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Consumer Voices on Financial Rules to Live By
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For financial educators and others who help people with decision-making, there is evidence that providing financial rules of thumb to consumers can work better than more detailed and complex financial education in some situations. To further explore the potential of rules of thumb for financial education, we conducted focus groups with consumers to learn more about financial rules of thumb. 8 We wanted to explore what they know about and how they use rules of thumb, and how useful rules of thumb are in guiding positive financial behaviors. In brief, we found that consumers in the focus groups interpreted the term “rules of thumb” to include a broad array of financial goals and aspirations, common financial advice, and specific rules of thumb. These findings suggest that common financial rules of thumb are fairly widely known among many consumers. These rules are helpful in shaping consumers’ financial goals, and appear to work in some domains and have some role in financial decision making.