Family Financial Influence Interview with The Wall Street Journal

By Media Relations Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz spoke on Thursday, May 7, 2015, with Gordon Deal of The Wall Street Journal about the results of the May 2015 Biggest Family Financial Influences survey. The interview and transcript are below.


Gordon Deal: Where do you get your spending and saving habits from? A new report from, ahead of Mother’s Day, finds that mom is the family member with the biggest impact, for example, on Millennials’s finances. Matt Schulz is Chief Financial Analyst at Matt, what’s up with Millennials?

Matt Schulz: Well a lot of millennials may still be living at home with the job market that we have and the economy. So those conversations with mom might still be happening over the kitchen table today. I think that’s a big reason why the survey shows that generation might be different.

Deal: So in the traditional breadwinner scenario, of perhaps the father being the breadwinner, why isn’t he the one that’s having these conversations or influences?

Schulz: Well, you see nowadays so many households have a working mom and a working dad, or you have single family homes where the mom plays these roles that she didn’t necessarily have to a generation or two ago, and one of those roles would be financial guru now.

Deal: So if mom is not the biggest influence then who is the biggest influence?

Schulz: It was interesting – the most popular answer that we found was that “you” are your own biggest influence and I think that that gets down to the fact that self-reliance is as American as mom’s apple pie. It’s just part of who we are, and I think that it makes sense that we would rely on ourselves for a lot of this information.

Deal: So who else are we being influenced by?

Schulz: We’re being influenced by mom, dad – like we said – and also your spouse. As a married guy I can tell you that’s an important one, too, especially when you’re talking about day-to-day spending habits and big ticket spends.

Deal: So how does this change when you get to say, you mentioned before, the over 50 crowd?

Schulz: The over 50 crowd tends to be much more self-reliant because they’ve gone through years of paying their own bills and making their own mistakes and soaking up a lot of expert advice. So it might make sense that those folks might be a little more self-reliant than say the millennials who have those conversations with their mothers still fresh in their mind.

Deal: We’re speaking with Matt Schulz, Senior Industry Analyst at We’re talking about the biggest influence on your finances, probably at least in the home, being your mother. How about in terms of wealth? Does that change in terms of who influenced you?

Schulz: Yeah, the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to say that you are your own biggest influence. And that also goes for college graduates and Republicans as well. And in those particular categories mom came in fourth behind yourself, your spouse, and your dad.

Deal: Thanks Matt. Matt Schulz with

Follow Us

Contact Ted Rossman

To contact Senior Industry Analyst Ted Rossman or any of our credit card experts, fill out our contact form and we'll get back with you..

Contact Us
media-interview-disclaimer Back to list of interviews