Mothers Know Best! Most Remember Mom’s Financial Advice “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees,” According to Schwab Survey

Thursday, May 10, 2012 6:30 am PDT



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"A penny saved is a penny earned"

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mom is always a great go-to source when you’re in need of some advice and with Mother’s Day just around the corner, Schwab’s most recent quarterly retirement survey found that the most popular pearl of financial wisdom doled out by mothers is “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” as 42 percent of respondents recall hearing that phrase from Mom as a child.

“Teaching children about finance early in life will pay off for everyone in the long run. In order to raise financially fit children, moms and dads need to make sure to incorporate money conversations into everyday life,” says Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, senior vice president, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Other financial advice shared by mothers included “A penny saved is a penny earned” (23%), “Give generously to those in need” (15%), “Wait for it to go on sale” (9%) and “Spend like there’s no tomorrow” (3%). The study also identified significant generational differences. The motherly advice of “A penny saved is a penny earned” was most commonly heard among Americans aged 65 and older, while 18-34 year olds reported hearing “Give generously to those in need” from Mom more often than those older than them.

Schwab-Pomerantz offers these simple tactics as ways moms everywhere can go beyond the cliché, “Money doesn’t grow on trees” and really get involved in teaching their kids about finance:

  • Encourage your kids to be involved with household financial decisions. Ask them to help compare prices for their favorite snacks at the grocery store, or for older children, involve them in your bill-paying process so they can learn how to read a statement and the credit paying process.
  • Offer some financial freedom with an allowance. “As your children become older, an allowance is a great medium to work with your kids in making financially stable decisions and learn about setting budgets and goals. It also gives them an opportunity to take pride in their accomplishments,” says Schwab-Pomerantz.
    • Rather than simply purchasing that must-see new video game, let them choose to use their allowance to purchase it. Making these types of decisions will help them place value on money.
    • A credit card can also be a useful tool for a teen as long as they are monitored and taught to use the card responsibly. It’s easy to set a low limit on your child’s card and instill good habits by having them pay off the balance each month.
  • Begin teaching them early about the power of compounding by matching their savings. This not only offers a great lesson but gives them an incentive to save. For example, you could contribute 25 cents for every dollar they put in their savings account. This will set the stage for smart retirement saving in their future through either a 401(k) or an IRA.
  • Talk with your kids about financial tradeoffs. We all know that money doesn’t grow on trees, but kids may not inherently understand the importance of forgoing certain expensive items (vacation, car, etc.) to save for their future, whether that be their college education or even their retirement.

Visit for fun activities for parents and kids to bring money concepts to life and help you make the most of your money. And, if you need some financial help and guidance that’s more advanced that what Mom can provide, visit or one of our branches and talk to a Schwab Financial Consultant about your investment needs.

About the Survey

The Charles Schwab Retirement Survey was conducted by Koski Research between May 3 and 7, 2012, using Random Digit Dialing of listed and unlisted numbers, with 20 percent of the sample reached by cellular/mobile phones. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the entire U.S. population ages 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. The study’s margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent.

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 8.6 million active brokerage accounts, 1.52 million corporate retirement plan participants, 801,000 banking accounts, and $1.83 trillion in client assets as of March 31, 2012. Through its operating subsidiaries, the company provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC,, and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through its Advisor Services division. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides trust and custody services, banking and mortgage services and products. Investment products offered by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. are not insured by the FDIC, are not deposits or obligations of Charles Schwab Bank, and are subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of principal invested. More information is available at and (0512-3276)

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© 2012 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. All rights reserved. Member SIPC.


Charles Schwab
Dan Mahoney, 415-667-0507
Rebecca Neufeld, 415-229-7674

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