Media Contact: STEPHEN EPSTEIN  411 Green Street, Suite 2A  San Francisco, CA, 94133  (415) 839‐2083  www.DollarCamp.

com 

Stephen Epstein The Student Money Expert  
 

 

BIO:
Founder of DollarCamp    www.DollarCamp.com      ‐  Certified Educator In Personal Finance TM ‐ CEPF 
   ‐  Author of Illustrated DollarCamp Financial Survival Guide     ‐  Producer & Teacher of DollarCamp Financial Survival Training     ‐  Professional Speaker (High Schools & Colleges)      

Available For Short Notice Interviews On These TOPICS: 
* Budgeting Strategies That Actually WORK  * Why Students Are Getting Deep Into Debt  * Strategies For Building Good Credit  * How To Talk To Your Kids About Money So They Actually LISTEN  * How Credit Card Companies Are Ripping Off Students 
 

Newsworthy Facts – Financial Literacy 
1.  50% of college students graduate with $5,000 or more of high interest credit card debt. Only 19 percent do not acquire any 
credit card debt while in school.     (source: Sallie Mae:  CLICK HERE)    2. Nearly two‐thirds (63%) of Americans acknowledge they don’t save enough, and more than a third say that they often (11%) or  sometimes (25%) spend more than they can afford. More than one‐in‐three (36%) Americans also say that they have at some  point in their lives felt their financial situation was out of control.   
(source: 2006 nationwide Pew Research Center telephone survey: CLICK HERE) 

 

3. Nearly one‐third (32%) of college students, when thinking about their freshman year, admit that they were "not at all" or "not 
very well prepared" for managing their money on campus. Only one in five (20%) students claims to have been "very well  prepared" for managing their money on campus. 
(source: KeyBank and Harris Interactive: CLICK HERE) 

  4. Three‐quarters (75%) admit to having made mistakes with their money when they arrived on campus, and the biggest mistakes  were overspending on food (21%), entertainment (19%) and putting too many purchases on their credit card (16%).     (source: KeyBank and Harris Interactive: CLICK HERE)    5. 70% of parents surveyed said their child has not had any formal training in money management, either in school or outside the  home.  (source: VISA: CLICK HERE ) 

OFFICE: (415) 839 – 2083      CELL: (415) 240 – 6545 

Financial Survival Training
What Is DollarCamp?  DollarCamp is a seminar about money created specifically for students to explore the perils, pitfalls and  problems that financially cripple young adults.   What Topics Are Covered?  DollarCamp books and seminars discuss myths about money, credit cards, budgets, credit scores, and how to  manage debt.   What Does It Do?  The Financial Survival Pack (our special reports and illustrated Financial Survival Guide) illustrate key financial  concepts and shows how students can implement successful money habits immediately.   What Is The Purpose?  The goals of DollarCamp are to raise the level of financial awareness, to inspire young adults to take control  over their money, and to enable students to become more responsible for their financial choices and actions.   Why Does It Work?  The Financial Survival Pack was designed with input from parents, students, accountants, and certified  financial planners to specifically address the issues facing students. All of the concepts of the course are based  on real world examples, which students can relate to and will remember. 
  

  www.FinancialSurvivalPack.com 

DollarCamp Story Ideas On Students & Money:
#1)  Interviews with students about whether their parents know they  have a credit card.  #2)  Interviews with parents about their kids getting credit cards  without their permission.   #3)  Do budgets work for students? We ask student financial expert  Stephen Epstein and interview students across campus...    #4)  Top 10 Mistakes Students Make On Campus – “DollarCamp’s Top  10 Mistakes Students Make When Leaving The Nest”    #5)  How easy it is to rack up $5,000 or more of credit card debt during  your first year of college?    #6)  Top 10 ways college students ruin their credit  #7) Students playing the credit card hustle: a ticking time bomb. 

Stephen Epstein – The Student Money Expert  DollarCamp  www.DollarCampSystems.com  (415) 839‐2083 
 

PRESS RELEASE

MANY COLLEGE STUDENTS GRADUATE BANKRUPT It’s all about students not learning Simple financial skills early, notes Stephen A. Epstein, founder of DollarCamp SAN FRANCISCO —Graduating from college with honors and full of high hopes for the future is a prevailing American dream. But some of these dreams are turning into financial nightmares when graduates find out that they are literally bankrupt—that they own much more money than they are worth at the end of their college life. The cause is the credit card. It is the chilling but familiar story of students getting way over their heads in credit card debt the day they arrive on campus. New and naïve students are bombarded with credit card offers, despite many having student loans and little or no income. A student can hardly walk on to a college campus these days without getting seduced, or harassed, by some promoter peddling free t-shirts and gift certificates just for signing up for a piece of plastic. Often the teaser rate is 0%, but skyrockets to 20% or 30% after a few months. At those rates, it is easy to drown in red ink. These students are definitely taking the bait, for 50% graduate with $5,000 or more of high interest credit card debt. And excessively high interest payments keep coming month after month just when they can least afford it. Then, establishing good credit is even more difficult. Why are students falling for this predatory lending? The reason is simple—they don’t know any better. No one ever sat them down and explained the financial facts of life; how credit cards work and why they can be dangerous. Some goes for credit scores and budgeting. Kids don’t learn it at school. Many parents try to talk to their kids but any parent knows how effective that is. DollarCamp, a San Francisco-based company, is doing something about this financial mess through its crash course on financial literacy for high school and college kids. DollarCamp’ program focuses on teaching kids basic budgeting skills and tips for staying out of financial trouble.

