Study: Hoosiers Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck

By Mary Collins

Study: Hoosiers Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck

December 9, 2010 Updated Dec 9, 2010 at 9:56 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind., (Indiana's NewsCenter)--If you're living paycheck to paycheck, your rainy day fund is bone dry and you don't know why interest rates on bonds go up or down, then you're probably a typical Hoosier.

Results of a nationwide study suggest that residents of Indiana, on the average, are less financially literate than other Americans and that 68 percent of Hoosiers find it hard to pay their bills every month.

The Investor Education Foundation of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a Washington, D.C.- based self-policing agency for investment brokers and dealers, conducted the survey. The agency promotes education about personal finance.

Data in the survey was gathered from June to October 2009 from at least 500 respondents in each state.
Questions focused on respondent's spending habits, how they handle money and other financial knowledge.

The result was not to create a ranking of the states but rather to shine a light on the topics people in the state needed to learn more about, said Gerri Walsh, vice president of investor education for FINRA.

The results suggest a lot of improvement is needed in every state, but she said the nationwide recession, high unemployment, layoffs and general hard times of the past three years are probably reflected in the surveys results.

"This is a snapshot of conditions and behaviors at one point in time. The goal is to repeat the survey to compare in future years," she said.

About two-thirds of Hoosiers and most Americans live paycheck to paycheck and don't have savings for an emergency. A similar number does not bother to comparison shop for the best interest rates and features of credit cards.

And 28 percent of Hoosiers have borrowed money from payday lenders and other high-interest-rate sources in recent years, which is higher than the national average of 24 percent.

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