Americans’ fiscal IQ lacking

A new poll indicates that many Americans have a limited understanding of financial matters.

The poll, conducted by non-profit organization CAI, questioned 1,000 individuals by phone, asking them questions that gauged their fiscal knowledge about a variety of financial matters, including how the government was spending money. On a scale of 1 to 100, respondents received a fiscal IQ average of 61.

Dave Walker, founder of CAI, said the results suggest to him that a system needs to be put in place that better informs consumers about money-based issues and how they're solved.

"This national poll serves to demonstrate the need for a meaningful national citizen education and engagement campaign on the federal government's finances in order to prepare the way for tough choices," said Walker.

He added that federal elected officials should also consider taking fiscal IQ exams so their constituents can rest assured that they know how to handle money matters.

In the meantime, consumers can do a world of good for their own financial situations by keeping credit card balances low, checking their credit reports occasionally to make sure they're accurate, and limiting credit accounts to only those that are truly needed.