www.DollarCampSystem.com  (415) 839‐2083 

“DollarCamp is about preventing kids from making easily avoidable mistakes,” says founder Stephen Epstein, a San Francisco native who learned about these mistakes first hand as a student. But, are kids responding to his message of fiscal restraint? Epstein says, “We have had tremendous results by teaching the basics through story-telling and case studies that kids can relate to. After all, when you hear it from your peers, it isn’t as if your parents are talking.” Epstein notes that all DollarCamp instructors are in their 20s, recent graduates themselves, who often use their own personal experience as a backdrop to their instructions. “Kids are smart; they don’t want to be talked down to, but a since message from someone relatively close to their age gets through. Key to DollarCamp’s message is making a proper and realistic budget. Without a good system it’s almost impossible to be organized and disciplined with one’s money. Once a good system is in place, the individual can form good money habits that will be with that person for the rest of his or her life. Epstein, a recent college graduate himself, sought information from parents, teachers, accountants, financial planners and wealth managers. He believes that the most powerful part of the course is the real stores about how students get into financial messes. For more information about DollarCamp go to www.DollarCamp.com and www.DollarCampSystem.com .
MEDIA CONTACT: Stephen Epstein DollarCamp 411 Green St., 2A San Francisco, CA, 94133 Office: (415) 839-2083 DollarCamp Education = Financial Crisis Prevention

Stephen Epstein Is Available For Short Notice & Last Minute Interviews PERSONAL CELL PHONE: (415) 240-6545

www.DollarCampSystem.com  (415) 839‐2083 

Info About DollarCamp & Education Materials

PREVIEW PACK

“The Comprehensive Guide To What Dollar Camp Is, How It Works, And What It Will Do For Students.”

(800) 615-7597 www.DollarCamp.com
Copyright (©) DollarCamp 2007. All Rights Reserved.

Why Stephen Epstein Started DollarCamp...
Hello. My name is Stephen Epstein and I am the founder of DollarCamp. I want to take a moment to thank you for reading our brochure and allowing me to share my vision of the future with you. It is a future where students are educated about money and feel financially empowered. A future where students are not drowning in debt or out of control with their spending. Why Am I Doing This? After I graduated from USC in 2003, I did what many kids today do; traveled abroad and took my time finding the right job. Once I finally found an entry-level job, one that didn't pay well at all, I ended up draining my savings and racking up credit card debt trying to maintain the lifestyle that I had grown used to in high school and college. After a couple years of spending more than I made, my debt grew while my savings shrank. It wasn't supposed to work like this, I thought. I had big dreams for financial success, but they were getting farther and father away, not closer, despite my hard work, promotions, and good intentions. WHY? I didn't realize it at the time, but my everyday actions were jeopardizing my dreams. When I made more, I spent more, just like everyone else I knew. One day, like a lightening bolt, it hit me. I realized that my choices, how I spent my money on a daily basis, were literally trapping me in a job I didn't enjoy and causing all kinds of stress in my life. I decided right then and there to get my financial house in order, pay off my debt, and start controlling my spending. Great intentions, but I had no idea how to do this. I realized that others like myself were probably in the same situation. I wondered if they realized it. Then, I thought of my younger sister who was about to graduate. Would she wind up in the same mess as me? I needed to warn her, but what could I say? Then it clicked, I decided that I would develop a personal finance program for others based on my own attempts to control my spending and get out of debt. If it worked, I would share my secrets, successes, and failures, all the while documenting the process. Guess what? It worked and DollarCamp was born as the direct result of the process. I did not, thankfully, have to reinvent the wheel. I consulted dozens of personal finance books and spoke to accountants, certified financial planners, and all kinds of financial experts. When I told them of my story and my new-found mission, they were eager to help. DollarCamp is now much bigger than me. It has become the stories and wisdom of many people. These nuggets of wisdom are the hard-won realizations from a thousand mistakes made by smart, talented, well-intentioned people. It is my goal to bring this collective wisdom and experience to young people, so that they do not have to make the same mistakes and suffer the same heartbreak as those who have come before them.

Stephen Epstein
Founder of DollarCamp

Making The Case For Financial Literacy In Today's Youth...
According to a 2007 survey by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy:
• Students and parents agree that college students are not well prepared to deal with the financial challenges that lie ahead. • Less than one-quarter of students and only 20% of parents say students are very well prepared to deal with the financial challenges that await them after graduation. • The majority of college students say they learn the most about personal finance from their parents, but less than half of students say their parents make a consistent, conscientious effort to teach them. • About 70% of college students cite parents as their primary source for financial information.
Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, unfortunately we (parents, teachers, and leaders) are doing a pretty dismal job of ensuring we send them to college with a competent level of financial literacy. As soon as they arrive on campus, they are greeted with credit card offers. While this practice of actively marketing to students on campus is widely considered to be predatory lending, it is legal. Credit card companies donate millions of dollars to Universities for the privilege of marketing on campus. The results are devastating. 50% of students graduate with $5,000 or more of high interest credit card debt. Additionally, students don’t understand how to budget and can’t control their spending, so once they are in debt, it is very difficult for them to escape. So Who’s Fault Is This? The truth is it doesn’t matter who’s fault it is -- what does matter is that WE fix it. Studies performed by the Hartford Financial Services Group and the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy (available on our website) outline the financial crisis facing our youth. Their case for financial literacy is loud and clear. What Can Be Done? DollarCamp works with schools and parents to bring financial literacy to students. DollarCamp is a crash course on personal finance, specifically designed for students to explore the perils, pitfalls, and problems that financially cripple young adults. This preview pack outlines the issues, how our program works, and how we are effective in getting students on the path to financial security and independence.

The Education Gap In High School And College
High School Curriculums Cover Math, Reading, English, Health, Fitness, Foreign Language, Computers, and Even Sex…
BUT NOT CREDIT CARDS, BUDGETS, OR SAVINGS
There is no doubt that educators are doing their best to prepare students for college and beyond. In fact, the approved course curriculums of today’s high schools and colleges are undoubtedly both comprehensive and enriching.

