Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 57 - Snooki and "The Situation" Better Than You at Personal Finance

November 10, 2010

The Wall Street Journal posted an article recently about an online survey conducted to analyze the personal-financial capability of people who live in the United States.  An interactive map instantly tells you how your state sizes up with the rest of the nation.  Believe me, it's not pretty.  A few snippets from the article:
  • Over half of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck
  • 60% of Americans do not have a "rainy day" fund
New York and New Jersey (land of Snooki and The Situation) consistently came out on top of the survey while Oklahoma (land of me) was close to or at the bottom of the ranks.  Well, this explains a lot!  What is even more disheartening is that New Jersey - one of the top ranked states in the survey - still has 47% without rainy day funds.

Personal finance education needs to become more of a priority.  Young people especially need to be armed with knowledge so that they know what it means to take out a student loan or how much house they can afford on their paycheck.  How to balance a checkbook and understand compound interest should be required material for everyone.  Budgeting should be no big deal.  If nothing is done to educate the US on basic personal finance skills, I think it could have repercussions beyond your own finances by affecting the economy and Gross Domestic Product in the long term.

During the next year I hope to educate myself a little more in these areas and figure out the best way to pass on this knowledge to people who need it.  In the meantime, take charge of your money!  Don't let it call the shots for you.  Don't be another statistic.

Stay tuned,
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