|While the U.S. stock market is fast becoming
part of everyday culture, most American high school and college students
don't know much about personal finance, according to the 1999 Youth & Money
The survey, released by the American Savings Education Council, the Employee Benefit Research Institute, and Mathew Greenwald & Associates, found most students aren't confident about their knowledge of basic financial matters. These 16-22 year-old students say they understand saving, investing, credit, and budgeting, but the vast majority of them have never taken a class in personal finance.
When asked specific questions, only 15% say they understand money very well, and 18% think they do a very good job of managing their money. But students don't act on their knowledge.
Of those who say they understand finances, 27% don't think saving regularly is a very high priority, and only 23% of students make a budget and stick to it. Meanwhile, the overall personal savings rate in the United States fell from 2.1% in 1997 to 0.5% in 1998, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.
The 1999 Youth & Money survey questioned 1,000 students on their attitudes and behavior toward personal finance. The study was released in conjunction with the 1999 Facts on Saving and Investing Campaign.