Middle School Focuses On High School Preparation

However, there is a gap, a hole, a cavernous trench: This void is financial literacy.
Middle School Prepares Kids For High School High School Prepares Kids for College Colleges Force Kids to Choose A Major (Specialize) Since The Majority of Colleges Don’t Teach Personal Finance, Students Enter “Real Life” Without Basic Financial Skills:

High School Focuses On College Preparation

How To: 1) Balance Their Checkbook 2) Control Their Spending 3) Create & Follow A Realistic Budget 4) Set Financial Goals 5) Stay Out Of Credit Card Debt 6) Begin Saving For The Future
Each administrator, educator, and leader can make a difference. We can take this ”Education Gap “ and close it, so our students and children do not make AVOIDABLE mistakes.

College Focuses On “Real Life” Preparation

DollarCamp Gets Students On The Right Path...

Real Life Is Here Without Financial Literacy

We Must Reverse This Trend!
According To The American Institute of Bankruptcy, Student Bankruptcies and Credit Card Debt Are Dangerously High

$5,000

$2,000

$0

1980

1990

2000

2006

Student Credit Card Debt Student Bankruptcies

The Dollar Camp Curriculum - And Why It Works
Budgets
DollarCamp discusses the Myths and Realities about budgets. Most people think that budgets don't work, so they don't even try. The truth is that they DO work, if you know how to create a realistic budget and how to implement it. We cover this critical topic in depth and provide a step-by-step instructions for making it work. DollarCamp explains why most budgets fail (for people of all ages). During the seminar we have students create a realistic budget just like this one, and we discuss how to implement it. Almost every financial expert tells people that they need a budget, but very few explain HOW to budget effectively. Effective Budgeting is the key to controlling your spending.A budget serves two primary purposes. First, to make you more aware of HOW you are spending your money. Second, to force you to make choices about WHAT you are going to spend your money on. A budget links your goals to your actions, the past to your future.
Expense Type Groceries Rent Cell Phone Car Insurance Gas Health Insurance Dry Cleaning Lunches / Dinners Out Entertainment Total Expenses Monthly $250 $900 $80 $175 $120 $90 $25 $125 $200 $1,965

While we can't force people to budget, the tools that we provide make it much easier to actually do it.

Credit Cards
DollarCamp explores the myths about credit cards and shows the common financial traps that ruin lives. Once students are aware of the dangers and understand the tricks that credit card companies play, they are much less likely to become victims of predatory lending. The key to using a credit card responsibly is understanding how credit cards work and how they enable impulse spending. If you understand how easy it is to spend on a card, as opposed to with cash (real money), you are more likely to leave the card at home. If you understand how difficult it is to pay off high interest credit card debt, especially on the measly salaries paid to graduates, you definitely will think twice about using the card. DollarCamp uses real-life examples of how people have messed up their financial lives through credit card abuse. These examples are not scare tactics, but rather a wake up call to students.

Savings
Albert Einstein said compound interest is the most important mathematical discovery of all time. We show how with compound interest, a lifetime of staying out of debt and savings leads to a secure and prosperous retirement, especially if students start saving and investing in their 20's. Once students realize the power of compound interest, they are much more likely to save more and tend to spend less. Obviously students who are taking on student loans don't have extra money lying around. If they did, they wouldn't take on massive amounts of debt to pay for school. However, getting in the habit for saving for something that you want, like a vacation, new clothes, etc, is really critical. So if students can understand saving alongside spending, it can change the way that they interact with money.

Spending
Spending is the primary source for financial troubles. If you can control your spending, you are 75% on the way to a successful financial future. But how? Having a spending plan and the right tools for implementing that plan is the key. Simply being able to create and implement a budget correctly can put you on the path to financial independence.?

Credit Scores
Most students are oblivious to what a credit score is and WHY it is so critical to their financial health. We discuss HOW credit scores work and step-by-step strategies for checking and improving your score and building solid credit. Credit scoring is not an intuitive or logical process items like income are excluded, when it would seem that it would be a big part of your credit worthiness. Students are usually very surprised to find out the different pieces of the credit score puzzle. Once you know, you are much more likely to do something.Having good credit influences which landlords will accept you as a tenant, which employers will hire you, and whether a banker will approve your auto loan or home loan. Credit scores also influence what interest rate you will pay to borrow money. Reviews all the basics and provides tips

Attitudes About Money
DollarCamp explores how attitudes toward money shape people's behavior. We examine the way that people unconsciously make bad choices with their money and how they begin reinforcing bad behavior. Then, we show how good attitudes actually can empower people and give them more opportunity and freedom in their lives. Author of numerous books on personal finance (including Personal Finance For Dummies), Eric Tyson, writes "understanding some of the common feelings and issues surrounding money- avoidance behavior can help in coming to acknowledge and productively change the habits". DollarCamp also believes the link between attitudes and behavior is very strong. You can't build your financial house on a weak foundation. DollarCamp raises the level of financial awareness and challenges students to examine their own attitudes, and how those attitudes might be shaping undesirable behaviors.

Financial Pitfalls
Using real life examples and stories, which students can relate to, we explore the most common AVOIDABLE mistakes that students make with money. It is truly tragic that students ruin their financial lives by making bad decisions that are 100% preventable. Student's financial lives appear simple from the outside. After all, they are not applying for mortgages, purchasing life insurance, or choosing how to allocate their retirement funds among stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. However, despite the apparent simplicity, students are making the WRONG decisions. Personal finance, in many way, is about the DUMB stuff that you DONT do, more than the SMART stuff that you DO. Simply avoiding the most common mistakes makes you much more likely to develop good habits, stay out of debt, and get on the path to a sustainable financial future.DollarCamp reviews these common pitfalls and tries to prevent the most avoidable mistakes.

