How your genes influence savings habits

Good savings habits are in your genes

33% of differences in savings decisions are determined by our genes

savings habits

(Getty Images; Scott Tysick)

When it comes to saving behaviour, it turns out your parents’ genes are far more valuable than any solid financial advice they may try to impart. That’s the finding of a new Journal of Political Economy paper, which found that 33% of the differences in our savings and investment decisions are determined by our genetic predisposition. In particular, they found that our financial habits are rooted in general self control, with poor savings behaviour genetically correlated with smoking and obesity. Good parenting helps, but its effect quickly fades once adult children reach their 20s and start becoming less financially dependent. By age 40, parenting had little or no impact at all. When it comes to money, nature beats nurture every time.