Despite unprecedented access to the Internet, tech-savvy Millennials are still likely to turn to mom when in doubt about financial matters.
Is mom being replaced by the Internet as the primary source of financial influence?
A new poll commissioned by CreditCards.com finds that Americans are relying more on themselves when it comes to developing financial habits and money management skills. Participants were asked, "Which family member has had the most influence on your financial habits and on what you know about managing money?" Nearly three-in-ten (28 percent) of all respondents said they rely on themselves, followed by mom (16 percent) and dad (14 percent).
Millennials are the exception, the survey found, with 31 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 to 29 saying that their mothers are their biggest financial influence.
The vast amount of information on the Internet may be starting to replace some of her words of wisdom, the study suggests. "After years of getting financial information from people around us, there has been a substantial shift to the resources we have available on the Internet," Mike Sullivan, director of education for the financial literacy nonprofit Taking Charge for America, said in a statement. "Instead of asking people for help, we go online. It's just that simple."
In the four years since this survey was last conducted, mom and dad ranked No. 1 and No. 2 overall, respectively as the most influential about money matters. "Self" was No. 3, given by only 16 percent of respondents.
This trend toward self-reliance is in connected to ever increasing access to the Internet. “It makes sense to me because the amount of free resources available on the Internet where people can do a quick Google search makes a huge difference from what was available in 2011 or even earlier," John Linfield, executive director for the Institute for Financial Literacy, said.
So it’s surprising that Millennials still say mom knows best considering that this generation is the most tech-savvy and most reliant on their mobile devices. "When in doubt, we call our moms," Linfield offered. "She's the one we go to when we need help.”
But with age and experience, perhaps comes wisdom, or at least self-confidence in our financial knowledge. Twenty percent of Americans aged 30 to 49 said their biggest familial financial influence was themselves. That increased to 36 percent among adults ages 50 and older.
A new Spectrem Group wealth level study of non-Millionaire households with a net worth of at least $100,000 found that when it comes to making financial decisions, spouses are considered the most helpful (68 on a scale of 0-100), followed by financial advisor (62.09). Parents rank behind siblings and friends.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.