There was an <a href=>article</a> in today’s <a href=>The Forum of Fargo Moorhead</a> about a new survey showing that North Dakotans may not be as financially capable as the average American.

Overall, the results showed some signs of North Dakota’s economic strength in the midst of the recession. The survey was conducted from June to October 2009.

Even though our area has not been hit as hard as other parts of the country, according to the survey about 20 percent of North Dakotans reported that their spending had exceeded their income in the past year, which was far below the national average of 55 percent.

But 62 percent of North Dakota respondents said they didn’t have a “rainy day” fund that would cover living expenses for three months in case of emergencies, including an illness or the loss of a job. That’s more than the national average of 60 percent.

And 27 percent of North Dakotans reported relying on higher-cost, non-bank borrowing – such as a payday loan, tax refund advance or pawn shop. That’s more than the national average of 24 percent.

Almost half of the state’s young adults, those ages 18 to 34, said they had engaged in non-bank borrowing in the past five years, while just 10 percent of those 55 and up did so.

I hear a lot of people saying things like they have never been good with money and finances. One of the main reasons, is that most of us were never taught how to handle finances. That is why I feel it is so important to teach children about money when they are young.

I have a few friends who have recently been tracking their spending and are surprised how much less they have been spending since consciously spending their money.  Another thing is try to cut back on dining out.

I am working on a workshop for children and money coming up in January and February. Instead of just speaking to them, it will be an hour long workshop of different stations, each with an activity dealing with money and finances. Please contact me if you are interested in more information and suggestions of times that would work better for you (weekends, weeknights, and times). I will also offer workshops for adults in the future.