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I’m not sure whether it was intentional or merely a coincidence that several years ago Congress proclaimed April to be Financial Literacy Month.
April is also the month when millions of Americans grimly write a check to the IRS and resolve to do a better job managing their money; and when millions of others squander their tax refund without realizing why receiving overly large refunds isn’t sound financial management.
In recognition of 2013’s Financial Literacy Month, the National Foundation of Credit Counseling just released the results of its seventh annual Consumer Financial Literacy Survey, which tracks Americans’ attitudes and behaviors related to personal finance.
NFCC spokesperson Gail Cunningham said, “On a positive note, by certain measures a large percentage of Americans do feel they’re getting a better handle on controlling their finances,” she said. “On the downside, however, many people give themselves poor grades on their knowledge of personal finance, and worry that they’re not saving enough for a rainy day — or for retirement.”
Here are some of the survey’s key findings:
• Forty percent of adults have a budget and closely track their spending. In other words, 60 percent don’t use a budget.
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