You have your mother’s eyes and your father’s debts: Study finds how teens inherit money habits from their parents

It would appear that genes aren’t the only thing that parents pass down to their children, with a study finding teenagers exhibit similar traits when it comes to handling their finances.

Young people whose parents struggle to pay off their debts are less likely to budget their own finances sensibly compared to those with parents who can live within their own means, the Money Advice Service has found.

And two-thirds of 15 to 17-year-olds whose families can save for ’emergency costs’ have a regular habit of saving their pocket money or wages from part-time work, compared to 47 per cent from families who can’t cope with unexpected costs.

Money Advice Service chief executive Caroline Rookes said: ‘We know our money habits are formed very young, and once formed are extremely difficult to shift.

‘But I am struck by how heavily a young person’s money management habits are influenced by their family’s past and present financial behaviour.

‘This is our first glimpse of how these young people are coping with the transition into adulthood – we see a generation “coming of age” through a period of austerity, a group that’s witnessing rapid financial change and learning how to cope and plan.

‘It’s vital we keep track of their habits effectively so we can better understand their challenges and help them deal with life’s financial ups and downs.’

Although teenagers take note of their parents’ attitudes to money, there are positive signs that they will be better equipped to deal with their finances once they reach full adulthood.


Does money really talk?

‘My Money Week’ takes place from the 3rd to the 9th of June and schools from all over the UK are gearing up for a week full of jam-packed events and initiatives to help young people learn about financial education.

Former private banker Vivi Friedgut is the author of Money Smarter, a family guide to finances, and welcomes the initiative but suggests that financial education at school should be supported at home.

Vivi says: “Parents are the most influential force in any child’s life; both by what they do and what they say. Financial education in schools is crucial but it complements what is learnt at home – it cannot replace it.

“Since I’ve become involved in teaching financial education to children & students, it’s apparent that many have not had ‘the money talk’ or been engaged in financial conversations with their parents; which is surprising, as critical aspects of responsible money management are best learnt in a real life situations.

“Understanding instant gratification, appreciating the difference between needs and wants and comprehending the consequences of decisions can be heightened by observing parents, as opposed to solely within the confines of a classroom.”

My Money Week is hosted by pfeg who provide schools with free resources, lesson plans, activity packs, competitions, national challenges, one to one consultancy support and a dedicated website for the financial education initiative .

The likes of The Saturdays, Sir Chris Hoy and Tinchy Strider have previously encouraged people to take part by being ambassadors and setting challenges for students.

Schools have hosted fashion shows and fetes, taken part in gardening projects, debates, young peoples’ parliaments, peer mentoring projects, community economy projects and used maths, English, drama, PSHE education, citizenship, enterprise and geography to deliver excellent financial education.

Two in three pupils fear university costs: They worry about living expenses and not being able to earn while studying

Pupils are worried about living expenses and not being able to earn while studyinggroup of adults maths

Two-thirds of children are worried about the cost of going to university even though they think it will help them ‘get on in life’, a new survey has revealed.

They are concerned about living expenses and not being able to earn while they study while those from middle-class backgrounds are most troubled by £9,000-a-year tuition fees.

The Ipsos MORI poll for the Sutton Trust surveyed 2,595 11 to 16-year-olds.

It classified them as being in families of high, medium or low affluence based on questions about their households.

It found that students from the least affluent families (23 per cent) were more likely to cite cost as the biggest consideration when deciding whether to go onto higher education than their richer counterparts (14 per cent).

However, middle-class youngsters – who miss out on means tested maintenance grants – are most affected by tuition fees (30 per cent) when worrying about all the costs.

This compared to 28 per cent of rich students and 26 per cent of poorer ones who agreed that fees were the ‘biggest concern’.

Overall, 65 per cent of students surveyed were worried about university finances – 28 per cent cited tuition fees; 19 per cent, the cost of living and 18 per cent, not earning while studying.

Only seven per cent said they were not troubled by the cost of going to university.

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