New Survey Highlights Americans' Financial Illiteracy

publication date: Dec 23, 2008

Survey: Americans' Personal Finance Skills Earn Them A Big Lump of Coal in Their Stockings

A Holiday Economic Literacy Survey Shows That Many Americans Are Short on Basic Personal Finance and Math Skills

WASHINGTON DC - Today the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Literacy (CEEL) released the results of the holiday economic literacy survey, which shows that Americans lack basic math and personal finance skills-especially as those skills relate to being financially responsible over the holidays.  The national survey conducted this month shows that an overwhelming number of Americans are unable to answer basic financial literacy questions.

The survey showed:

  • 65% answered incorrectly when asked how many reindeer would remain if Santa had to lay off 25% of his 8 reindeer because of the bad economy;
  • 75% of people thought that it would take 15 years or less to pay off $5,000 in Christmas presents if making the minimum payment on their credit card.  In reality, it would take 46 years to pay off those holiday expenses!
  • 1 in 3 people did not know how much money a person would be spending on gifts if they spent 1% of their 50,000 per year salary;
  • 16% of respondents admitted that they do not expect to have their holiday debt paid off by March 1st, 2009.
"Santa would be well advised to leave "Personal Finance for Dummies" in stockings across the country," said James Bowers, managing director at the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Literacy. "Many Americans don't even have the basic math skills required to balance their checkbook, forget about understanding complicated mortgages or credit card statements."

"This holiday season, it is important that all Americans redouble their efforts to ensure that they have the knowledge to make the best financial choices for their families and their budgets."

To see CEEL's press release recommending Personal Finance for Dummies, click here.



Bookmark and Share

Copyright Eric Tyson, 2008 - 2023 all rights reserved.

Eric Tyson is the only best-selling personal finance author who has an extensive background as an hourly-based financial advisor and who does not accept speaking fees, endorsement deals or fees of any type from companies in the financial services industry or product or service providers recommended in his articles, books and his publications.