New Survey Focused on Latinos Highlights Financial Literacy Issues
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We are not born knowing how to budget and save money for our future. It is a set of learned skills that are often overlooked when considering the basics of formal education like history, math, science, and social studies. Many adults have had to learn financial skills the hard way, hoping their children won’t follow their same financial missteps.
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In a recent OnePoll survey, 2,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 41 were asked about their financial habits and how their high school and college years influenced current financial outlook.
Half of survey respondents identified as Latino, and for good reason — the survey was commissioned by TurboTax as part of the company’s Leading Con Educación program. The multi-year educational program helps prepare young Latinos to take control of their finances through educational content, webinars, and hands-on experience through the Intuit TurboTax simulation.
The results indicated that non-Latino respondents were much more likely to want their children to learn and model their own financial habits after their own. Compared to 76% of non-Latino respondents, only 51% of Latinos surveyed said they would want their children to make the same personal finance decisions as they do.
Identity aside, subjects said not saving money (45%), spending waste (45%), and going into debt (41%) as the top financial decisions parents wouldn’t want their children to imitate .
Education is the key to success
The curriculum found in many schools today lacks the latest real financial tools available for informed personal finance decision making. Forty-seven percent of survey respondents wish their high school had taught them how to manage their money better.
According to the survey, limited access to personal finance knowledge has a disproportionate impact on Latino students. With Latinos, having access to learning skills in their own language is crucial to building the financial blocks needed to effectively manage their finances, which their parents did not have in their early adult lives.
Parent and peer pressure
Latinos said they were less likely to talk to their parents about money than non-Latinos, leading 50% of survey respondents to say it made it harder to figure out how to finance their education.
Talking about things like saving (35% vs. 50%), investing (20% vs. 35%), and budgeting (23% vs. 34%) was less common in Latino households than in non-Latino households. Thirty-five percent of Latinos indicated that the lack of conversation about how to manage money with their parents at an early age led to debt in adulthood.
Sixty percent of American adults said they experience peer pressure when they spend money from parents, friends and classmates. However, 80% noted that earning their own money helped them learn to make better spending decisions on their own.
Education and savings
Lack of access to financial education in school and healthy discussions regarding the importance of financial awareness are evident in how this influenced respondents’ adult financial decisions. Ninety percent said having financial knowledge helped them choose a better-paying career than they otherwise would have.
Only 21% of Latino respondents said they had earned a bachelor’s degree, compared to 37% of non-Latino respondents. Twenty-six percent of Latino respondents said they were the first generation in their family to attend high school.
We mostly talked about schools and peer influence, but 71% of Latinos surveyed believe that financial support from companies – in the form of scholarships or scholarships – would be beneficial in supporting the financial future of Latino students. .
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As for scholarships and grants, TurboTax Latino Communications manager Alejandro Molinari agreed. “In addition to schools, financial institutions can do their part to support Latin American communities in pursuing their education goals,” she says. “Providing scholarships and grants can expand career choices for underrepresented communities and ease the stress of funding tuition fees.”
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