What should I know as a parent?

Money lessons from our parents – and how they shaped our money parenting style

Many of our habits and attitudes about money were formed through our parents’ guidance. What money lessons did they teach us, and how did these form our own money parenting styles?

What kind of money parent are you? Take our 2-min quiz to find out.

Money. As parents, this is a topic we may be hesitant to teach, unsure of what exactly to do or say. But our parents have done it before, and so did their parents. We take a look back at how we were taught about money, and how that influences how we teach our children about it.

“What is one thing you remembered when your parents taught you about money?” Through a poll with parents in a community, the most common response to the question was “Save for a rainy day.”

We’ve heard that growing up, and probably repeated it to our own children just as many times. But apart from saving money for an unexpected emergency, what are some of the other lessons we have learned from our parents?


Money lessons we’ve learnt

1. Money is important...

Our parents sure did drive this point home: a majority of today’s parents (89%) said that when they were growing up, they were taught that money was important.

76% even said that they worried about money when they were young. And while money woes are too great a burden to be placed on children, it underscores the importance placed by our parents on financial security.

2. ...but it isn’t everything

Only 17% of parents said their parents taught them that money is important because it equated to success; on the other extreme, only 4% said their parents taught them that money isn’t important at all. For the others, their parents taught them that money is important, yes, but it isn’t everything.

For these parents, the importance of money is balanced out by other values and priorities in life. Their parents taught them: “Money can’t buy time, love, health and respect”, “There are some things in the world you cannot buy with money,” and “You can’t take money to the grave. Be happy.” And these are values that they share with their children today, too.


A diverse experience

One key finding was that our parents’ methods for teaching us about money varied greatly. Respondents were split on whether their parents actively taught them about money through lessons or games, with 46% who agreed and 54% who felt otherwise.

Meanwhile, 65% said they were taught through hands-on experience of money. Over half of them said they received an allowance, while 26% said their parents had opened a savings account for them.

Were our parents good at money parenting?

It was clear that parents today felt their parents (mostly) did a good job teaching them about money — 61% of respondents answered with a resounding ‘Yes’ when asked if they thought their parents were successful in teaching them about money.

Looking back...

As adults and parents ourselves, we are more aware now of what had been lacking in the financial education from our parents. In fact, parents today wish their parents taught them:


The lessons from our parents, the lessons to our children

We’ve all gone through different journeys to become the parents we are, shaped by the guidance of our parents and our own unique experiences. But we all share common values: love for our children and the desire for them to be financially stable in their future.

Through this poll conducted by theAsianparent with their community of parents, we gained insights into what our parents did and didn’t teach us. Now, it’s time to find out how we have fared in money parenting our children. Check out Eastspring’s inaugural Money Parenting study here.

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