Parents: Stop Being So Awkward With Money

Survey: Kids want to learn more about finances from their parents, if only parents would open up.

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The T. Rowe Price survey also reveals that 43 percent of parents aren't sharing how worried they are about money, and 32 percent say they can't afford things when they actually can. That last one sounds like it could be a white lie, similar to telling a child there are no cookies left instead of telling him he can't have any more. But Ritter suggests that over time, those lies can have a detrimental effect, largely because parents miss out on the opportunities provided by such "teachable moments."

In fact, many parents have a rich source of topics to use as a jumping off point for family conversations about money: their own mistakes. Four in 10 parents said they regret not saving enough when they were younger, 1 in 3 said they regret overspending and building up debt, and 1 in 5 said they regret their choice of job or career. Even daily experiences such as a trip to the grocery store or ATM can lead to a discussion about trade-offs and choices.

That way, you can run down the chore list while also imparting lessons about saving and smart spending—not bad for an otherwise lazy Saturday.

Twitter: @alphaconsumer