New Survey on Parents and Financial Literacy: Where Are the Same-Sex Parents?

LGBT MoneyApril is Financial Literacy Month, and I’ve been receiving a number of related press releases, some silly and some less so. While I didn’t think many of you would really be interested in a talking piggy bank, I did think you might have some thoughts on a new survey from TD Bank. It’s titled, “Mom versus Dad: TD Bank Financial Literacy Poll Reveals the Role of Parents in a Fiscally Fit Family”—although it really should be titled, “Mom versus Dad: TD Bank Financial Literacy Poll Reveals the Role of Parents in a Fiscally Fit Heterosexual Family.”

Here are the key findings:

Dads are found to be nearly 10% more financially confident than moms. Despite these findings, 66% of dads also report they wish they had more conversations with their children about money.

Moreover, while moms perceive themselves to be less financially confident, 52% report feeling they take all or most of the responsibility when teaching their children about financial matters….

Moms are more likely to engage in everyday financial conversations:

  • Teaching children how to count money (81%)
  • Teaching money matters while shopping (70%)
  • Saving money in a piggy bank (70%)

Dads, on the other hand, are more likely to focus on the tangible aspects of money:

  • Providing an allowance (52%)
  • Setting a savings goal (32%)

You’re probably way ahead of me already: What about same-sex parents?  Do the roles of parents with regard to teaching their children financial literacy vary in same-sex couples, too? Does one parent—say, the primary caregiver—tend to take a larger role than the other? And do the financial confidence and aptitudes of LGBT people vary by gender in the same way they do for non-LGBT people? I would have thought that TD Bank, with a perfect 100 on the HRC Corporate Equality Index, might have looked at this, but alas, no.

One might conclude from the study that children of lesbians moms get a different financial education than children of gay dads, and that both get a less balanced financial education than children of opposite-sex parents—but I can’t quite bring myself to believe that’s true. LGBT people tend to break gender stereotypes, and I’m not sure we can expect findings about gender roles among non-LGBT people to apply in exactly the same way.

What are your thoughts about gender and financial literacy? How do you (and your co-parent, if you have one) teach your kids about finance?

Full press release after the jump:

Mom Versus Dad: TD Bank Financial Literacy Poll Reveals the Role of Parents in a Fiscally Fit Family

Parents Share Similar Attitudes toward Financial Literacy; Approach Differs

CHERRY HILL, N.J., and PORTLAND, Maine – March 28, 2011 – According to the TD Bank Financial Literacy Poll released today by TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, 62 percent of all parents agree they should start teaching their children about money by 12 years of age. While mothers and fathers generally agree on when to start money-related conversations, the survey reveals they differ when it comes to their own financial confidence and how they teach their children financial literacy.

TD Bank surveyed 1,637 consumers within the Northeast as well as Florida and Washington, DC to better understand their financial literacy and attitudes, specifically examining the role of the parent and how this can differ between mothers and fathers.

“The survey shows that each parent contributes different money-related lessons when it comes to a child’s financial education,” says Suzanne Poole, executive vice president, retail sales strategy, TD Bank. “This indicates that it’s important for moms and dads to combine efforts to ensure that their children learn all aspects of financial literacy from monthly budgets to everyday spending.”

Mom vs. Dad: Financial Confidence

According to the survey, 34% of respondents rated their financial knowledge as “good” or better. From that, dads are found to be nearly 10% more financially confident than moms. Despite these findings, 66% of dads also report they wish they had more conversations with their children about money.

Moreover, while moms perceive themselves to be less financially confident, 52% report feeling they take all or most of the responsibility when teaching their children about financial matters.

Mom vs. Dad: Budgeting

Despite evidence that better budgeting can contribute to a more financially fit family, 43% of families surveyed still are not creating or following a monthly budget. Even more interesting are the parental disparities in the reasons why they don’t budget:

  • 35% of dads versus 22% of moms feel they do not need a budget
  • 19% of moms versus 12% of dads feel they find budgets too complicated and don’t know how to create one

Moms vs. Dads: Financial Education Actions

When it comes to the actions taken by individual parents toward their child’s financial education, moms are more likely to engage in everyday financial conversations:

  • Teaching children how to count money (81%)
  • Teaching money matters while shopping (70%)
  • Saving money in a piggy bank (70%)

Dads, on the other hand, are more likely to focus on the tangible aspects of money:

  • Providing an allowance (52%)
  • Setting a savings goal (32%)

Other Key Findings From the Survey Include:

  • Given the recession, 55% of families say they are talking to their children more often about money
  • 30% of families feel they are being more proactive and having conversations with their children before matters arise
  • Only 1-in-3 parents are setting a savings goal

Note:  Please contact us for additional data points and specifics from New England, Mid-Atlantic, Washington, DC and Florida.

Survey Methodology

The study was conducted among consumers in the New England census division, Middle Atlantic census division, Florida and Washington DC from January 5-12; 2011.TD polled 1,637 consumers from Maine to Florida: 718 in New England, 689 in Middle Atlantic and Washington, DC, and 230 in Florida. The sample size of 1,637 has a margin of error of +/- 2.4%. The survey was hosted by global research company Angus Reid Public Opinion.

About Angus Reid Public Opinion
Angus Reid Public Opinion is the Public Affairs practice of Vision Critical—a global research company. Vision Critical is a leader in the use of the Internet and rich media technology to collect high-quality, in-depth insights for a wide array of clients.

About TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the United States, providing customers with a full range of financial products and services at more than 1,250 convenient locations from Maine to Florida. On September 30, 2010, The South Financial Group, Inc. was acquired by TD Bank Group, and its subsidiary Carolina First Bank merged with TD Bank. Carolina First Bank will continue to operate under the trade names Carolina First Bank in North and South Carolina and Mercantile Bank in Florida until conversion and rebranding in June 2011. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., and Portland, Maine. Carolina First Bank and Mercantile Bank are trade names of TD Bank, N.A. For more information, visit www.tdbank.com. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America and one of the few banks in the world rated Aaa by Moody’s. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol “TD.” To learn more, visit www.td.com.