Fin Lit Month Survey Shows Gap
Americans lack critical knowledge about their personal finances, according to survey results released on April 1 as National Financial Literacy Month got underway.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling said its eighth-annual Financial Literacy Survey found that 61% of U.S. adults – the most in six years – say they do not have a personal budget. It also found that 34% carry monthly credit card debt and that 15% of U.S. adults, more than 35 million people, said they roll over more than $2,500 in such balances monthly.
The survey was conducted in March by Harris Poll among 2,016 Americans 18 and older.
The survey also found that consumers’ top concerns were evenly divided between insufficient rainy day savings for an emergency (16%) and retiring without having enough money set aside (16%).
Most adults have not reviewed their credit score (60%) or their credit report (65%) within the past 12 months, said the NFCC report, which was sponsored by Experian.
Meanwhile, the proportion of adults who are spending less when compared to the previous year continues to decline, from a high in 2009 of 57% percent to a low in 2014 of 29%.
“This suggests that, although consumers are uncomfortable with their lack of savings, they may have nonetheless continually increased their year-over-year spending,” the NFCC said.
The survey also found that 41% gave themselves a grade of C, D or F on their knowledge of personal finance. However, it did find that 73% of U.S. adults said they could benefit from advice and answers to everyday financial questions from a professional.