As part of my job, working at a bank, we have been interviewing customers on their money management habits. We have specifically targeted customers between 20-35 years old as this is typically when they are starting to make larger financial decisions beyond savings and spending, like thinking of purchasing a property.
Whilst there are all different types of money management techniques people use, one thing came across strongly, that is there are those that are competent at money management and those that are not. Those that are competent know what it means to save, have ways of saving, have typically reached savings goals in the past and feel in control of their financial situation. Those that are not so competent tend to live from pay day to pay day, know they want to save for something but don't know where to begin and overall felt they were not in control and could be better using their money.
The key takeaway that I found most insightful though was that the ones that were competent money managers said this was taught to them by their parents. Their parents taught them what money was, what it meant to earn money and save it and sometimes how to invest. One customer quite clearly remembers having instilled in him "a penny earned is a penny saved".
Being a parent who wants to teach my children about money, this provided further validation as to why it is worth the time to teach them when they are young.