Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Bottom Line

An article in the country's English-language paper says that children don't know anything about personal financial management.

In "Children lack basic financial know-how", Zhang Xiaodong, a researcher with Beijing Cairentang Educational Research Center studies children's psychological health.

And she did a study -- albeit with a very small sample -- and discovered that many children have no idea where their family's income comes from or how to look after their own finances.

She interviewed 44 12-year-olds from a leading primary school in Beijing along with their parents, indicating that even children from well-off families have no clue about money management.

Zhang's survey revealed that 43 per cent of parents, most of whom are professionals, have never spoken to their children about family incomes or expenditures. In addition, only 28 per cent had told their kids about bank accounts, and 23 per cent about saving money.

"This is quite an urgent issue, especially as Chinese families are getting richer following the country's economic growth," she said. "Children are inclined to cultivate bad habits, such as desiring brand names and measuring everything in terms of money. They are in danger of growing up without ambition."

While Zhang only surveyed 44 children and their parents, it's not too difficult to see that her study probably reflects the majority of Chinese middle class families. In shopping malls here I've seen many parents easily succumb to their kid's demands for everything from soft drinks and candy to toys and clothes.

One would think that the best way to teach money management is to open up a bank account for the child.

As telling them how much their parents make, that could be a touchy subject. Or maybe it's because they don't want to disclose to their kids exactly where the money comes from.

1 comment:

ks said...

i think it may be healthy to have children NOT to think too much about money. too much wealth corrupts the mind. when the child reaches teen age it is time he is given a monthly stipend and start managing his own finances.