28 Jun 2017

Report reveals how our parents influence our money behaviour

Report reveals how our parents influence our money behaviour

When it comes to budgeting and spending patterns, nearly half of British people say their parents have been their biggest influence on their money behaviour.

More than three-quarters also believe that being good with money is something that anyone can pick up with practice.

The Santander survey investigating the savings habits of the nation also reveals that nearly 30% of people say they overspend on a weekly basis – by the equivalent of £55 each.

The results of the study were brought to life through a social experiment where children were put in charge of the supermarket shop to see if some people are natural-born spenders or if the ability to stay within a budget is something we learn from our parents.


With the help of Sam Wass, a Channel 4 psychologist and research scientist at the University of East London, it was found that children do mirror their parents spending habits, whether that’s sticking to a shopping list, staying within a budget or making impulse buys.

Dr Wass said: “Our experiment reveals that children do take after their parents, so if your parents are good with money then you’re more likely to be too. It also suggests that being good with money is a learned behaviour, and that’s great news as it means there’s always room for improvement."

The survey also highlights that more than half of people wish they could save more – on average an additional £388 each month.

The most popular way to put money aside is in a savings account (53%) followed by a cash ISA (27%).

However, many Britons overlook investing as a way to manage their money with only 12%  saying they invest and use stocks and shares ISAs.

Half wish they had received more money advice at a younger age – rising to two-thirds for those aged 18 to 34 and decreasing to 42% for those aged 55 and over.

More than one in five UK adults would like to have been taught more about budgeting, while 19% wish they had received more advice about the different savings options available to them.

Helen Bierton, of Santander, said: “Our study and experiment reveal that those who receive good money advice at an earlier age usually take good habits into adulthood. Developing a savings habit – no matter how small – is really important as it not only provides a safety net, but is a way of providing for your future, and those of your loved ones."

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