VIENNA, Austria - May 14, 2020 – Regardless of whether the corona crisis and homeschooling are just appearing in the educational landscape, whether it's the centralized school-leaving examination, new curricula or the rather unpopular Pisa tests: one thing is unlikely to change over the generations - the financial education of children. It is and remains the task of parents and families. This is confirmed by a recent study conducted by the market research institute marketmind on behalf of the Austrian Banking Association and BAWAG Group.
According to this study, in 2020 around 90% of parents with children aged between six and 14 years in Austria will still consider it important to teach their children the basics of financial life themselves. The main focus here is on teaching them the general handling of money and an understanding of saving. Parents pay particular attention to the general financial education of their children from the age of eleven and to the development of their sons' competences in money matters. In these two cases, more than 90% of the parents interviewed consider it particularly important to be in the first place when it comes to imparting knowledge.
"We were surprised by the result in terms of gender difference. It could be an indication that the gender gap on the topic of finances begins in the parental home, in that boys are treated differently from girls when it comes to raising money. This can have adverse consequences in adulthood. On average, women still have less financial knowledge than men and less chances of making their own provisions for their future," says Gerald Resch, Secretary General of the Austrian Banking Association.
Knowledge comes from one's own parents, especially from mothers
When educating their children about money matters, around 70% of the parents surveyed rely on the knowledge they themselves have received from their parents or their families about how to handle money. Among those parents who additionally consult their personal bank advisor to receive this knowledge, this knowledge has led to a better handling of money in 60% of cases.
In nine out of ten children, it is important for their parents to teach them how to handle money themselves. This is even more important to parents for children aged eleven and over (93%) and for sons (90%). Mothers (91%) attach more importance to imparting knowledge than fathers (88%).
In 73% of children between the ages of six and 14, their parents state that they talk openly about money with their children. The majority of the children (89%) say that their parents provide advice on financial matters. A smaller proportion of children (62%) state that their parents speak openly about their own assets.
Help from the school and from banks
For about 40% of the children, their parents would like to have support in the financial education of their children. Above all, parents in patchwork families (51%), single parents and working mothers (45%) and parents with a low educational status (41%) quickly feel left alone or overburdened by this issue. Help should come from schools and banks, especially when it comes to explaining banking products, forms of financing and the economic system in general.
Girls are less supported
According to the study, boys receive more financial support than girls: For 91% of sons, parents attach importance to support in handling the account, for girls it is 82%. Girls are also considered less capable of handling money: 30% of the sons rate their parents' handling of money as very good or good, while this percentage is lower for girls (27%). For 84% of the sons, the parents consider having their own bank account to be instructive; for daughters the figure is 71%. "Our company's product analyses also show that girls have around 20% less on their student or apprentice banking accounts than boys. Together with the results of the study, this seems to confirm that the gender pay gap has its tender roots in childhood and can later become a real problem for women. This is because women still earn less than men on average, although they are catching up strongly in terms of education and are increasingly in employment. This makes it all the more important for them to make earlier and more self-determined financial decisions. We would therefore like to encourage parents to support their daughters in particular when it comes to money matters and to give them more confidence in handling their finances", explains Enver Sirucic, Member of the Managing Board of the Austrian Banking Association and CFO of the BAWAG Group.
Recovery of funds as early as possible
For most parents, the financial and economic education of their children ideally begins with entry into elementary school. If young parents, mothers and parents with higher education are particularly interested, the teaching of basic skills for dealing with money should even begin earlier.
1 Current online survey of 1010 parents between 20 and 75 years of age with children aged 6-14 years in spring 2020
Manfred Rapolter (Head of Communications, Spokesperson)