Testimonials From Parents And Students

“Stephen is passionate about personal finance and is highly skilled at teaching people how to handle their money more intelligently.” - Ed Musselwhite, CEO of Mandel Communications

“The principals shared are so vital to a successful financial future for young people.” - Bryan Bauman, CEO of Marketing Strategies Team

“DollarCamp is fun, insightful, impacting, and a fast-paced tour de force.” - David Steven, Entrepreneur
“DollarCamp teaches kids everything they need to know about money for college.” - Chuck Stuckey, CPA

“Ayada Savitall was great, the illustrations were A+, and connecting it to real life hit it all home.” - DollarCamp Student
“I felt the course was positive and empowering.” - DollarCamp Student

“I liked the easy going openness of it. You don’t feel like there are any dumb questions.” - DollarCamp Student
“I wish I had gone to DollarCamp before graduating college, I don’t think I would still be in debt now if I did.” - DollarCamp Student (College Graduate)

Financial Survival Guide FOR STUDENTS

The Illustrated Guide About Money!
© 2007 DollarCamp. All rights reserved.

An Unsustainable Life Path

} { } OUT OF CONTROL SPENDING
Out of Control with Your Spending! Spend More than You Make (Make Less Than You Spend!) Not Achieving Your Dreams Missed Potential Risking Your Future

{

PROBLEMS FAILURE {

STRESS

{

Going Further & Further Into Debt (Problems Keep Compounding)

}

Spiral Continues with “RETAIL THERAPY” (Spend to Forget Your Problems)

}

© 2007 DollarCamp. All rights reserved.

What are assets?

Q:

ASSETS
Car
$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

15,000 500 1,000 750 1,500 1,000 200 1,000

A:

Furniture Savings Account Stocks Bonds Cash Paintings Jewelry House Extras

Anything you OWN that has value.
(could be sold for cash)

$ 500,000 $ $

500

ASSETS ARE GREEN (FOR MONEY $$$)
© 2007 DollarCamp. All rights reserved.

Total Assets

521,450

What is debt anyway?
A debt is anything you owe when you borrow money or use credit. There are both “secured” debts and “unsecured” debts.

A secured debt is where something of value is used as collateral. If you don’t repay the loan as promised, the lender can take the collateral. Some examples of a secured loan are an auto loan (lenders can repossess the car if you don’t make your payments) and a home loan, or mortgage (the lender can foreclose on the property). Generally, lenders see secured credit as less risky and therefore charge a lower interest rate.

An unsecured debt is where there is no collateral. Credit card debt is unsecured debt. Even if you don’t make your credit card payments, the lender does not have the right to take the things you bought with the card. Lenders typically charge a higher interest rate on unsecured debt because these loans are riskier for them.

Secured
© 2007 DollarCamp. All rights reserved.

Unsecured

10 Tips for Using Credit Wisely
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Know what your REAL interest rate is (if it is an introductory rate - when it will increase). Know what the penalty rates are. Many card issuers have the right to raise your rate if you are late on ANY of your credit cards (theirs or those of other companies). Always pay on time. If you don’t, you’ll be charged a late fee that could easily be $29 or more. Don’t charge over your credit limit. Even though they let you keep spending over your limit. Don’t charge more than you can afford to pay off within ONE month. Never take cash advances. Interest that you OWE starts building (accruing) immediately, usually at a higher rate than for purchases. Don’t choose a card based on rewards or gifts, select the lowest rate. Choose a card with no annual fee. Never co-sign for anyone else, or their mistakes become yours.

10. Stop charging and get help at the first sign of trouble.

© 2007 DollarCamp. All rights reserved.

Making Only the Minimum Payment
Consider Ayada, who has a $10,000 credit card balance at a 16% interest rate. If she makes only the minimum monthly payment required by the card issuer, it will take her more than 40 years to pay off the debt (spending over $19,000 in interest). If Ayada doubles her monthly payment, she’ll pay off the debt in 14 years (still nasty) and save about $14,000 in interest charges. Clearly she is much better off paying the entire balance as quickly as possibly and NOT carrying a balance month to month.

© 2007 DollarCamp. All rights reserved.

FICO® PIE CHART

Payment History

35%

15% 10%

Amounts Owed Length of Credit History New Credit Types of Credit Used

30%

10%

Your score from each credit reporting agency will be different because the underlying data they use to generate the score is not exactly the same. Not all creditors submit customer information to all three agencies, and the agencies do not share their data.

Illustration Source: Fair Isaac Corporation © 2007 DollarCamp. All rights reserved.

If your credit score needs improvement...

Pay down debt.

Keep balances low relative to the amount of credit available to you.

Apply for new credit only when you need it (unless you’re trying to establish credit). Make up any past-due payments and stay current.

Keep older credit lines open, even if you don’t use them.
© 2007 DollarCamp. All rights reserved.

Pay your bills on time.

Next Steps
GET YOUR SCORE (follow instructions on page X).
S te p •

#1

Correct any inaccuracies.
Getting inaccurate derogatory, or negative, information removed from your reports is the only way to make an immediate, significant improvement to your score.

S te p •

#2

Continue to monitor your credit reports.
Request all three reports free for each year. You can stagger them by ordering from one agency every four months.

S te p •

#3

Consider a secured credit card.
If you need to establish credit, you could apply for a credit card secured by your bank account. As you demonstrate that you are a responsible credit user, the issuer will, typically, raise your credit limit. Eventually, you should be able to qualify for a regular, unsecured, card. Check with your bank or credit union to see if they offer a secured card. Or find one in the Consumer Action Credit Card Survey (www.consumer-action.org).

© 2007 DollarCamp. All rights reserved.

What do you know about credit scores?
1) Which of the following is used most often by lenders to judge creditworthiness? A. Employment status B. Total assets C. Credit score D. Annual gross income 2) A high credit score: A. Qualifies you for lower interest rates B. Improves your chances of qualifying for credit C. Is a valuable asset D. All of the above

QUIZ

B. If you missed a payment more than two years ago, it cannot be considered in a credit decision C. You can make two late payments each year without it affecting your credit score D. It is very unlikely that one bank will know your payment history with another bank

© 2007 DollarCamp. All rights reserved.

