Throughout the years, whether it’s in Kindergarten, High School, College, or as an adult, we often look back at our toughest experiences. Many of those tough experiences have one thing in common: money (or financial literacy). When faced with these kinds of tough financial situations many of us think things like:
“If only I had known how to budget earlier, I would not be so far behind financially.”

“I wish somebody would have shown me how to responsibly handle a credit card.”

“I wish I saved more!”

Financial Literacy, unfortunately, is not a topic that is focused on in standard American education. Many may believe that it’s their fault that they are not literate when it comes to their personal finances.  The truth is many Americans struggle with financial literacy because of the lack of exposure to proper money management. The 2012 Financial Literacy Survey states that almost 40% of adults learned their basic money management skills on their own. It also states that most adults wish that they had received a formal financial education. Since being financially literate is not a common goal of many Americans, money management had become a problem many American’s face.

Financial Literacy in the United States

Following are 5 startling facts about Financial Literacy in the United States:
  • Two in five U.S. Adults gave themselves a C, D, or F on their knowledge of personal finance
  • 56% of adults admit that they DO NOT have a budget
  • The average adult has over $15,000 in Credit Card Debt
  • The average student has over $32,000 in debt
  • At least half of Americans have less than $500 in Savings
After looking at the statistics above, it may be a frightening idea to raise a child in our current society. Many parents worry that their child will also struggle with being financially literate when they grow older. As a parent, you shouldn’t feel discouraged about the money mistakes you have made in the past. After all, experience is the “best teacher” and it’s never too late to learn. Although you may not have had someone to “show you the ropes” of saving and managing money, you can still teach your children about money management. As a millennial in the age of technology, I know that I have much to learn about my personal finances before I decide to have children and teach them how to efficiently handle their own finances. Starting a New Legacy After reading this post, I would hope you are inspired to:
  • Work to become financially literate
  • Start a new legacy by teaching the next generation or encouraging them to learn financial literacy (i.e. son, daughter, cousin, friend, mentee, or etc.)
Working to become financially literate can be difficult, but luckily today we live in the “Age of Technology”, where almost anything can be found on the internet. Have financial questions but don’t know where to start? No problem. Check out some of these resources for adults on financial literacy and resources to help you teach your children about financial literacy.