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Personal Finance For Dummies®, 6th Edition by Eric Tyson

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Chapter 1. Improving Your Financial Literacy

In This Chapter:

  • Looking at what your parents and others taught you about money

  • Questioning reliability and objectivity

  • Overcoming real and imagined financial hurdles

The Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Literacy (CEEL) recently released the results of a financial literacy survey showing that Americans lack basic math and personal finance skills. The national survey, conducted just before the holiday shopping season, found that an overwhelming number of Americans are unable to answer basic financial literacy questions. The survey showed:

  • Sixty-five percent answered incorrectly when asked how many reindeer would remain if Santa had to lay off 25 percent of his eight reindeer because of the bad economy.

  • Seventy-five percent of people thought that it would take 15 years or less to pay off $5,000 in Christmas presents if they made the minimum payment on their credit card. In reality, it would take 46 years to pay off those holiday expenses!

  • One in three people didn't know how much money a person would be spending on gifts if they spent 1 percent of their $50,000-per-year salary.

  • Sixteen percent of respondents admitted that they didn't expect to have their holiday debt paid off by the following March.

I was tickled to see in CEEL's press release its antidote to dealing with gaps in personal financial knowledge: "Santa would be well advised to leave Personal Finance For Dummies in stockings across the country," said James Bowers, CEEL's managing ...

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