Mom Versus Dad: TD Bank Financial Literacy Poll Reveals the Role of Parents in a Fiscally Fit Family

Parents share similar attitudes toward financial literacy; approach differs.

Mar 29, 2011, 10:03 ET from TD Bank

CHERRY HILL, N.J., and PORTLAND, Maine, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the TD Bank Financial Literacy Poll released today by TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, 62 percent of all parents agree they should start teaching their children about money by 12 years of age. While mothers and fathers generally agree on when to start money-related conversations, the survey reveals they differ on how they teach their children financial literacy. The results also show there is a confidence gap between the two genders in how confident they feel about making sound financial decisions.

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TD Bank surveyed 1,637 consumers within the Northeast as well as in Florida and Washington, DC to better understand their financial literacy and attitudes, specifically examining the role of the parent and how this can differ between mothers and fathers.

"The survey shows that each parent contributes different money-related lessons when it comes to a child's financial education," says Suzanne Poole, executive vice president, TD Bank. "This indicates that it's important for moms and dads to combine efforts to ensure that their children learn all aspects of financial literacy from monthly budgets to everyday spending. Being that April is National Financial Literacy Month, now is the perfect time to begin having these conversations with our kids."

Mom vs. Dad: Financial Confidence

According to the survey, 34 percent of respondents rated their financial knowledge as "good" or better. From that, dads are found to be nearly 10 percent more financially confident than moms. Despite these findings, 66 percent of dads also report they wish they had more conversations with their children about money.  

Moreover, while moms perceive themselves to be less financially confident, 52 percent report feeling they take all or most of the responsibility to teach their children about financial matters.  

Mom vs. Dad: Budgeting

Despite evidence that better budgeting can contribute to a more financially fit family, 43 percent of families surveyed are still not creating or following a monthly budget. Even more interesting are the parental disparities in the reasons why they don't budget:

  • 35 percent of dads versus 22 percent of moms feel they do not need a budget
  • 19 percent of moms versus 12 percent of dads feel they find budgets too complicated and don't know how to create one

Moms vs. Dads: Financial Education Actions

When it comes to the actions taken by individual parents toward their child's financial education, moms are more likely to engage in everyday financial conversations:

  • Teaching children how to count money (81%)
  • Teaching money matters while shopping (70%)
  • Saving money in a piggy bank (70%)

Dads, on the other hand, are more likely to focus on the tangible aspects of money:

  • Providing an allowance (52%)
  • Setting a savings goal (32%)

Other Key Findings From the Survey Include:

  • Given the recession, 55 percent of families say they are talking to their children more often about money
  • 30 percent of families feel they are being more proactive and having conversations with their children before matters arise
  • Only 1-in-3 parents are setting a savings goal

Note:  Please contact us for additional data points and specifics from New England, Mid-Atlantic, Washington, DC and Florida.

Survey Methodology

The study was conducted among consumers in the New England census division, Middle Atlantic census division, Florida and Washington DC from January 5-12; 2011. TD polled 1,637 consumers from Maine to Florida: 718 in New England, 689 in Middle Atlantic and Washington, DC, and 230 in Florida. The sample size of 1,637 has a margin of error of +/- 2.4%. The survey was hosted by global research company Angus Reid Public Opinion.

About Angus Reid Public Opinion

Angus Reid Public Opinion is the Public Affairs practice of Vision Critical—a global research company. Vision Critical is a leader in the use of the Internet and rich media technology to collect high-quality, in-depth insights for a wide array of clients.

About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®

TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the United States, providing customers with a full range of financial products and services at more than 1,250 convenient locations from Maine to Florida. On September 30, 2010, The South Financial Group, Inc. was acquired by TD Bank Group, and its subsidiary Carolina First Bank merged with TD Bank. Carolina First Bank will continue to operate under the trade names Carolina First Bank in North and South Carolina and Mercantile Bank in Florida until conversion and rebranding in June 2011. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., and Portland, Maine. Carolina First Bank and Mercantile Bank are trade names of TD Bank, N.A. For more information, visit TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America and one of the few banks in the world rated Aaa by Moody's. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD." To learn more, visit