Girl Scouts Spearhead Financial Literacy Study

> Posted by Jeffrey Riecke, Communications Assistant, CFI

The majority of girls in the United States recognize the importance of money management and are interested in becoming financially empowered. But, even without perceived gender barriers, only 12 percent of girls in the country feel very confident in their ability to make financial decisions. These are some of the big takeaways from a new Girl Scouts of the USA research report, Having It All: Girls and Financial Literacy. Released this past Tuesday in coincidence with Financial Capability Week (it’s also Financial Literacy Month), the report shares findings from a nationwide survey of 1,000 girls aged 8-17 and their parents to better understand girls’ levels of financial literacy, and their attitudes and experiences with money.

The survey revealed that the majority of girls feel most knowledgeable about savings, budgeting, and paying bills, and less so about using credit and investing. On the whole, 90 percent of the surveyed indicated that it was important for them to learn how to manage their money. In spite of their stark lack of confidence, the girls expressed great optimism that they would become financially independent and successful, indicating that they would rather make their own money than have to rely on their significant other, that both household heads should manage the family’s finances, and that throughout their life they would be able to save a lot of money, and be able to retire comfortably. Little relationship between gender and money management was expressed by the respondents. 73 percent reported that men and women are equally likely to be financially responsible, and only 13 percent reported the belief that men are better with money than women. This same 13 percent was mirrored in the responses of the parents.

Financial literacy is not currently a standard component of elementary and secondary education in the United States. Supported by the survey responses, the report highlights the opportunity for parents to strengthen their children’s money management skills. For the full report, click here. As an aside, the Girl Scouts amended their merit badge program in 2011. Among new badges are the Money Manager badge and the Financing My Future badge.

Image credit: Girl Scouts

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