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Millenials Apparently Don't Even Have The Most Basic Financial Literacy Skills

(NYP)–There is a “widening gap in financial capability” between younger Americans, low-income earners and African Americans and their older, high-earning counterparts — and financial literacy is just one aspect of the divide.

The study found:

  • People ages 18 to 34 years old had the sharpest drop in their ability to answer four of five financial literacy questions correctly over the years, declining from 30% to 17%. By contrast, 51% of study participants ages 55 and above answered four or five questions correctly in 2009 and 48% did the same in 2018.
  • Americans tended to have “inflated self-perceptions of their financial knowledge.” Seventy-one percent of participants gave themselves a high score when assessing their money savvy in 2018, up from 67% in 2009.
  • Forty-nine percent of people who had received at least 10 hours of financial education said they spent less than they made. Thirty-six percent of people who received less than 10 hours on the subject said they spent less than their income.

The results come as there’s been an increased focus on improving young Americans’ low levels of financial understanding, especially with the country saddled with $1.5 trillion in student-loan debt. The US Treasury Department recently recommended colleges require financial literacy courses and financial award letters that clearly delineate college costs.

This article isn’t exactly wrong. I mean, whenever I have a question about something regarding finances it’s basically a speed dial call to my dad. He explains it to me. Then I pretend to understand for a minute. Then I ask him to explain it to me again and he does it in a way my 3 year old nephew would understand. So yeah, I think many millenials are in the same boat. This article pissed me off though. I fucking hate when articles like this blame millenials for things that aren’t necessarily our fault. The article said that it was our smartphone dependence that was to blame. All me to present my count argument, which I have in my pocket:

You know why we don’t know about mortgages or treasury bills or bonds or any of that boring shit? Well it’s because you need money to be able to know about that stuff. You need to have a down payment to be able to be able then figure out what your mortgage will cost. Millenials can’t do that because the generations ahead of us allowed the value of an education to go down while the cost of an education when through the roof. Not being able to get a job that allows you to pay off student debt is probably going to prevent from learning what you can do with money. Why learn how to save/invest money that you don’t have? I mean I might go to France one day and it would be nice to be able to speak French, but I’m not going to waste my time learning the language in the mean time since it is of no use to me. Same thing as being “financially literate”. Those are life skills you learn when you have the resources that require you to learn them. That’s why we don’t know. We can probably tell you how much we are paying Sallie Mae in interest though. That’s what is what’s getting in the way. That and avocado toast isn’t going to pay for itself.

PS: If you still know how to do long division in your 30s then you’re probably in the top 1% of smartest people in America.