Mum’s lessons about household budget planning

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it’s a good time to thank your mum for all the precious wisdom she has passed on to you. A new study by St.George bank reveals that one in five (22%) of the women surveyed learnt their lessons in finance and budgeting from their mother, while more than half (54.2%) women used the Internet to teach themselves the tricks of the trade.

The survey was conducted with 1,000 women across Australia and found that 68% of these women consider themselves to be the CFO of the household. Of all age groups surveyed, more women aged between 25-34 years (72.8%) considered themselves to be the CFO of the household.

According to the women who took part in the research, the top three financial lessons that they learnt from their mothers or grandmothers while growing up were to work hard (64.1%), have your own independent savings account (50.8%), and always have insurance (27.9%).

These age-old lessons passed on through generations, have slowly been undergoing a change, according to Neelam Tandon, Head of Sydney City, Retail Banking at St.George Bank. While these points still make for very sound advice, modern mums have slightly different lessons that they want to pass on to their kids, reflecting today’s cost of living, cost of housing and a reminder to stay out of debt.

“The most popular advice to today’s children from mum is don’t borrow money if you can’t pay it back (27.5%);  save and save some more (20.5%), followed by start saving early to buy a house (12.5%),” says Neelam.

The women CFOs also had several budget savvy ‘tricks of the trade’ to share about juggling household budgets.

“Paying your bills first, living within your means and an increasingly popular tip – buying household goods in bulk - were named the top three ways to budget better, ” adds Neelam.

Being a savvy saver was the most upheld piece of advice, but Neelam adds that only 22% of women admitted to using professional financial planning or accountancy advice. Other popular pieces of advice were to be frugal, look for specials and that ever golden rule to resist impulse buying.

“It’s great that women are embracing the Internet to learn more about financing and budgeting. It’s also important for households to consider a financial plan and the appropriate amount of insurance and income protection for their family, in order to protect their hard earned wealth.”

“The younger generation of 18-24 year olds are the highest age group to have taught themselves how to budget by using the Internet, while 55-64 year olds were most likely to have sought financial advice, but looking at this earlier on in life could help assist households to budget better and save even more.”