Be slothful with finances
Finances tend to be complicated and require some mental manipulation of the most dreaded of all things: numbers. Failure to pay attention to loan terms and due dates can have severe consequences.
for Bankrate.com's Financial Literacy series in 2007 revealed that 34 percent of homeowners had no idea what type of mortgage they had -- whether it had a fixed or adjustable rate.
"I like to use the term 'financial complacency' to describe people that never really take the time to get the big picture of their finances," says Terry Rigg, editor of Budget Stretcher Web site and newsletter.
We prefer the term "sloth."
Avoidance is easy; paying attention is hard, especially when confronted with unpleasant facts like a hefty credit card bill or struggling to learn something new like investing basics just to enroll in a company-sponsored retirement plan.
"Americans don't really understand parts of those plans," says Wilcox. "This is probably due in part to Americans' reduced interest in mathematics relative to the rest of the world. Americans don't study it as intensely and they don't really understand the benefits of compound interest."