Answers: C, D, D, A, B, C

5) To get a free copy of your credit report from the three credit reporting agencies, you: A. Must enter your name into a lottery B. Must make your request at www.AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling 877.322.8228 C. Must submit your request in writing to the FBI D. Have a score of at least 750 3) Which of the following is NOT included in your credit score? A. Your age, gender and race 6) Which of the following will NOT improve your B. Your credit card balances credit score? C. Your net worth A. Paying your bills on time D. A and C B. Using only a fraction of your available credit C. Closing older credit accounts 4) Which of the following statements is true? D. Limiting the number of new credit accounts you open A. Generally speaking, information stays in your credit report for seven years

Implement your budget with the envelope system...
One of the tricks Ayada uses to stay on track is the “envelope system” of budgeting. She puts the budgeted amount of cash for discretionary expenses (those that are not necessities) in envelopes marked “Clothing,” “Dinners Out,” and so on. When the envelope is empty, she’s done spending on that category until the next month. It’s like a game where you can transfer money from one envelope to another, but the total amount of money in the envelopes is fixed. Don’t be discouraged if you go over-budget in some areas. You can remedy that by “borrowing” money from other categories. Another way to stay motivated is to give yourself incentives to stick to your budget. For example, plan to reward yourself with something special if you are able to come in at, or under, budget. For example, plan to go out to that new sushi place if you can come in $50 under budget.

© 2007 DollarCamp. All rights reserved.

Faye contributes more and ends up with less
60 55 50 45 Age 40 35 *31 $222,403 $131,959 $70,405 $28,512 $4,860 23 Amount Faye Contributed Amount Faye Earned From Interest $355,295 Money $550,556

*Faye starts contributing at age 30

© 2007 DollarCamp. All rights reserved.

Inflation reduces your purchasing power...

$10,000 in 1990
Your dollar will purchase less than it did the year before. The U.S. inflation rate has averaged approximately 3% to 5% over the past couple of decades. That means your money would have to grow at least that much
© 2007 DollarCamp. All rights reserved.

$10,000 in 2010
every year for your dollar to have the same value in the future as it does today. For example, in 1940 tuition at Yale University was $50. Today, $50 won’t buy you a new textbook!

Financial Literacy Statistics

MAKING THE CASE FOR FINANCIAL LITERACY— 2007 A collection of personal finance statistics gathered from other sources. Financial Literacy Education Adults and Parents:
1. A 2007 survey by The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. found that: • • • • • The majority of college students say they learn the most about personal finance from their parents, but less than half of students say their parents make a consistent conscientious effort to teach them. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of the parents surveyed say they definitely see personal finance education as their responsibility and consistently make the effort to teach their children about it, compared to the only 41% of students who say their parents did. About 70% of college students cite parents as their primary source of information. Students and parents agree that college students are not well prepared to deal with the financial challenges that lie ahead. Less than one-quarter of students (24%) and only 20% of parents say students are very well prepared to deal with the financial challenges that await them after graduation. More than three-quarters of students (76%) wish they had more help preparing for their financial future.

[The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., New Survey by The Hartford Reveals Financial Literacy Communication Gap Among College Students and Parents, February 2007, http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/070412/20070412005060.html?.v=1]

2. The 2006 annual back-to-school survey from Capital One found that: • 49% of teens are eager to learn more about money management, but only 14% have taken a class on the topic - 35% would like to learn from their parents. When asked about the topics they'd most like to learn about, teens express interest in checking accounts, budgeting, investing, saving, and financing for large purchases. Only 18% of parents are discussing back to school budgeting - a decline from the 24% who did so last year. 79% of parents see themselves as positive money role models for their kids, yet only a small percentage are taking advantage of day-to-day learning opportunities to arm their teens with practical money skills. Only 43% of parents have discussed the importance of needs versus wants, compared to 64% who did so last year; and a surprising 42% of parents have not taken any steps whatsoever to discuss financial basics.

• • •

[Capital One, Capital One's Annual Back To School Survey Finds Teens Eager To Learn about Money, But Parents Continue To Overlook Important Learning Opportunities, June 2006, http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=70667&p=irolnewsArticle2&ID=882661&highlight]

3. According to a July 2005 survey of 1,000 Parents of High School students by Visa: • • • • • • • Parents rank developing good personal financial skills and being able to handle their money (74%) ahead of both following the wrong crowd (58%) and drugs/alcohol use (56%) in terms of concerns parents have for their children’s futures. Only personal safety ranked higher (89%). 53% of parents agree that their child thinks “money grows on trees.” 76% of parents surveyed said their high school student does not have a budget. Over half of the parents surveyed, 63%, require their working teens to save at least some of what they earn. 88% of parents feel it’s important to monitor their child’s spending and guide their money use. Only 32% of parents said their family will have an itemized back-to-school budget. Some 70% of parents surveyed said their child has not had any formal training in money management, either in school or outside the home. Additionally, 76% said that schools should be required to teach money management skills.

[Visa, Building Teen Personal Finance Skills a Top Worry for Parents, Visa Survey Finds, July 2005, http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/english/presscenter/releases/080905.php, http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/english/presscenter/releases/080905_results.php]

4.

A July 2005 national survey by Consumer Action and Capital One found that: • • • • 65.1% of Americans consider themselves "very" or "highly" knowledgeable when it comes to personal finance. However: A majority of Americans (52%) do not regularly review their credit report each year. 23% of Americans have never reviewed their credit report. More than one-third (36.1%) of Americans report that they do not use a budget to manage their family's expenses. Younger Americans are more inclined to use a budget compared to older Americans. Nearly 80% (79.7) of 18-19 year olds use a budget, compared to only 46.6% of Americans aged 70+ (plus).

