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School's in Session, but Parents Want to Be the Ones Teaching Money Matters

COUNTRY Survey: Americans May Be Entering Great Allowance Recession

August 21, 2013


BLOOMINGTON- Americans don’t expect kids to get most of their financial life lessons in the classroom. According to the latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index® survey, 81 percent say parents are the most responsible for teaching financial literacy. Just 11 percent say schools are most responsible.

As Americans put the responsibility of financial education on parents, they also expect it to happen early:

  • Seventy percent say children should be taught about money matters starting at seven years old or younger
  • Fifty-one percent say the right age to get a credit card is the beginning of adulthood (18 to 22 years old).

Perhaps this earlier start in financial literacy training is due in part to the fact 63 percent of parents say they’ve focused more on educating their children about personal finances because of the current economic conditions—this figure is up five points from 2010.

“The recent ups and downs in the economy have taught many adults the importance of financial education and, unfortunately, many have paid for that education,” says Joe Buhrmann, manger of financial security support at COUNTRY Financial. “Learning how to budget, manage debt and save for a rainy day is critical, and Americans are understanding that now more than ever.”


Have We Entered the “Great Allowance Recession”?

August 21, 2013

Giving an allowance may seem to be an obvious learning tool for teaching financial literary, but is this practice fading? Two-thirds of Americans overall (67 percent) think children should get an allowance. But younger Americans are less likely to feel this way than older generations:

Should children get an allowance?

18-29 Year Olds 30-39 Year Olds 40-49 Year Olds 50-65 Year Olds 65+ Year Olds
Think Children Should Get Allowance






August 21, 2013

While the current average weekly allowance is $15*, more than half of Americans (54 percent) say less than $10 is a reasonable weekly allowance. Another one-third say $10 to $20 is the correct amount and five percent think $20 or more is fair.

*According to the American Institute of CPAs


Advice for Teaching Finances Early

August 21, 2013

Buhrmann offers the following tips on what to teach/how to approach finances with young children:

  • Start early
    As soon as children can count, they can start learning about money. Help them save with coin banks so they can learn to save, spend and share with others.
  • Encourage the behavior you want
    Consider matching your child’s contributions to their savings – especially for long-term savings goals. Similar to an employer-match in a 401(k), this “free money” can reward the behavior you want to instill. Compound interest has been called the “8th wonder of the world” - it won’t take long for children to see the benefits of deferred gratification.
  • To thine own self be true
    Actions speak louder than words while educating children about finances. Make sure your own home is in order: manage debt, save for tomorrow and plan your risks and insurance responsibly.
The COUNTRY Financial Security Index®

Since 2007, the COUNTRY Financial Security Index has measured Americans’ sentiments of their personal financial security. The COUNTRY Index also delves deeper into individual personal finance topics to better inform Americans about the issues impacting their finances. Survey data, videos and analysis are available at and on Twitter at @FinanceSecure.

The COUNTRY Index was created by COUNTRY Financial and is compiled by Rasmussen Reports, LLC, an independent research firm, based on a national telephone and online survey of at least 3,000 Americans.

The margin of sampling error for a survey based on this many interviews is approximately +/- 2 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

Learn more about our Index surveys and our survey methodology.

About COUNTRY Financial

COUNTRY Financial ( serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States. It offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.


Brittney Jennings
Ogilvy Public Relations
(312) 397-6061

Jay Verner
COUNTRY Financial
(309) 821-2581