■ ■ There are, however, increasing signs
that consumers are making financial de-
cisions that will benefit themselves and
the economy in the long run—namely,
continuing to cut costs, reduce debts,
and increase savings. Budgeting and sav-
ings calls increased from 25 percent in
Q4 2008 to 34 percent in Q4 2009, and
as 2009 progressed, an increasing num-
ber of employees reported that they are
paying off their credit card debt.
■ ■ Short term, this dynamic is likely to
delay GDP growth and forestall a full
recovery. However, this has positive
economic implications in the long run
since Americans will have more savings
to invest in the market and real estate.
■ ■ The most surprising aspect of the
2008-2009 recession is consumer re-
silience in the face of one of the worst
economic crises since the Great De-
pression. For all the stimulus packages
and public policy changes, it may end
up being the American consumer who
ultimately makes the biggest contribution to a long-term recovery.
In Q4 2009, the percentage of calls on
budgeting nearly equaled calls on debt
(respectively, 34 percent and 35 percent).
This was the first time these two have
mirrored each other so closely since the
company began analyzing consumer financial issues nearly a decade ago.
In previous years, debt calls sig-
nificantly outnumbered budget calls,
often at a 2-to- 1 ratio. The fact that
they are now close to parity means
that consumers are dramatically shift-
ing their attitude toward their money
and the way they manage it to become
more responsible consumers, savers,
and investors. Instead of becoming vic-
tims of the crisis, they are using it as an
opportunity to get their financial house
in order—recognizing that they can’t
control the swings in the market or the
actions of their employers, but they can
control how they spend, save, and invest
Financial illiteracy hurts
That's why the Foundation developed Building Your Future, an engaging and relevant high school financial literacy curriculum resource. Now, more than ever, today’s teachers thirst for resources to teach their students how to manage money wisely for a secure financial future. The Building Your Future series is designed to quench that thirst. Many of your colleagues have already joined the QUENCH THE THIRST campaign for financial literacy. Now we need your help, too. Hundreds of teachers have requested and are waiting for these valuable resources. Your gift of $250 provides one high school classroom with the Building Your Future curriculum.
“The Building Your Future lesson plans are just what we need to help
students grasp how important financial literacy is to everyday life.”
— Charleston High School (TN)
View the schools in need and donate today at
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