[Consumer Action and Capital One, National Survey Shows Americans Need to Get Financially Fit; Capital One and Consumer Action Find Majority of Americans Lack Basic Understanding of Credit Scores and the Fundamentals of Personal Finance, July 2005, http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=70667&p=irol-newsArticle2&ID=752906&highlight]

Students:
1. An August 2006 poll commissioned by KeyBank and conducted by Harris Interactive found that: • • • • Nearly one-third (32%) of college students, when thinking about their freshman year, admit that they were "not at all" or "not very well prepared" for managing their money on campus. Only one in five (20%) students claims to have been "very well prepared" for managing their money on campus. Three-quarters (75%) admit to having made mistakes with their money when they arrived on campus, and the biggest mistakes were overspending on food (21%), entertainment (19%) and putting too many purchases on their credit card (16%). When asked how closely they tracked where their money was being spent, nearly two in five (39%) claim they had tracked their spending "very closely" while fewer (14%) say they tracked their spending "not at all closely" or "not very closely." Common ways of supporting their spending habits and living expenses in college included getting a part time job (58%) or a full-time job (24%).

[KeyBank and Harris Interactive, One-Third of College Upperclassmen Admit Being Financially Unprepared as Freshmen, August 2006, http://www.harrisinteractive.com/news/allnewsbydate.asp?NewsID=1108]

Other:
1. The Consumer Bankers Association’s 2005 Financial Literacy Survey found that: • • • Bank participation in financial literacy programs for college students dropped in 2005, falling to 36% of survey respondents from 50% last year. In 2005, the vast majority of participating banks (81% of these banks) participated in college-based literacy efforts exclusively through partnership with external entities, with only 6% of respondents exclusively running proprietary programs, and 13% participating through both proprietary programs and partnerships. Survey results show that 47% of banks rely exclusively on curricula developed by other organizations, such as FDIC’s Money$mart curriculum, rather than develop their own. Nearly 30% of banks utilize both thirdparty and proprietary curricula, and only 24% exclusively utilize their own. In 2004, 66% of banks used outside curricula; 34% used their own.

[The Consumer Bankers Association, CBA’s Financial Literacy Survey Shows Efforts Aimed at Explaining Credit Scores and Underwriting Process, 2005, http://www.cbanet.org/news/Press%20Releases/Financial_literacy/FinLitStudy05.htm, http://www.cbanet.org/news/Press%20Releases/Financial_literacy/FinLitStudy05.htm]

American Kids & Teenagers
1. A January 2006 Weekly Reader Research/AICPA survey revealed: • • • • • • • • 56% of 9-12 year olds earn a weekly allowance, mostly by doing household chores; the average allowance among this group is $7.35. More than half (53%) have savings accounts, and 47% said they have plans for saving and spending their money. When asked what they would do if given a gift of $100, 59% of children between the ages of 9 and 12 said they would save at least $50. 56% said they are putting money away for college. Only 18% of these children spend all their allowance. 18% of 12-year-olds have a job outside the home. 24% of "tweenagers" report that their parents force them to save. 31% said their parents discuss finances with them; high on the list of financial topics are bills, budgets and the cost of education.

[Weekly Reader Research and the AICPA, Tweens Savvy About Savings, Weekly Reader Research/AICPA Survey Shows, January 2006, http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060213/nym226.html?.v=36]

2.

According to The TRU Study, a teen marketing and lifestyle survey published by Teenage Research Unlimited in December 2005: • Teens are projected to spend $159 billion in 2005. The figure represents a projection of total teen spending for 2005, including teens’ own cash and others’ money that they spend—typically their parents’. Although teens’ overall spending level registered a 6% decline from one year ago, most 12- to 19-year-olds reported spending just as much of their own money in 2005 as they did last year. In fact, nearly all of the decrease seems to stem from less access to other people’s money.

[Teenage Research Unlimited (TRU), TRU Projects Teens Will Spend $159 Billion In 2005, December 2005, http://www.teenresearch.com/PRview.cfm?edit_id=378]

Undergraduate & Graduate Students
1. The Student Monitor Lifestyle & Media Spring 2006 Financial Services Study of college undergraduates found that: • • • • • • • 78% of students work in the summer, 55% during the school year 68% get money from home averaging $285 monthly 40% (down from 44% last year and 53% three years ago) have a credit card in their own name Average student cardholder has 1.2 cards (79% have one card, 19% two cards, and 6% three or more cards) Nearly two thirds (63%) acquired their first credit card before age 19 (87% freshmen compared to 51% among seniors) 87% believe they were “Very/Somewhat” prepared for the responsibility of having a credit card while 53% say they did not receive enough credit education from the issuer of their first card Half (50%) believe the “process of identifying ways to pay for college to be complicated and confusing” while 43% believe their school’s financial aid office was “helpful in identifying ways to pay for college”

• • •

Parents (77%) are the most influential source of information of how to pay for college followed by “school’s financial aid office” (42%) “Money from parents” represents the largest share of college funding (42%) while loans (federal, state, direct from school and for profit sources) represent 24% of college funding 62% expect to have a student loan debt averaging $27,236 ($101 billion nationally) and requiring 7.9 years to pay off and 62% expect to consolidate their student loans

[Student Monitor Lifestyle & Media Spring 2006 Financial Services Study, March 2006, http://www.studentmonitor.com]

American Families Saving & Investment:
1. According to a March 2007 poll conducted by Harris Interactive for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA): • • Only 14% of American adults mentioned their company's 401(k) plan when asked about ways they save. Only 11% of workers under 35 years of age indicate they are participating in their company's 401(k).

[Harris Interactive for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), American Adults Still Expect to Retire With a Pension, According to AICPA, March 2007, http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/070410/nytu081.html?.v=85]

2.

The August 2006 survey of America's IQ on personal finance from Consumer Action and Capital One found that: • • 65% use budgets regularly - a positive sign and slight improvement from last year (64%). 66% report that they maintain the budgets they create, compared to only 60% last year.

