Financial Literacy Should Start at a Young Age, Survey Finds

A recent TD Bank survey examined the confidence levels of those with varying degrees of financial literacy. 

The results of the survey of 2,160 consumers show that those most confident in their ability to make wise financial decisions began learning about financial responsibility at a younger age than those who are less confident. TD Bank found that many consumers doubt their financial skills and feel that education at an earlier age would have made a difference.  

“The poll reveals that it is imperative for parents to act as the primary role model to their children if they want financially successful children,” said Suzanne Poole, executive vice president, retail sales strategy and distribution for TD Bank. 

The survey also asked participants who their financial role models are.  The majority responded that they would turn to family members for guidance, followed by famous financiers such as Warren Buffet, and about a quarter say they use a financial adviser.   

To get young people more enthused about financial responsibility, TD Bank recommends making the first financial deposit or investment memorable.  Those with “good” financial literacy were more likely to remember the amount of their first deposit.   

But it appears that trends are changing, and financial literacy is becoming a more common theme around the metaphorical dinner table.  75% of parents in the survey say that they are teaching their children about saving money, budgeting, using credit cards responsibly, etc., while only 15% of these parents were taught financial responsibility at a young age.   

And good financial literacy leads to financial confidence–which simply makes life easier.  Ninety-four percent of those polled with “poor” financial literacy skills wished saving money wasn’t so hard versus 65% with “good” financial skills.