Financial Illiteracy Cost Americans $1,279 in 2019
Lacking financial literacy and not knowing how to manage one’s personal finances carried a high cost in 2019. The NFEC conducted a survey asking American adults to estimate how much money they had lost during the year due to lack of financial knowledge. The single-question survey asked U.S. residents across the country, “During the past year (2019), about how much money do you think you lost because you lacked knowledge about personal finances?”
A total of 2,506 people responded to the survey between December 31st 2019 and January 3rd 2020. Six different age groups across the U.S. were represented among those surveyed. Among this diverse group of respondents, the estimated average amount of money that lacking knowledge about personal finances cost people was $1,279 in 2019.
If we generalize the results to represent all of the approximately 240 million adults who live in the U.S., lack of financial literacy cost Americans a total of more than $307 billion in 2019.