Color of Money: The Price of Financial Illiteracy

July 8, 2013
Color of Money: The Price of Financial Illiteracy 

A 2012 online survey of more than 25,000 adults by FINRA asked consumers about making ends meet, planning ahead, managing financial products, and financial knowledge. According to the survey, the percentage of consumers not having problems paying their monthly expenses rose from 36 percent in 2009 to 40 percent, but 57 percent of respondents lacked an emergency fund to cover three months of expenses. Moreover, just 49 percent pay their credit card balances in full, and close to 33 percent use payday loans and other high-cost financial products. The survey revealed that Americans have a low level of financial literacy despite consumers believing they are well educated about their finances. The survey found that 76 percent of respondents believed themselves to be good at managing their credit cards and handling other day-to-day financial matters, but one-third of respondents actually increased their costs through cash advances, minimum payments, and late fees.
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