[Consumer Action and Capital One, Second Annual Survey of America's ''Financial IQ'' Shows Americans Still Need a Dose of Fiscal Fitness, August 2006, http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=70667&p=irol-newsArticle2&ID=912626&highlight]

3.

A March 2006 Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Personal Finance Poll reveals:

• •

Most (97%) U.S. adults who are the parent or legal guardian of a child 18 years of age or younger expect their oldest child in this age range to attend college, and nearly eight in 10 (79%) of these parents expect to pay for some or all of their child’s college education. 11% expect to pay less than $5,000, 17% expect to pay $5,000 to $9,999, 39% expect a bill of $10,000 to $29,999, while another 16% expect to pay $30,000 or more. However, a quarter (26%) of parents who say they expect to pay for some or all of their child’s college education say they have saved less than $5,000 and a third (32%) haven’t saved anything specifically for that purpose.

[Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive, Majority of Parents Have Set Little or No Money Aside to Cover Children’s College Costs, according to New National Survey, March 2006, http://www.harrisinteractive.com/news/allnewsbydate.asp?NewsID=1037]

4.

A November 2006 nationwide Pew Research Center telephone survey reveals: • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of Americans acknowledge they don’t save enough, and more than a third say that they often (11%) or sometimes (25%) spend more than they can afford. More than one-in-three (36%) Americans also say that they have at some point in their lives felt their financial situation was out of control. The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis has estimated that, since April of 2005, the American public has been spending more money than it has earned after taxes—an unprecedented development in the past half century.

[Pew Research Center, We Try Hard. We Fall Short. Americans Assess Their Saving Habits, November 2006, http://pewresearch.org/pubs/325/we-try-hard-we-fall-short-americans-assess-their-saving-habits]

Debt:
1. Revolving consumer credit set a new record of $879 billion in January [2007], growing at an annual rate of 1.1%. Based on revised figures, revolving debt rose 1.9% in December and 13.8% in November. According to data released by the Federal Reserve, total revolving credit grew $800 million during January to $879.4 billion. Bank credit card debt (excluding store and gas credit cards) at the end of the fourth quarter was about $750 billion or roughly 85% of total revolving credit, according to CardData (www.carddata.com). At the end of January, Americans were $2411.4 billion in debt, excluding home mortgages.

[CardWeb.com, Jan Debt, March 9, 2007, http://www.cardweb.com/cardtrak/news/2007/march/9a.html]

2.

U.S. consumers received nearly 8.0 billion direct mail credit card solicitations last year, a 30% increase over the prior year. The gain was about double the growth rate of 2005 even though response rates are hovering at 0.3%, according to CardWatch (www.cardwatch.com). Response rates have declined from 2.8% fifteen years ago to 1.2% ten years ago to 0.6% five years ago.

[CardWeb.com, Orvis Card, February 21, 2007, http://www.cardweb.com/cardtrak/news/2007/february/21a.html]

3.

A recent survey by Sallie Mae found that more than half of college students accumulated more than $5,000 in credit card debt while in school. Of the 13,000 respondents, one-third piled on more than $10,000 in credit card debt while in school. Only 19 percent said they did not acquire any credit card debt while in school.

[Sallie Mae, Sallie Mae launches new ‘Be Debt Smart’ campaign to educate students, parents and graduates on managing debt and understanding credit, January 2007, http://www.salliemae.com/about/news_info/newsreleases/021407_bedebtsmart.htm]

4.

According to a November 2005 Credit Card Survey conducted by Myvesta, the average amount of credit card debt carried by individuals has declined by 11.4%. The average American is now carrying $2,328 in credit card debt, down from $2,627 in 2004. Individuals also haven't added any new credit cards to their wallets in the past year. Americans still hold an average of 2.9 cards each, the same as in 2004.

[Myvesta, Myvesta Survey Shows Americans Paring Down Credit Card Debt, November 2005, http://myvesta.org/news/releases/122905PRCreditCardSurvey2005.htm]

Bankruptcies, Defaults, & Foreclosures:
1. Total bankruptcy filings jumped by 9.8% in the third quarter [of 2006] compared to the prior quarter, but, remain well below year ago levels. During the third quarter total filings hit 171,146 compared to 155,833 for the second quarter and 542,002 one-year ago. According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts filings for the 12-month period ending September 30th, fell 37.6% to 1,112,542. Non-business or personal bankruptcies fell 37.9% for the same period while business bankruptcies declined 20.1%. The record filings last year were part of the surge in filings prompted by the October 17, 2005 implementation of the "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005." However, this week MA-based Global Insight said it expects U.S. corporate bankruptcies to increase by 17% in 2007. The majority of these increases are expected to occur in the metals, mining, and energy sectors, as well as in real estate and closely related industries, such as mortgage banking and residential construction.

[CardWeb.com, Bankruptcy Pulse, December 8, 2006, http://www.cardweb.com/cardtrak/news/2006/december/8a.html]

Updated April 2007

Executive Director
Laura Levine

Board of Directors
American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences American Bankers Association Education Foundation American Financial Services Association Education Foundation American Savings Education Council Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education Center for Economic Education University of Missouri - St. Louis Conference of State Bank Supervisors Consumer Federation of America Cooperative Extension Credit Union National Association Federal Reserve Board Federal Trade Commission Foundation for Investor Education InCharge Education Foundation, Inc. Insurance Education Foundation Investor Protection Trust JA Worldwide Leatherstocking Center for Economic Education State University of New York at Oneonta Mortgage Bankers Association National Association of Consumer Credit Administrators National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. National Association of State Treasurers Foundation National Council on Economic Education National Education Association National Endowment for Financial Education National Foundation for Credit Counseling State University of New York at Buffalo U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission Office of Investor Education and Assistance Visa USA The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition

Building Teen Personal Finance Skills a Top Worry for Parents, Visa Survey Finds Visa surveyed 1,000 Parents of High School students July 28-31, 2005. According to the July survey of parents of high school students, developing good personal financial skills and being able to handle their money (74 percent) ranked ahead of both following the wrong crowd (58 percent) and drugs/alcohol use (56 percent) in terms of concerns parents have for their children’s futures. Only personal safety ranked higher (89 percent). Additional key findings of the survey included:
• • • • •

53 percent of parents agree that their child thinks “money grows on trees.” 76 percent of parents surveyed said their high school student does not have a budget. More than half of the parents surveyed, 63 percent, require their working teens to save at least some of what they earn. 88 percent of parents feel it’s important to monitor their child’s spending and guide their money use. Only 32 percent of parents said their family will have an itemized back-to-school budget.

