Did you know two-thirds of Americans are financially illiterate?
They can’t even answer a question about calculating a simple interest payment.
And it’s no wonder, considering only 20 US states teach economics to high school students according to the Council for Economic Education.
Did you know only 17 states require personal finance education at the high school level?
Or that the United States ranks 14th as a country in financial literacy of its citizens?
If you, like me, have a passion for numbers and all things money, take some time to browse the Household Credit report (Q4 ’16) from the Federal Reserve. It’s full of interesting charts, but none more interesting than this one, showing we have over $12,000,000,000,000 in total household debt in the US.
In fact, we’re already back to 2008 levels.
And since 2008, it’s been student loans and auto loans growing the fastest. It seems many people haven’t received the memo that borrowing money to purchase a depreciating asset is a losing proposition. The only thing worse than buying a new car is taking out a loan to buy a new car.
To see the scope of the problem, check out this interactive map of financial literacy education across the U.S. courtesy of the Council for Economic Education.
As you’d guess, green is good, red is bad.
Especially if you click through to the personal finance information. Wouldn’t you want to be a fly on that wall where the various Boards of Education for these states decide they are going to teach economics, but not teach personal finance. After all, what good is knowing supply curves and marginal cost, if you don’t know how about the power of compound interest or dangers of minimum payments on your credit card.
The CEE also put together this short video summarizing their findings for the state of personal finance knowledge across the U.S.
Take the 2 minutes to watch it, and then share it (along with this article!) with your friends.
It’s a problem. A big hairy audacious problem.
So what are you going to do about it?
Enter The Financial Literacy Chronicles
One, it’s wonderful to see someone so dedicated to increasing emotional well-being in the world like Wes. Especially in today’s society where it’s so easy to be jaded and cynical.
And finally, how could I do my bit to improve people’s financial well-being?
Thus, the Financial Literacy Chronicles were born.
The United States ranks 14th as a country in financial literacy of its citizens.
The Financial Literacy Chronicles are interviews with top financial writers, sharing their education, upbringing, and stories that made them obsessed (and we are obsessed) with personal finance and financial literacy.
And to kick it off right, I’ll be sharing an interview with a new writer every day in April to celebrate Financial Literacy Month.
That’s right! 30 interviews in a row for the whole month!
Financial literacy for all my friends!
So Who’s Invited To The Financial Literacy Chronicles?
No, Dave Ramsey is a busy man, so no interview with him.
So to get the ball rolling, I’ve lined up interviews with some of the stars of the personal finance universe.
Who have we heard from so far?
- Day 1: The Green Swan
- Day 2: Living Rich Cheaply
- Day 3: The Frugal Farmer
- Day 4: Side Hustle Nation
- Day 5: Think Save Retire
- Day 6: Pursuit of Happiness
- Day 7: Debt Discipline
- Day 8: Get Rich Quickish
- Day 9: Freedom Is Groovy
- Day 10: Surviving & Thriving
- Day 11: Club Thrifty
- Day 12: Retire By 40
- Day 13: 1500 Days To Freedom
- Day 14: Untemplater
- Day 15: Mustard Seed Money
- Day 16: Mama Fish Saves
- Day 17: Money Crashers
- Day 18: ESI Money
- Day 19: Financial Samurai
- Day 20: Wallet Hacks
- Day 21: My Money Design
- Day 22: Super Saving Tips
- Day 23: The Mastermind Within
- Day 24: Money Boss
- Day 25: Making Sense of Cents
- Day 26: The White Coat Investor
- Day 27: Angry Retail Banker
- Day 28: Our Next Life
- Day 29: DivHut
- Day 30: Miss Mazuma
It’s a financial literacy extravaganza!
How Can I Get More Financial Literacy Chronicles?
For starters, keep coming back every day for the month of April.
In fact, there’s been such an overwhelming response from the personal finance community, there are more interviews than could possibly fit in one month. So I’m planning to continue the series as an ongoing feature on Enwealthen, with monthly, or possibly semi-monthly, financial literacy interviews going forward. If you’re a personal finance enthusiast and want to be interviewed, please contact me.
Finally, for the truly impatient, be sure to come back April 1 and read the first interview. You’ll find a special bonus, just for you!
Now, you know the sad state of financial literacy in the US. So here’s a chance to channel your inner Jerry Maguire and help me help you!
I need your feedback.
Is this a good idea? Do you want more interviews? What questions should I ask? Who else should I interview? Comment below with your thoughts and suggestions.