DETROIT - Nearly half of U.S. parents have admitted that they have taken money from their children's savings accounts, and 51 percent said they did not even feel guilty about it.
A study conducted by money-saving website CouponCodes4u polled 2,578 parents across the country to determine whether they had been in financial situations so desperate that it warranted borrowing from a child's funds.
Of those who confessed they had dipped into their children's accounts, 36 percent said they needed the funds to pay bills, while 12 percent admitted they put the money towards a family vacation.
Another 29 percent said they used the funds to clear debt, and 18 percent said they spent it on birthday presents and other items for various celebrations.
Of the parents polled, 34 percent said they might dip into their kid's piggy bank, but it would depend on the situation, with most saying they would only use the money if it was needed for health-related bills.
Not all parents think that it's alright to borrow from a child, however.
About 17 percent said that they had never taken money from their child, either because they didn't want to endanger his or her future, or because they knew they would feel guilty about it.
Nevertheless, the majority of those who had indeed stolen money from their child did not feel guilty about their act.
Mark Pearson, chairman of CouponCodes4u, said, "Taking money out of your child's account means that you are jeopardizing their future and leaving both yourself and your child in financial difficulty. You should think about what you need to use the funds for and why."
The study also revealed that while over a third of families have started saving accounts for their children, nearly half said they had not.
A further 15 percent said they were planning on starting one.
When asked how often they contributed to their child's account, just over a quarter said they contribute monthly, while 46 percent said they put money in as often as they could.
Five percent could only afford to contribute rarely to their child's savings account.
Most of those who admitted to stealing from their child also said they had not been able to personally replace the funds because they could not afford to.
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