The result? A nation that remains financially unprepared and illiterate. According to the National Financial Educators Council:
—60 percent of adults don't budget or keep close track of their spending.
—41 percent of young adults, ages 18 to 21, fail to pay their bills on time every month.
—69 percent of parents admit to feeling less prepared to give their teenagers guidance on investing than they do about sex.
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A large part of the problem is the myth that financial literacy is just about numbers. The truth is that to be truly financially savvy, you need to understand how you think and feel about money first. Then, armed with this insight, you can change the attitudes that contribute to unhealthy financial habits.
If you try to alter a behavior without understanding the underlying cause, you are likely to fail. And, collectively, we are failing as a nation.