Many Americans Stump Themselves When It Comes to Personal Finance

Kimberly Watson, Editor in Chief
April 25, 2012 /

Today, many Americans are not feeling smart, according to results from a recent survey. It was also revealed that this does not only relate to investments, but to various aspects of their personal finance education. There is a saying, allegedly from financial advisors, that when the stock market is rising, everyone appears as a genius.

The Consumer Financial Literacy survey, from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association, showed that 42% of Americans award themselves grades of “C, D or F” for achievements relating to their personal finance education. This is an increase of 7% from 2010 and could show that the sluggish economy has imposed some negative influences on many households.

Statistics quoted, include that 80% of survey participants believe they would benefit effectively, from professional financial education, an increase of 76% compared to last year. One area of concern could be related to 13% of adults stating they would contact a money lender first if they had a debt problem. This figure has risen by 8% compared to 2011. There was an increase of 7% from 34% of adults who have ordered or received credit scores during the past twelve months.

The findings put forward by the results of this survey are regarded as indicative of consumers trying to relate to their inability of managing this extended adverse economic situation. They are in a situation that cannot be ignored and are seeking help and financial education to alleviate their problems.

Further concerns shown by the answers from participants, are that the number of adults, who are not paying bills when due, has risen by 6% to 33%. Two people out of five are reportedly saving less than last year, while those with zero savings or 39% are included in the increase for two years.

However, not all the blame can be placed on the economy and finance education could prove to be an influencing factor. The survey revealed that only 43% of adults lived to a budget, with 22% having no perception of how much they spent on housing, food or entertainment. Therefore, it is evident that budgeting needs to be promoted within households, with the introduction of simple strategies.

A budget could also be solution regarding the statistic that spending has increased for the second year running. Applications for credit cards have also risen, as have rejections, which is detrimental to credit scores.

 

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