Are You Preparing Your Daughter for Her Financial Future?

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A new survey reveals that parents are more likely to talk to their sons than daughters about money matters, and it's harming girls in the long run.

More boys than girls say their parents talk to them about money and setting financial goals.

The annual Parents, Kids and Money Survey by investment firm T. Rowe Price revealed that sons and daughters are not treated equally when it comes to learning about money matters at home. The survey found that parents discuss financial goals and other money issues with 58 percent of boys, compared with just 50 percent of girls.

It’s a disturbing statistic with potentially damaging consequences, because talking to kids about money really makes a difference in their lives. Says a survey press release:

The survey of 8- to 14-year-old kids and their parents found a correlation between talking to kids of either gender about financial concepts and kids developing positive financial behaviors, such as identifying themselves as a saver rather than a spender, feeling more confident about money, and saving for their own college education.

Other surprising boy vs. girl survey findings include:

  • Money smarts. When asked if they’re extremely smart about money, 45 percent of boys said they are, compared with 38 percent of girls.
  • Money comprehension. Of the parents surveyed who have just one child, 80 percent of parents with a boy said their son understands the value of a dollar. Only 69 percent of parents with a daughter said the same.
  • Credit cards. Twice as many boys (12 percent) have credit cards compared with their female counterparts (6 percent).
  • College savings. While 53 percent of boys said their parents are putting away money for their college education, only 42 percent of girls said the same.

Judith Ward, a mother of two and a senior financial planner at T. Rowe Rice, said:

Boys and girls should have the same opportunities to learn about money matters at home so they can grow into financially savvy adults. If you want to invest in your kids’ futures, start by talking to them about money matters weekly. The correlation between the frequency of conversations about money and kids’ smart financial decision-making is undeniable.

If you need proof that money conversations with your kids are important, check out these stats:

  • Saving for college. Fifty-eight percent of kids whose folks regularly talk to them about saving for college do so on their own, compared with 23 percent whose parents don’t discuss college savings. Plus, “81 percent of kids whose parents frequently talk to them about investment vehicles like stocks and bonds say they are saving for college on their own, as opposed to just 25 percent of kids whose parents do not frequently talk about investment vehicles,” the press release said.
  • Financially savvy. If you talk about family finances with your kids, chances are good that they’ll feel smart about money (66 percent). Just 37 percent of kids whose parents left them in the dark about financial matters said they felt smart about money.

It is mind-boggling to me that parents today are talking more to their boys than girls about money issues. It is important to educate your children — regardless of gender — about the financial realities of life.

I know I never had financial discussions with my parents when I was a kid. Saving, investing and setting financial goals seemed like a foreign language to me, and I believe that lack of knowledge handicapped me in my 20s. I won’t make that mistake with my kids.

Do you discuss money matters with your kids? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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