It's hard not to trust the business acumen of a Girl Scout. As a group, they're tiny, well-organized, well-dressed and run a once-a-year racket with their cookie pushing, which, at $3.50 a box is nothing to scoff at. Still, a recent survey conducted by the Girl Scouts of the USA found that 88% of girls (not just scouts — the Girl Scout Research Institute polls girls outside of the organization as well) between the ages of 8 and 17 were already doubting their abilities to make financial decisions and feared a broke future.
The GSUSA study demonstrates that female children, regardless of age, understand that debt is bad, but often do not understand what debt actually is. Nearly half of them said that they didn't know how to use a credit card, had little understanding of what a credit score is and didn't know about fees and interest rates.
From Girls Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chavez:
“Our research is clearly telling us that girls understand the world—they know how important it is to be financially literate in their daily lives. It’s also telling us that too many girls lack the confidence needed to become financially independent and responsible citizens.”
While some, like the people over at Forbes, are using this as an example of how financially screwed we all are (and we are all screwed...royally), the fact that Girl Scouts USA even gives a shit about how financially well prepared young girls are for the future says so much for the forward-thinking organization that's already done so many remarkable things to improve these kids' lives. The GSUSA has tirelessly encouraged girls to become involved in STEM and business fields and now they're looking to make them money smart, too. I don't know about you, but that makes me pretty optimistic for these girls' futures.
(Who'll run this mutha? Girl Scouts.)
Image via John Moore/Getty.