While students learn most of their money management skills at the kitchen table, the survey also showed that an overwhelming majority of parents would like to see schools play a part in this effort. Some 70 percent of parents surveyed said their child has not had any formal training in money management, either in school or outside the home. Additionally, 76 percent said that schools should be required to teach money management skills. http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/english/presscenter/releases/0809 05.php http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/english/presscenter/releases/0809 05_results.php

The Community Banker’s Association (CBA) Financial Literacy Survey Shows Efforts Aimed at Explaining Credit Scores and Underwriting Process Bank financial literacy programs continue to reach more consumers, with an emphasis on mortgage lending and teaching consumers about credit scores and the underwriting process, according to preliminary findings of the CBA 2005 Financial Literacy Survey. Responses from 46 banks are included in the preliminary findings of the CBA fifth annual Financial Literacy Survey. Bank participation in financial literacy programs for college students dropped in 2005, falling to 36 percent of survey respondents from 50 percent last year. In 2005, the vast majority of participating banks (81 percent of these banks) participated in college-based literacy efforts exclusively through partnership with external entities, with only 6 percent of respondents exclusively running proprietary programs, and 13 percent participating through both proprietary programs and partnerships. (Data unavailable for 2004.) Survey results show that 47 percent of banks rely exclusively on curricula developed by other organizations, such as FDIC’s Money$mart curriculum, rather than develop their own. Nearly 30 percent of banks utilize both third-party and proprietary curricula, and only 24 percent exclusively utilize their own. In 2004, 66percent of banks used outside curricula; 34percent used their own. http://www.cbanet.org/news/Presspercent20Releases/Financial_literacy/FinLitStu dy05.htm http://www.cbanet.org/news/Presspercent20Releases/Financial_literacy/FinLitStu dy05.htm National Survey Shows Americans Need to Get Financially Fit; Capital One and Consumer Action Find Majority of Americans Lack Basic Understanding of Credit Scores and the Fundamentals of Personal Finance Despite the fact that 65.1 percent of Americans consider themselves “very” or “highly” knowledgeable when it comes to personal finance, many fall short in a number of key areas according to the results of a new survey by consumer advocacy group Consumer Action and leading financial services provider Capital One (NYSE:COF).

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A majority of Americans (52 percent) do not regularly review their credit report each year. Twenty-three percent of Americans have never reviewed their credit report. More than one-third (36.1 percent) of Americans report that they do not use a budget to manage their family's expenses.

According to the results, America's IQ on personal finance also varies greatly with age.

Younger Americans are more inclined to use a budget compared to older Americans. Nearly 80 percent (79.7) of 18-19 year olds use a budget, compared to only 46.6 percent of Americans aged 70+ (plus).

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=70667&p=irolnewsArticle2&ID=752906&highlight= 2005 Back to School Season is Around the Corner, Capital One Annual Survey Finds Parents Need to Talk Dollars and Cents: When It Comes to Back to School Spending, Teen Girls Are Ahead of the Financial Curve Capital One Financial's (NYSE: COF) fifth annual back-to-school shopping survey shows that parents are missing the perfect opportunity to talk to their kids about making the most of their shopping dollars. This year's survey finds that more than 83 percent of high school and middle school students expect their parents to join them on back- to-school shopping trips, but an overwhelming 91 percent say their parents have not taken the time to discuss their back-to-school finances with them. The survey also finds that nearly 60 percent of parents will spend more than $125 per child on back to school costs this year, yet only a quarter of them are taking the time to discuss back to school budgeting. For the first time, this year's survey found surprising differences in teen girls' and boys' knowledge of money matters. Findings show that girls are more accurate in judging how much their parents will spend on back to school items—33 percent of girls responded more than $125 compared to just 25 percent of boys. When it comes to contributing to back to school necessities, more girls (53 percent) reported that they will contribute money to back to school shopping compared to only 48 percent of boys. When it comes to sharing the cost of back to school shopping, this year's study finds that 50 percent of teens plan to contribute to the bill, with almost 70 percent responding that the money will come from job earnings. Parents plan to pay for back-to-school purchases predominantly with cash (75percent), while 30 percent plan to pay using credit.

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http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=70667&p=irolnewsArticle2&ID=731104&highlight= Tweens Savvy About Savings, Weekly Reader Research/AICPA Survey Shows And they are savers. Indeed, when asked what they would do if given a gift of $100, 59 percent of children between the ages of 9 and 12 said they would save at least $50. More than half (53 percent) have savings accounts, and 47 percent said they have plans for saving and spending their money. Higher education—and, therefore, the prospect of higher earnings—motivates most “tweenagers” to save: 56 percent said they are putting money away for college. The Weekly Reader Research/AICPA survey also revealed:

56 percent of 9-12 year olds earn a weekly allowance, mostly by doing household chores; the average allowance among this group is $7.35 18 percent of these children spend all their allowance 18 percent of 12-year olds have a job outside the home 24 percent of "tweenagers" report that their parents force them to save 31 percent said their parents discuss finances with them; high on the list of financial topics are bills, budgets and the cost of education.

• • • •

Weekly Reader Research and the AICPA surveyed 1,260 children between the ages of 9 and 12 from January 11 - 18, 2006. http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060213/nym226.html?.v=36

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