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Mother Knows Best: Your First Personal Finance Teacher





Whether they intended to or not, Mom and Dad gave you your first lesson in personal finance. Hopefully, one or both of them took an active role in teaching you about money. And let's go one further and hope that the experience was a positive one that you chose to model later in life.

According to a recent survey of children by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, only 35 percent said their mother is "pretty savvy about managing money and enjoys it." The other 65 percent said Mom avoids financial matters, doesn't enjoy managing money, or has never managed money.

Parents get the blame for not teaching their kids about finances in the fifth annual Parents, Kids & Money Survey by T. Rowe Price. In that survey, 73 percent of parents said they have "regular conversations with their kids about money." However, they report that they are discussing short-term financial matters such as back-to-school shopping. Fifty-nine percent of the kids surveyed say they go to their moms with money questions. When moms were asked if they were good financial role models, 36 percent gave themselves a C or below.

We asked a few well-known personal finance experts to tell us what they learned about money from their moms.

Money doesn't grow on trees

Parental embarrassment is a common theme for adolescents on many fronts. When you're young and haven't yet learned the value of every dollar earned, it can be embarrassing to witness limits on your parents' income. Whether it's out of choice or necessity, watching your parents nitpick over a few dollars or hand over piles of coupons can feel like someone is shining a spotlight on your parents' budget. Moms who help their children to understand the value of a dollar early on are doing a lot to ensure that peer pressure and frivolous spending don't become a way of life for their kids.

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