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Updated: Aug 06, 2019

Study: More than Half of Americans Believe Children Should Manage Their Own Money Before Age 18

More than half of Americans feel that children should begin to manage their own money by age 18, particular when they're in the early high school years.
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Financial literacy has been a hot topic for Americans who feel that money management skills are lacking among parts of the country’s population. 

With consumer debt rising constantly, the spotlight is on our education system -- with the hopes that a foundation in financial literacy at an early age would pay off over the course of a lifetime.

According to a recent MyBankTracker survey, more than half (54.5%) of American adults feel that children should be allowed to manage their own money before the children become 18 years old

Most respondents (28.9%) believed that children should begin money management from ages 15 to 17. Notably, these are the typical ages of a child’s early high school years -- a time of maturity that often involves earning, spending, and saving money.

Here are other key highlights from the survey results:

Key Findings

The survey asked the question:

“At what age should young people be allowed to manage their own money?”

  • 28.9% noted that people should manage their own money at 15-17 years old while, surprisingly, 24.5% of respondents noted they should be 21 years or older
  • 25.6% responded that children should start managing their own money by age 14
  • 60.4% of women vs. 48.3% of men believed that children should manage their own money under the age of 18
  • Older respondents (ages 45+) tend to believe that children should manage their own money at a younger age, with 29.4% believing they should manage their money under the age of 15, while only 21.9% of younger respondents (age 18-44) believe children under the age of 15 should be allowed to manage their own money.


The study was conducted through Google Survey on behalf of MyBankTracker from July 17, 2019 to July 19, 2019 with 742 respondents in the United States of ages 18 and up with a standard deviation of +/- 3.7%.