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fundaMENTAL: The Mind-Money Connection

Understanding why consumers make certain decisions is key to supporting and attracting credit union members. To this end, Filene hosted a colloquium titled: fundaMENTAL: The Mind-Money Connection, and we invited experts to share their thoughts about how people relate to finances and debt, and how they go about making rational financial decisions.

    Executive Summary

    As a whole, we overspend and over borrow, don’t save enough for the future, and make financial mistakes that can have consequences for decades. Financial institutions address this issue by offering education. But study after study has shown that financial literacy doesn’t lead to better outcomes for individuals. Why does financial education fail to improve behavior? And how can credit unions help members manage their financial lives with confidence?

    Four presenters and a cross-generational panel of consumers offered suggestions for how to conquer the divide between information and action. This report summarizes presentations on the following:

    • Insights from the U.S. Financial Diaries Project by Tim Ogden
    • How temptation gets in the way of managing debt
    • Understanding how different generations approach finances
    • What can pre-commitment contracts do for your members


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