Survey Supports the Importance of Financial Literacy in Struggling Economy
HOUSTON, April 2, 2009 — Money Management International (MMI), the nation’s largest nonprofit credit and debt counseling and education organization, announced today the results of its 2009 Financial Literacy Survey designed to measure consumer sentiment toward the importance of financial literacy and current money spending trends in today’s economic climate.
April is National Financial Literacy Month, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Many consumers, some for the first time, are learning to live in a down economy. This month is an opportunity for individuals to learn about financial matters such as developing a budget, understanding credit scores, and managing and saving money. MMI’s financial literacy survey found that 34 percent of Americans think they should be most responsible for their financial education. Another 25 percent think it is up to the government to ensure Americans receive financial education. What’s most important is getting the knowledge, no matter what steps are taken. Educated consumers are empowered to make informed financial decisions.
Key MMI survey findings include:
* Increased savings is on the rise. Compared to MMI’s June 2008 survey, 50 percent more Americans are increasing their savings. Gen Ys are leading the nation at 44 percent.
* A third of consumers say they are spending more quality time with friends and family because of the downturn in the economy. However, 34 percent say they see no silver lining in the current economic condition.
* About 45 percent of Americans are cutting back on grocery shopping. More Americans (55 percent) are using coupons to save on groceries.
* 401(K) contributions remain steady – only 15 percent of consumers surveyed say they are cutting back or eliminating deductions to these plans.
MMI and its family of Consumer Credit Counseling Services are using Financial Literacy Month as an opportunity to create awareness around the importance of financial literacy. FinancialLiteracyMonth.com, the organization’s educational microsite designed to give consumers an easy 30-step path to financial wellness, has been re-launched to include a financial tip eBook and the ability to submit tips. The site features steps for each day of the month and provides consumers with a detailed, interactive process that will increase their financial know-how, and improve their finances today and in the future. MMI is also hosting a blog collaboration project where financial experts, bloggers, authors, moms, and many others are invited to be guest bloggers on its corporate blog – Blogging for Change (http://blog.moneymanagement.org/).
“When money gets tight, a strong financial foundation is key to ensuring that you don’t get in over your head with uncontrollable debt,” said Cate Williams, vice president of financial literacy for MMI. “By visiting our site, taking the pledge, and following the 30-day plan, consumers will have a better understanding of how their financial decisions affect them, and will be in a better position to make good decisions for their families’ futures.”
To learn more about MMI’s 2009 Financial Literacy Month Survey and events in your area, visit www.MoneyManagement.org or call (800) 762-2271.
About Money Management International
Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, and counseling services; including housing counseling, bankruptcy counseling and education, and debt management assistance. MMI has been helping consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan and repay debts since 1958. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24/7 by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call 800-762-2271 or visit www.MoneyManagement.org.