Economy Up. Economy Down. Which Way Do We Go?

April 24, 2012 by Rod Griffin

I opened a few of my daily newspapers this morning (yes, the print kind!), and pondered some seemingly conflicting messages.

In the Wall Street Journal, I saw the headline “Economic Reports Fan Fears.”

In the New York Times, the top business story read “In a Shift, Debt Levels are Falling,” noting that American consumers are reducing their debt.

There is merit and editorial integrity in each story – no doubt. As someone who works in the financial services business, I understand that there may be different barometers and reports to gauge our collective perspective on the current economy. But, to the everyday consumer, it might be puzzling. We thought this might provide a good opportunity to remind people that, regardless of the various barometers and reports, one premise remains true: commit yourself to financial literacy.

The average debt held by American consumers older than age 19 is more than $78,000. For the first time in U.S. history total student loan debt exceeds total U.S. credit card debt. Yet, most high school students graduate without having learned to balance a checking account. Young people entering the work force or going to college know how to dissect a frog, but they have never been introduced to critical life skill concepts like the power of compound interest, the cost of credit, or the importance of credit reports and credit scores in their daily lives.

A basic understanding of these essential concepts empower everyone to make better decisions about money, leading to greater financial success. According to some, that in turn leads to reduced stress and even better overall health and greater general happiness.  To improve your financial literacy, visit www.LiveCreditSmart.com.

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