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Monday, December 20, 2010

South Dakotans Worse Than Average at Money Management

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has published results of its nationwide Financial Capability Study. KELO follows the order of the press release for South Dakota and puts the good news first: we South Dakotans are third best at "financial literacy." In this survey, "financial literacy" is determined by performance on a five-question financial quiz that you can take online to see how you score compared to your fellow South Dakotans. (Perfect 5 for me; South Dakota's average is 3.27; U.S. average is 2.99.)

In terms of what we actually do with our financial knowledge, South Dakotans are worse than national averages. 23% of South Dakotans spent more than they made... and that's not counting buyinh a house or car. 62% of us budget the way I play whist: living from paycheck to paycheck without much of a plan. 65% of us lack a three-month rainy day fund. 26% of South Dakotans have taken non-bank loans (e.g., predatory payday loans) in the past five years. 64% of us don't comparison-shop for credit cards (although on that score, does it really matter?).

It just goes to show that doing well on a quiz doesn't mean you'll do well in life.


  1. Hey Cory:

    I got 5, too!

    I wonder: If South Dakotans behave more irresponsibly than average in financial practice, why is South Dakota among the states least devastated by the recent recession?

  2. I only got a 4. I'm blaming it on dyslexia.

  3. Got a 5 but am/have been guilty of some of the same gaffes listed. So maybe I am becoming a South Dakotan after all!

  4. I also got a 5. What happend Bill?

  5. I missed the one about what happens to the price of bonds when interest rates change. Got my ups and downs mixed up (or was it down?)

  6. That one made me stop and think, too, Bill. Rather far from a day-to-day personal finance question.


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