaching K-12 children about money management at a young age. 

Plus: Explaining Money and Finances to Your Child 

When they do talk to their kids about finances, parents report being most likely to discuss the importance of saving for the future and household budgeting. Managing debt and providing economic security for the family came in a distance third and fourth.

Three-fourths of parents surveyed learned the financial facts of life from their own parents. 

What do you do at home? How do you talk about money with the children in your life? Let us know