Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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Survey Respondents Say Moms Are Uncomfortable With Money Management

Growing up, we're repeatedly told, “Mother knows best,” but people don’t believe that’s true in all situations. In a recent survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a majority of respondents answered negatively about their mother’s personal finance skills.
  • 21% said their mom was intimidated by financial matters and avoided them
  • 26% said their mom saw managing money as a necessary evil and didn’t enjoy it
  • 18% said their mom has never managed money on their own.

Only 35% responded that their mom was pretty savvy managing money and enjoyed it.

Considering that 33% of people learn their financial skills at home (from NFCC’s Financial Literacy Survey), it’s important that mothers are teaching their children the right thing about money.

The statistics are just one side of the story. Assuming those perceptions are true, there may be very real factors contributing to a mother’s attitude about money. For example, statistics show that women earn less than men, even for the same work. In addition, women are charged more for everyday products, e.g. products for beauty and hygiene, than men. That leaves women with less money to work with than their male counterparts.

Studies also show that women’s nurturing natures leads them to take financial responsibility for more people, e.g. adult children and family members with illnesses. This would leave women with even less money to live on. Perhaps that can explain being intimidated by financial matters or not enjoying financial management.

Of course, just because NFCC’s survey respondents felt their moms didn’t have great personal finance skills doesn’t necessarily mean those moms lacked said skills. After all, how much of our parents’ financial management do we really see? Do we see them sit at the table and pay bills, create a budget and plan spending for the next month? We’re not with them when HR discusses 401(k), pensions or other retirement plans. There’s a chance that moms are better at personal finance than the respondents realized.

If you picked up bad money behaviors from your parent or parents, it’s not too late to get new habits. Think carefully about the problems you’re having, e.g. you keep paying late fees, you’re continually overdrafting your accounts, or perhaps you always have to borrow money for unexpected expenses. Then, consider what behaviors or beliefs contribute to that problem. Maybe you’re always late because you’re not making an effort to remember your payment due dates. You can come up with a system for keeping up with all your due dates, e.g. marking them on a calendar.

Don’t be afraid to discuss your money issues with someone who may be more financially savvy than you are. A trusted friend or colleague may be able to help you. A consumer credit counselor can also work with you to give you vital information for solving your problem.

It’s not enough to get the help you need, you have to actually put your newfound wisdom into practice. If your credit counselor told you to start putting $50 a month into a savings account so you can build an emergency fund, follow up. But, if you don’t follow the advice you’re given, don’t be surprised if you run into problems again.

Source: National Foundation for Credit Counseling
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Saturday, 24 August 2019

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