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Parents give themselves grade of B-

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BALTIMORE (8/5/09)--Parents gave themselves a B- for their knowledge of the importance of saving, setting goals, smart spending, and investing--not exactly a vote of confidence for such an important set of life skills (troweprice.com July 21). Parents saw room for improvement in their understanding of basic money concepts--and how they could better equip their kids with financial smarts--based on T. Rowe Price’s Parents, Kids & Money Survey, released in July. The nationwide study revealed that 60% of moms and dads thought family financial discussions don’t happen often enough. More than half worry that they could be doing more to raise financially competent children. Stuart Ritter, a financial planner with T. Rowe Price, stated in a client news release from his company that the survey confirms parents want to impart sound financial values to their kids, but don’t always have the tools or feel knowledgeable enough to teach them. While the current economy certainly is a catalyst to encourage parents to have more money conversations with their children, the survey showed that more than half of parents believe they have to reinforce money lessons because their kids quickly forget them. So how can parents keep those money talks fresh and frequent? Ritter suggests using regular occurrences such as receiving birthday money, trips to the grocery store, or balancing a checkbook as ideal times for a teachable moment. Another opportunity is when children ask for more money after their allowance runs out. Using a piggy bank is an easy way to teach kids about money and set a good example about the importance of saving. A majority of parents reported that the decision to take money out is shared, while nearly 30% said that decision is up to the child. T. Rowe Price created a new Family Center at troweprice.com/trowefamilycenter. The center features real-life stories from parents about how they are taking financial lessons they learned at an early age and passing them on to their children. For more information, read “Tough Times Series--Speaking of the Economy…What Do You Tell Your Kids?” in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.