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MMI survey studies how the next generation is banking, saving, spending, and fundraising

Money Management International (MMI), the nation’s largest nonprofit credit counseling agency, announced today the results of its 2010 Kids and Money Survey. The survey studied how kids today are learning about finances compared to how their parents learned and which financial learning tools kids are being exposed to.

According to the survey, many more kids are being exposed to some kind of financial learning – nearly five times as many parents did not learn about money until they were adults compared to their kids. “It’s never too early to start teaching the next generation the financial skills they need for life” says Cate Williams, vice president of financial literacy for MMI. “Being exposed to financial education at a young age prepares youth to have financially successful futures.”

Key findings from MMI’s 2010 Kids and Money survey include:

Kids are starting to bank younger these days. Three times as many children under 10 have bank accounts than their parents did when they were that age.

Piggy bank popularity is increasing. Nearly twice as many parents use the piggy bank as a learning tool for their kids compared to how many used it themselves as kids.

Kids are learning how to raise money. Nearly 7 in 10 American kids participate in fundraisers for their school or organization. Parents are using these fundraisers as an opportunity to teach financial lessons – two-thirds of parents teach financial responsibility or basic math skills, roughly half of parents surveyed teach goal setting or basic business skills, and 4 in 10 use fundraisers to teach about budgeting or charitable giving.

Some kids have control over their money, others don’t. When it comes to controlling the money kids receive, parents are roughly evenly split on who gets to control their children’s money – 49 percent say that they either give their children the total decision or most of the decision while 51 percent of parents say they give kids pretty free rein or put their money directly into savings.

Kids mostly spend their money on wants. Almost half (49 percent) of parents report that their children primarily spend their money on things they want, such as ice cream, video games, etc. Twenty-seven percent of parents say that kids save their money. Nearly 20 percent said their children spend their money on things they need, like new clothing, school supplies, etc.

For parents or educators wanting to teach young people good money management skills, MMI offers many resources on Find helpful articles and tools in the Financial Education section, participate in a free webinar on teaching children about money, and visit Blogging for Change for daily financial tips and inspiration.

About Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI’s counselors are both HUD certified to deliver housing counseling services, including delinquency mortgage counseling, and approved by the EOUST to deliver bankruptcy counseling and education. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24/7 by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call 800.432.7310 or visit

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