And just 12 percent of the girls surveyed say they feel confident in making financial decisions. "This research is clearly telling us that girls understand the world - they know how important it is to be financially literate in their daily lives," said Cathleen Sparrow, CEO of Girl Scouts of Utah. "It's also telling us that too many girls lack the confidence needed to become financially independent and responsible citizens."
The study, which surveyed 1,040 girls ages 8 to 17, found that girls are averse to debt. However, in order to avoid debt, these girls say they need more education about how credit works. In fact, nearly 4 in 10 girls say they don't know how to use a credit card, only 38 percent know what a credit score is, and just 37 percent know how credit card interest and fees work. Perhaps not surprisingly, a vast majority (90 percent) say that it is important for them to learn how to manage their money.
Despite the recession and economic uncertainty, girls are bullish about their financial futures. Some 88 percent say they are likely to make more money than their parents, and nearly all girls say it is likely that they will have jobs or careers they enjoy (98 percent), be able to provide for their families (96%), and own their own homes (95 percent) one day.
This generation of girls is financially empowered and independent. Great majorities feel gender is no barrier to what they can accomplish financially, and they envision a future family structure where they are fully engaged in financial decision making and planning. When it comes to financial capability, 7 in 10 girls say both men and women are equally likely to be financially responsible (73 percent) or in a lot of debt (72 percent).
"Girl Scouting offers girls an opportunity to attain these skills and gain a greater understanding of the financial world in an environment that is supportive and encouraging," said Sparrow. "Our financial literacy programs give girls the skills they need to succeed in life."
Girl Scouts of Utah offers a financial empowerment program that ensures girls have the opportunities to build their business sense and hone their financial literacy skills. Girls build on these skills as they progress through the K−12 curriculum to become knowledgeable, confident, and self-reliant participants in a global economy.
The complete study can be found at: www.girlscouts.org/research