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Call for families to talk openly about money

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
More than 30 million people in the UK believe their savings behaviour was impacted by the way their parents handled their finances and there are now calls to encourage families to talk openly about money.

A new study for Post Office Money found that 66% of people (about 33 million) said their savings habits were impacted by their parents’ and 57% said it had a positive effect on their own finances.

However nine million (18%) grew up in households where they said their parents’ saving habits were bad, with 8% saying this had a detrimental effect on the way they manage their money.

The research, which was based on a study of 2,083 people and compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, also found that 38% of those with parents who were ‘bad savers’ rarely saw them put money aside while 29% said their family was often in debt.

A further 19% said their parents would be unlikely to help them if they were getting into financial difficulty.

In contrast, those who grew up with ‘good saver’ parents said they regularly put money aside (43%) and had enough money to cope with emergencies (45%).

‘Putting money away on a ‘little and often’ basis can make all the difference’

Post Office Money is now encouraging families to talk to their children about the importance of saving.

Henk Van Hulle, director of Post Office Money, said: “Saving will begin at home for many of us, with our own financial behaviour heavily influenced by our parents. Given that many people wish they had started saving earlier we would encourage families to talk about the importance of financial planning and saving money from an early age.

“Often it can seem impossible to put savings aside every month but even getting into the habit of putting money away on a ‘little and often’ basis can make all the difference, particularly as a good example to your children. More needs to be done to provide young people with a robust financial education and help them see the benefit of having a financial safety-net for the inevitable rainy day.”

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