4/28: Talking to Kids About Money

With the recession dominating daily headlines, few people are immune to the stress that accompanies today’s tough economic times.  But, for parents who are having a difficult time making ends meet, does talking to their children about money problems add to or reduce the stress?  For nearly six in ten Americans, talking to kids about money increases family anxiety while 28% say it alleviates it.



More younger Americans than older Americans believe discussing financial matters with their children is an added stress.  71% of residents under age 45 and 51% of those 45 and older share this view.

Table: Talking to Children About Money Adds or Reduces Family Stress?

At What Age?

So, then, what is the appropriate age at which to begin speaking with children about money?  There is little consensus among Americans or even those who are parents.  A majority believes somewhere between the age of six and twelve is age appropriate.  27% of residents nationwide say children between six and nine years old are mature enough to discuss money, and the same proportion believes anywhere between ten and twelve years old is the best time to talk finances.  23% report parents should have the talk even earlier — at five years of age or younger.  Parents agree.

Men and women, however, don’t see eye-to-eye on this issue.  A majority of women believe children should take part in financial discussions by age nine.  In contrast, the plurality of men — 49% — think the best time to begin the discussion about finances is when a child is at least 10 or even older.

Table: Good Age to Talk to Children About Money?

Marist Poll Methodology

Related Stories:

Cluing Kids In About Cash: An Interview

Kids and Money: Lessons from the Past and Dealing with the Present