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Note from Flashman: Most schools are back in session after winter break and teachers are gearing up
to begin teaching the HSFPP. This weeks update article is about financial personality types and should
probably spark a pretty lively classroom discussion. This weeks update website pick of the week is a
good companion to article both can be used to introduce the HSFPP to your students. Both draws
from national surveys.
The following information comes from a national survey conducted to find out how Americans view money.
While there were some common themes running through the survey's findings, one thing for sure is that
Americans are not of one mind about money and its impact on their lives. Here are the categories that the
survey was able to map out.
Left Out - those who have little and want much (6% of the population).
The first cluster group called the Left Out possesses the strongest faith in
the value of money and its
importance in measuring a successful life. At the same time, the Left Out are the most unhappy with their
financial status and are highly pessimistic about the future.
American Dreamers - those who have some and want more (21% of the population).
The second group is called the American Dreamers because they are in better
financial shape than the first
group but are still striving for more. The Dreamers feel generally content with their average financial status but
they desire more wealth. They see money as a vehicle for obtaining freedom, excitement, and less stress in
life. The American Dreamers are trying to save but they hold a lot of credit card debt.
High Achievers - those who have much and want much more (24% of the population).
The third distinct attitudinal group is characterized by a very high level of satisfaction with its financial condition
and a very positive outlook for the future combined with the highest levels of education and income. Not
only are the High Achievers well off, they embrace wealth. They want to be wealthy and express
a belief that money is important to a successful life.
Settled and Satisfied - those who are comfortable and do not desire more (38%of the population).
Nearly four in ten Americans (38%) belong to the fourth cluster group, called the Settled and Satisfied
because they are highly content with their financial situation and they hesitate to want more wealth. Unlike
the first three cluster groups, this group places little value on money as a measure of success, and they are
uncertain whether they want to be wealthy. They have enough to be comfortable, but wealth is not that
important to them.
Wealth-averse - those who have little and are reluctant to want more (11% of the population).
The fifth and final cluster, the Wealth-averse, rejects the importance of money
and decidedly does not want
to be wealthy. These Americans are decidedly non-materialistic, believing more than most that wealth
makes a person greedy and insensitive. This aversion to wealth does not mask the need that members of this
group have for more money in their lives, and a lot of debt. The Wealth-averse have had to forego medical
care, college, or retirement because of a lack of money. The Wealth-averse may need money, but they
do not seek it.
Source: Adapted from Family Economics NEWS USDA Cooperative State Research,
Extension Service July 2000
1. How do attitudes about money affect ones satisfaction with life?
2. How do you think it would affect you and your relationship if the person
you planned to marry or
live with had a different financial personality type?
3. What do you think someone from each of the five attitudes groups would think
children? How would their attitudes affect their decision about number of children?
HSFPP weekly update website pick of the week:
This is an excellent website to visit to learn about how students feel about
money as well as how much
financial understanding they have.
Flashman suggestion You could select questions from the national survey to ask the teenagers in your
class at the beginning of the semester. They could fill out their own responses to the questions and then the
class could go over the answers that were given by students who participated in the nationwide survey.
Teenagers always want to know how they compare to others