Citi Celebrates “Teach Children to Save Day” as Hundreds of Employees Across The U.S. Volunteer to Promote Financial Literacy

New Citi Survey Reveals Methods Parents Use to Teach their Children about Money and How Parents Handle Allowances and Money Topics

Parents Say they are Doing a Better Job Teaching their Kids about Money than their Own Parents Did, but Nearly 30% Believe their Children Have a Fair or Poor Understanding of Money and Saving

NEW YORK--()--More than 500 Citi Consumer Banking employees across the United States will volunteer in classrooms, after-school programs and Citibank branches over the next several weeks as part of Citi’s Teach Children to Save campaign and in support of the American Bankers Association’s “Teach Children to Save Day” on April 11, 2014. The initiatives are designed to teach children in grades K – 12 about the importance of saving for the future and healthy money habits, such as understanding needs versus wants and spending money wisely. In the 14 years Citi Community Development has supported Teach Children to Save Day, Citi employees have reached 105,000 students.

Citi’s 2014 effort will kick off today with a teaching event for first and second grade students of Children’s Aid College Prep Charter School in the Bronx led by Citi U.S. Consumer & Commercial Banking President Cece Stewart, New York City Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery, Children’s Aid Society Interim President and CEO Dr. William Weisberg and NFL star Justin Tuck. In all, Citi employees will teach more than 9,000 students at nearly 100 teaching events in cities across the country, including Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, DC. In New York, Citi has teamed up with New York Cares, a nonprofit with a mission to meet pressing community needs by mobilizing volunteers, which has helped create nearly 30 events in New York that will impact 1,800 students.

“Through Teach Children to Save and related year-round initiatives, we aim to provide our nation’s young people with the critical knowledge and skills they need to understand the importance of saving for the future and to begin building financial assets,” said Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development and Microfinance. “We are proud to mobilize our people and deploy our resources to help ensure that the country’s next generation will enter adolescence and adulthood with a solid understanding of financial concepts and how savings can help enable long-term goals, particularly higher education.”

“Citi has been a terrific long-time sponsor of this campaign,” said Frank Keating, American Bankers Association President and CEO. “Through their partnerships with local nonprofits, they really know how to engage the community to make an even bigger impact.”

“Citi has proactively identified the need for sound saving habits, researched methods for addressing it, and is deploying hundreds of finance professionals to get children started out on the right foot,” said Gary Bagley, Executive Director of New York Cares. “We are grateful for Citi’s commitment and we feel that this campaign will have an extremely positive and long-lasting impact, with volunteers preparing students for success now and in the future.”

Survey of 1,500 Parents on Teaching Children the Value of Money

In conjunction with Citi’s support of National Teach Children to Save Day, Citi today released findings from a national survey of over 1,500 parents, exploring the way parents are teaching their children about the value of money. The survey found that the majority of parents view themselves as the primary source of financial education for their kids, with parents reporting that their kids learn about money by watching them (70 percent) and talking about money together (59 percent).

When asked to evaluate how they are doing when it comes to modeling sound financial behavior, today’s parents feel that they are setting a better example for their kids than their own parents did. Still, 29 percent say their children have only a fair or poor understanding of money and saving.

Parents are taking a proactive role in the financial education of their children, with nearly 9 out of 10 parents already teaching their children about money. Top parent-child financial education activities include:

  • Going to the bank (60 percent)
  • Discussing financial circumstances/what parents can and cannot afford (58 percent)
  • Setting up bank accounts for their children (53 percent)

Allowances Provide Opportunities for Money Lessons

Six out of ten parents give their kids an allowance and most leave financial decisions about how to spend allowance money to their children. Letting children decide for themselves how to spend their cash has its advantages; 83 percent of parents report that children value their autonomous purchases more than items purchased by their parents.

Allowance Basics

  • When to start? The average age parents begin giving an allowance is 8.5 years old.
  • How much? Nearly 40 percent of parents give $5 - $10 a week. Yet, another 21 percent of parents give their kids more than $15/week.
  • Chores or no chores? Most parents tie an allowance to chores (69 percent) or good behavior (21 percent).
  • West Coast more generous with allowance: The average allowance per child varies by region, with the western states ($11.12) likely to give more than the national average ($10.53); and parents in the Midwest ($10.09) and Northeast ($10.04) likely to give less.
  • Who to ask, mom or dad? Dads are likely to give more allowance than moms ($11.53 vs. $9.44).

Parents Uncertain about Their Children’s Future

While parents are committed to positive financial role modeling, more than half of parents surveyed (56 percent) are not confident that life for their children’s generation will necessarily be better than it has been for their generation. Parents expect that their children will struggle with a number of different financial concerns as adults, including:

  • 71 percent think that saving for a home will be a major concern.
  • 71 percent think they’ll struggle to have enough money for major expenses like a car or education.
  • 69 percent think their children will be concerned about having enough money for emergencies.
  • 69 percent of parents think they will, in turn, worry about their own children’s financial future.

“The economic climate has not only impacted parents’ immediate financial concerns, but also how they think about, and prepare for, their children’s financial future,” said Linda Descano, CFA®, Head of Content and Social for Citi North America Marketing, and President and CEO of Citi’s Women & Co. “It’s encouraging that parents are taking matters in their own hands to cultivate the next generation of money-savvy, financially stable Americans.”

Not All Money Topics Are On the Table

While parents are open to talking to kids about money and using it as a teaching tool, some topics are still taboo. Nearly half of parents feel that there are still off-limits topics, including:

  • The amount of money they make (28 percent)
  • The amount of savings they have (27 percent)
  • The amount of debt they have (26 percent)
  • The value of their home (13 percent)
  • The cost of their children’s school tuition (10 percent).

For tips on how to teach children about money and saving, visit Women & Co., Citi’s personal finance resource for women.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online during March 13-17, 2014, with 1504 adults in the United States. Invitations to the survey were sent to a representative sample of adult men and women drawn from the YouGov panel. To qualify for the survey, potential respondents had to have at least one child between the ages of 5 and 18 living at home and have some responsibility for selecting their household’s financial products. Quotas were set to ensure sufficient numbers of parents with children in the K-8 ages and with children in high school ages for analyzing each group. The margin of error is +/- 2.5%.

About Citi

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

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About the American Bankers Association

The American Bankers Association represents banks of all sizes and charters and is the voice for the nation’s $14 trillion banking industry and its two million employees. Learn more at

© 2014 Citigroup Inc. Citibank, N.A., Member FDIC. Citi and Citibank and Arc Design are registered service marks of Citigroup Inc.


Andrew Brent, 212-559-1299
Meghan French, 202-663-5468


Andrew Brent, 212-559-1299
Meghan French, 202-663-5468