Mother's Day is over, but the lessons about personal finance that our mothers taught us will last a lifetime. But is mom really the best person to turn to for financial advice?
According to a survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), many people think their mothers are intimidated by money or look at financial management as a chore.
The NFCC's annual Financial Literacy Survey finds that a majority of Americans learned their personal financial management skills at home, and that mothers are often responsible for teaching children how to handle their money.
But many Americans say that their mothers were not too enthusiastic about money management, or didn't do a great job of passing on their skills.
What about schools? Are they picking up the slack and making sure kids know how to manage money and handle debt?
The answer: not really. Only about 1 in 20 Americans say they learned personal finance skills in school, although it isn't all the teachers' fault. Less than half of states require that students take a course in personal financial management in order to graduate from high school.
Not teaching your kids good personal finance skills can have costly consequences for them and you later on in life. Nearly 10% of Americans say they are still are paying off their own student loans or those of their kids, and sometimes both!
Most Americans struggling with student loan debt, either their own or their kids', say that making regular payments has put a strain on their personal finances. Getting a handle on debt and paying it off quickly means your kids will have more money to buy a home and start a family of their own.
Fortunately, more and more colleges are offering personal financial management classes, and some are even making them mandatory to graduate.
While checking your credit score is often the first step to cutting down on debt, getting better interest rates, more cashback rewards and other perks, 13% of Americans say they don't know how to check their score. Some don't even know that they can check their FICO score.
Big data breaches to the rescue! About 1 in 10 Americans said that they recently checked their credit score because of a big data breach that made them worried about fraud. Anything that gets people to check their credit scores more often is a good thing, even if it's a massive data breach.
While parents and schools don't get an "A" for teaching kids about personal finance, about 1 in 4 Americans say that they would still turn to their friends and family first if they were struggling with debt, according to the NFCC's 2015 Financial Literacy Survey.
Family and friends are still most Americans' "go-to," but more and more consumers are turning to DIY tools and financial professionals to get on top of debt. Even though fintech apps make financial management seem almost automatic, nearly everybody says they could benefit from advice and counseling by a financial advisor.
Next time Mother's Day roles around, consider booking mom a session with a personal financial planner. It's easier and more personal than an app, and the benefits last longer than flowers or a pedicure.
Looking for a credit card? Use a credit card website like GET.com to compare the best credit cards in the U.S.