Spills Over into Communities

Collectively, people’s finances have impact on the overall community. For example, funds may be allocated to helping people who are experiencing dire financial problems, meaning communities earn less revenue. Negative economic shifts can exert even greater stress on the community infrastructure.

Locally, the impact of financial problems can hurt businesses and draw upon city revenue that would otherwise be used for improvements. Beyond local communities, uninformed financial decisions often cause trends that affect our economy at large. Looking back at a few of the past recessions, contributions to these conditions can be directly linked to consumers making uninformed decisions.

In communities where people are financially savvy and have greater security, the problems that affect underserved groups are less severe. We can level the playing field by helping to ensure that people have access to financial education and support their process of making important money decisions.

Research, Statistics & Quotes

21.3 percent of U.S. population participates in government assistance programs each month.

US Census

More than 44% of Americans pay no federal income tax.


Across the entire workforce, 46% of workers spend three or more hours during the workweek taking care of financial issues and 8% say it impacts their attendance as they face ongoing struggles with medical expenses, credit card debt, student loans, and child and elder care expenses, among other things.

PwC’s Employee Financial Wellness Survey as reported by Information Experts

Financial stress hurts the health of millions of employees, adding to the cost of benefits and reducing productivity in the workplace. Estimated workforce stress costs an organization with 1,000 employees more than $5 million a year.

Pension Consultants as reported by Information Experts

Unemployment leads to higher payments from state and federal governments for unemployment benefits ($2.96 billion worth of benefits were paid out in February 2017), food assistance, and Medicaid. At the same time, those governments are no longer collecting the same levels of income tax as before – forcing the government to borrow money (which defers the cost and impact of unemployment into the future) or cut back on other spending (perhaps exacerbating the bad economic situation).


NFEC Position Statement

The greater the financial strength of individuals within a community, the stronger the community. Changes are rapidly occurring that make addressing people’s financial wellness a huge priority. For instance, we can expect higher unemployment rates due to technical displacement, higher tax rates to pay the growing federal debt, and increasing risk of market bubbles collapsing.

At the NFEC we are sounding the alarm. Financial problems are straining national resources and increasing the expenses of our working class. Now is the time to prepare. A fundamental part of our mission is to advocate for financial literacy education, get people involved in this movement. Our esteemed financial education champions are answering the call. We partner with them to progress the financial literacy movement forward, and provide them the resources and training to become effective promoters.