AICPA survey shows parents missing opportunities to teach children about personal finance

Three in 10 parents never talk to their children about money or have had just one big talk with their children on the subject, according to a U.S. telephone survey conducted for the AICPA by Harris Interactive.

On average, children are 10 years old when their mother or father has the first conversation with them about money, and mothers are more likely to talk with children about money at an earlier age than fathers, the survey showed. Just 13% of parents surveyed talk daily with their children about financial matters.

Sixty-seven percent of parents surveyed strongly agree that they know enough about personal finance to teach their children good habits. Yet parents participating in the survey were more likely to have talked to their children about other important topics, including:

  • The importance of good manners (95%).
  • The benefits of good eating habits (87%).
  • The importance of getting good grades (87%).
  • The dangers of drugs and alcohol (84%).
  • The risks of smoking (82%).

Only 81% of parents in the survey said they talked to their children about the value of money and managing it wisely.

The survey results also showed that 61% of parents pay their children an allowance, with 54% beginning by the time their child was 8 years old. The amount varies by age, with the average allowance totaling $65 per month. Forty-eight percent of parents with children in school pay them for good grades; the average rate for an A is $16.60.

For more information on financial education and responsibility, visit the AICPA’s 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy website at


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