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CU System
Ideal Mother's Gift--a Lesson In Personal Finance
WASHINGTON (5/7/13)--A lesson in personal finance may be the ideal Mother's Day gift, given the results of a survey of consumers' opinions about their mother's personal finance skills.

More than 67% of those surveyed saw their mother as either someone who is intimidated by money (21%), views managing money as a necessary evil (26%) or has never managed money (18%), according to the survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). Only 35% said Mom is savvy managing money and enjoys it.

"What mothers may not realize is that a lack of financial skills has the potential to negatively impact not only their future, but also that of their children, as negative habits are picked up as readily as positive ones," said Gail Cunningham, NFCC spokesperson. "Mothers have an opportunity to influence multiple generations by improving their own personal financial abilities."

NFCC's 2013 Financial Literacy Survey results indicated that 33% of people surveyed learned their financial skills at home. NFCC also noted that the typical single parent is the mother who has the sole responsibility to demonstrate and teach sound financial habits, and that fewer than half of the states require taking a course in personal finance for graduation. Roughly 5% of those surveyed indicated schools were their main source of personal finance skills.

Credit unions, which have a wealth of financial education tools and programs on hand, should find it easy to tap into serving this need by considering some mothers' discomfort with finances in their educational efforts.

Perhaps that student branch can turn the tables and offer financial basics info to parents visiting the school or parent/teacher night. That reality fair for teens could include a family version. Or it may be a matter of just including personal finance information for Moms on your website or newsletter.  It's yet another opportunity to reach out to members needing solid financial information.


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