Just in Time
By Jonathan Clements
I USED TO THINK
anybody could be taught to manage money sensibly. I no longer believe that.
When I was in my 20s and scraping by on a junior reporter’s salary, I had some sense for the financial stress suffered by everyday Americans. But after a handful of years of diligently saving, I was able to escape
those daily worries. Many Americans, alas, never do
This was hammered home when I recently took the financial well-being questionnaire offered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). It involves answering 10 questions—things like whether you can handle a major unexpected expense, whether your finances control your life and whether giving a birthday or wedding gift puts a strain on your finances for the month.
I scored an 86, which is the highest
possible score for my age group when the questionnaire is self-administered. I don’t tell you this to brag. Take the questionnaire
yourself and you'll realize it isn’t exactly difficult to earn a high score. Most HumbleDollar readers, I suspect, will notch around 70 or higher.
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