Proven Truths About Financial Literacy

As we continue to gather the data of others based on research and polls, there is still a resounding truth coming through – education in terms of financial literacy truly helps a person manage their money with success.

The specific financial literacy statistics listed below are focused on the consequences as well as where youth expect to pick up these skill sets.

  • Students between the ages fifteen to twenty-one report that they feel unprepared to face the complex world of the twenty-first Century. (Source: American Dream Education Campaign)
  • Often times the educators themselves aren’t familiar with financial materials and are “afraid that students will ask questions that they don’t have the answers to,” so they steer clear. (Source: “Financially Illiterate: Schools not Teaching Personal Finance,”, 06/18/02)
  • 10% of Americans with mortgages reported being late or missing a mortgage payment in the last year and 7% of adults are either getting calls from collectors or thinking about filing for bankruptcy. (Source: 2008 Financial Literacy Survey National Foundation for Credit Counseling, Inc. and MSN Money)
  • The majority of educators were not giving a financial education course and feel unprepared to teach the subject. Many lack the confidence to teach it to students. (Source: “Taking Ownership of the Future,” Financial Literacy and Education Committee, 2006)
  • Students and parents agree that college students are not well prepared to deal with the financial challenges that lie ahead. Less than one-quarter of students or about 24%, and only 20% of parents say students are prepared to deal with the financial challenges that await them in the real world. More than three-quarters of student, about 76%, report that they wish they had more help preparing for their personal finances. (Source: The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.)
  • Around 97% of parents (or legal guardians) that have a child(ren) eighteen years of age or younger expect their oldest child to continue their schooling through college, and around 79% of these same parents expect to pay for some or all of their child’s college education. (Source: Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Personal Finance Poll)
  • 11% of parents expect to pay less than five thousand dollars for college. 17% expect to pay five thousand dollars to just under ten thousand dollars, and 16% expect to pay over thirty grand. About 26% of parents who are expecting to pay for their kids college education have saved less than five thousand and 32% don’t have anything saved. (Source: Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Personal Finance Poll)
  • Over 92% agree that it is important to have good money habits to be successful in life and believe it’s important to know how to manage money to live within your means. In addition the same percentage reports that it feels good to see their money grow. (Source: Charles Schwab Foundation)
  • Only 20% had saved over a thousand dollars with older teens, ages 16-18, significantly more likely than their younger counterparts. (Source: Charles Schwab Foundation)
  • A survey among working teenagers found that about 50% say when they get paid that they spend some of it and save the rest, while 30% said they deposit the money in an account. 53% of teens report saving for the future. (Source: Charles Schwab Foundation)
  • The majority of college students say they pick up most of their personal financial education from their parents, but less than half of students said their parents make a consistent conscientious effort to teach them. About 70% of college students say their parents are their main source of information. (Source: The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.)


The last grouping of statistics shown will get more into the benefits of offering money management courses supporting Rena-Fi’s mission and core curriculum:

  • 49% of teens are ‘eager’ to learn more about money management. Only 14% had taken a class on a financial literacy topic and over a third want to learn money skills from their parents. (Source: Capital One)
  • Only 18% of parents are talking about school budgeting and 79% of parents see themselves as positive money role models for their kids. Only a small percentage of parents are taking advantage of the everyday learning opportunities about money. (Source: Capital One)
  • Almost one-third of college students, when reflecting back on their freshman year, admit that they were not very well prepared for personal money management on campus. 20% of students claim to have been very well prepared. (Source: KeyBank and conducted by Harris Interactive)
  • Three out of four admit to having made mistakes with their money when they arrived on campus. (Source: KeyBank and conducted by Harris Interactive)
  • When asked how closely they tracked where their money was being spent, fewer than 40% of students said they track their spending very closely. (Source: KeyBank and conducted by Harris Interactive)
  • Only 14% of American adults mentioned their company’s retirement plan when asked about ways they save. (Source: Harris Interactive for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant)


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