25 Times More Spent on Marketing Financial Products than on Financial Education

November 26, 2013, Written By Bill Hardekopf

The Consumer Federal Protection Bureau released a report indicating that the United States spends 25 times more money each year on marketing financial products than on financial education.

The study, called “Navigating the Market: A comparison of spending on financial education and financial marketing,” shows that approximately $670 million a year is spent on providing financial education through government offices, financial institutions, nonprofit organizations and charitable foundations. By comparison, the country spends around $17 billion marketing consumer financial products. This does not even include products related to college loans, retirement and other investments.

The CFPB put matters further into perspective. Based on that data, an average of $2 is spent each year on financial education for each American, versus $54 a year on financial services marketing. This could help explain some of the poor money management practices in many parts of the country.

What can you do to change this? Find a way to support financial education. Of the $670 million spent on financial education, $472 million came from nonprofit organizations. Show your support for these organizations. State governments only accounted for $7 million of those total expenditures. Reach out to your local representatives, asking them to make a difference in this area.

It only takes a few voices to get people’s attention about the need for financial education. Hopefully, a much-needed change is on the horizon.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of November 26, 2013. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of LowCards.com and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
View all posts by Bill Hardekopf