A new study indicates that the ability of college students to manage their financial affairs in a healthy, fiscally sound manner depends as much on the teachings of their parents as anything else (to include classes provided in high school, college, etc.). What I liked about this article was how it noted the complexity involved in how people spend money. It is not simply knowing the facts regarding interest rates, credit scores, etc. Rather, how we spend money is a complex, individual, behavioral model that depends upon a whole host of cognitive, personality, social, and other factors. As most of these areas tend to depend on how we are raised by our parents (as well as who are parents are, and the genes they’ve passed on), it makes sense that the lessons (both overt as well as modeled) parents instill in their kids regarding monetary behavior would be strong. From the article:
I’m going to try and keep an eye out for more research into fiscal habits like this, from a social science perspective. Psychologists and other mental health professionals often shy away from conversations about money, for a variety of reasons (their own discomfort/lack of knowledge, the idea that there are “larger truths,” etc.), but fiscal behavior is a major influence on individuals and their mental health (and on a larger scale, the link between mental health and economics can have a significant macro-effect as well). In addition, examining the monetary habits of an individual can tell you a significant amount of information about that person, in terms of priorities, impulse control, self-perception, etc. It’s both an important and interesting topic, one that I always enjoy reading about.