Highlights

Self Appraisals

Most parents feel confident about their understanding of financial matters such as saving, investing, credit, and budgeting:
  • 51 percent say they understand financial matters very well
  • 46 percent say they understand financial matters fairly well
  • 3 percent say they do not understand financial matters well

In addition, most parents think they do a good job of managing their money

  • 25 percent think they do an excellent job managing their money
  • 57 percent think they do a good job
  • 16 percent think they do a fair job

Attitudes and Behaviors

Spending Money
Parents WhoMost of
the time
Some of
the time
  • Track the money they spend to determine where it is going
68%26%
  • Compare prices when making purchases
8315
  • Make a budget and then stick to it
4539

Credit Cards

  • 92 percent of parents have a major credit card or charge card like a Visa or American Express
  • 49 percent pay more than the minimum on their credit cards but still leave a balance due
  • 38 percent pay off their credit cards completely each billing cycle

Saving Money

  • 68 percent of parents say it is very important to save money on a regular basis, and 27 percent say it is somewhat important
  • 80 percent save money on a regular basis
  • 11 percent have no savings other than what is in their work-related retirement savings plan or IRA
  • 56 percent have less than $50,000 in personal savings other than what is in their work-related retirement savings plan or IRA
  • 7 percent say they don't know how much they have in personal savings other than what is in their work-related retirement saving plan or IRA

Saving for Retirement

  • 80 percent have a 401(k), 403(b), 457 or other work-related retirement savings plan
  • 40 percent of parents who report having a 401(k), 403(b), 457 or other work-related retirement savings plan say they (and their spouse) have less than $100,000 accumulated in the plans
  • 10 percent say they don't know how much they have accumulated in work-related retirement savings plans and IRAs

Where Parents Go for Help

  • 49 percent of parents use materials provided by an employer
  • 36 percent use a financial advisor
  • 27 percent use on-line financial tools
  • 22 percent use financial planning software
  • 16 percent use seminars

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The 2001 Parents, Youth & Money Survey gauges the views, attitudes, and behavior of American parents regarding various financial issues, their savings and investing habits, and their interactions with their children regarding money. The survey was conducted within the United States from Jan. 4 -30, 2001, through 19-minute interviews with 1,000 individuals who have primary responsibility for one or more children between the ages of 6 and 17. According to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, in 1998 there were 102,528,000 households in the United States. Of those households, 34,760,000 (34 percent) had children under the age of 18. In theory, a sample of 1,000 yields a statistical precision of plus or minus 3 percentage points (with 95 percent certainty) of what the results would be if all households with children ages 6 to 17 were surveyed with complete accuracy. (Subgroup responses have larger margins of error, depending on the size of the group.) The 1999 Youth & Money Survey gauges the views, attitudes, and behavior of 1,000 students ages 16-22 about personal finance.