As a mother, author and personal finance expert, it’s been clear to me for a long time that there is a growing need for basic financial literacy instruction for parents and children, especially those in lower income brackets. But it’s even more necessary in this troubled economy. Being educated on fundamental personal finance issues — from how to open a bank account to how to establish a household budget — can make a major impact on both the financial future and overall stability of the entire family.
As a longtime supporter of Literacy Partners, New York City’s only nationally accredited adult literacy program, I’ve seen firsthand the impact of their financial literacy program on individuals, parents and families.
Journalists and researchers question whether the new frugality mentality is permanent or just a fad. From my viewpoint, I think it’s a little of both.
Finance guru Jean Chatzky recently reported on the frugality trend in her “Sheconomics” column on wowowow.com (“Saving — not spending — makes consumers feel smarter”). She wrote about the results of a study by Deloitte and The Harrison Group called “The New American Pantry Study.” The study revealed five new consumer behaviors that developed as a result of the bad economy, according to Chatzky. I considered these five new behaviors and wondered if, indeed, mine had changed with them. What I found is that some I had already been practicing and some did not apply at all: