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What You Didn’t Learn About Personal Finance Growing Up

FLM-2017-1-ImageGrowing up my dream home included a white picket fence, black shutters, a red door and an amazing backyard. Admittedly, my dream house was an exact replica of the house in the “Father of the Bride” movie. Parked in its long driveway was that brand new car.

Fast forward 20 years later, I’m now a young adult uncovering the realities of adulthood and the financial behaviors it takes to attain those dreams. The question that comes to my mind frequently in the midst of financial decisions, is why am I just learning about all of this now?

“We take the responsibility of educating people very seriously to help them feel confident in their decision-making. The only way to accomplish that is to ensure that effective financial education is provided throughout a person’s life.”
Rod Griffin, Experian director of public education

Unfortunately, courses in personal finance were not part of our curriculum in school. In fact, I’m not the only one who second guesses money matters. Multiple studies have shown that consumers lack the confidence in their personal finance knowledge they need to make effective, fiscally wise decisions.

A study from Mintel finds that just 19 percent of respondents give themselves an “A” grade on financial knowledge. According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s 2016 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey, 45 percent of adults gave themselves grades C, D or F in rating their personal finance knowledge.

Those statistics are exactly why Experian celebrates Financial Literacy Month #FLM2017 each year and why we are so heavily invested in enriching financial education in America — all year round.

We want financial literacy, but more importantly, we want people to reach financial capability.

It’s the reason we have a dedicated public education team to educate consumers and empower clients to provide proper credit education to their customers. It’s also the reason why we financially support nonprofits that share our mission of strengthening financial education and helping individuals make better financial decisions. Our products and services can give consumers confidence in their financial decisions to get access to financial services so they too can purchase their dream house or car.

Every week Experian discusses financial behavior topics on Twitter and Periscope
Join the @Experian_US #CreditChat
every Wednesday at 3 pm Eastern time

Learning how to become financially literate takes time and something I’ve faced as larger life moments enter my view. I encourage others to take the time to talk about their own money matters and to take advantage of resources to improve your own financial literacy and well-being too. To learn more, see all of our activities for Financial Literacy Month.