By the numbers

June 3, 2008

The yung’uns are personal-finance innumerates:

In a national financial literacy exam administered by the National Jump$tart Coalition, 62 percent of Indiana teens failed. One-third passed with a grade of C or D, and less than 5 percent earned a B. None received an A.

The results are troubling as Indiana tries to improve upon the state’s national rankings in personal financial management. Indiana mortgage foreclosures have surged 38 percent in four years, and the state ranks fourth in the nation for bankruptcies.

This is bad news now and worse news later since a majority of Indiana youth say they learn their money management skills from family members.

It’s tempting to say the kids have no financial clue because they have grown up with a sense of privilege or to hint, as this story does, that the children have no money-management skills because their parents don’t. There’s undoubtedly some truth in both of those, but I don’t know that most kids of previous generations had good long-range thinking skills. From my part-time jobs in high school, I did learn that the more I could earn for my time, the more things I could buy. But that didn’t make me smart about — or even inclined to think about — things like credit and mortgages.

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One Response to “By the numbers”

  1. Sue Says:

    Maybe they need to take Adderall or Ritalin.


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