The national Foundation for Credit Counseling has tapped into a way to make its opinion poll on financial literacy relevant this week — calling fathers financially illiterate.
The press release headlined, “FATHER KNOWS BEST – OR DOES HE? Survey Reveals Definite Lack of Financial Skills,” regards the NFCC’s poll on financial literacy.
The poll itself asks people where they learn about finance and how they rate themselves.
The leap to calling into question Dad’s financial skills comes from eight percent of respondents. NFCC puts it like this, “men were four times as likely as women to give themselves failing grades for their knowledge of personal finance, eight percent versus two percent, respectively.”
So, eight percent of men admit they’re lousy and that equates to dads. Here’s the main question, are all eight percent fathers? Is this eight percent of all fathers? If so, then does that mean that 92 percent of fathers are average or better?
Anyway, I think blasting dads before Father’s Day is a lousy thing to do.
The survey itself does offer some interesting stats, though the conclusions, like the one about dads seem like a leap.
About 42 percent of respondents said they learned about finances from their parents. And, according to the survey, 41 percent of adults gave themselves a grade of C, D or F on financial acumen. The survey said last year, just 34 percent graded themselves so harshly. As a result, the NFCC says this is a sign parents are ill prepared to to teach their children sound financial principles. (Of course 59 percent, the majority graded themselves with a B or higher.)
That may or may not be the case. The truth is that the economy has blasted families for years in this country and forced more than a few to confront the reality that they were carrying too much debt and that they’re financial plans had more holes than Swiss cheese. If you haven’t hit a problem in this financial downturn and learned a lesson from the tough times, you’re better than me.
Gauging any group’s financial literacy through an opinion poll is probably misguided, but as a whole of perception in the country, it might be useful when weighed against data on foreclosures, late payments and profit from investments.
And despite recent improvements, there are tough lessons yet to be learned in kitchens everywhere.
Anyway, my dad and mom, taught me lots of lessons about finance. Among them was to know the difference between what you need and what you want and whether you can afford both. And knowing that comes down to a simple evaluation. You look at what it costs for what you need, home, food, transportation plus some savings for down the road, and whatever you have left is for what you want.