The charts below help show the importance of financial education, something that is not taught in American schools. Americans spend 17 years of their lives in school (many taking on tens of thousands of dollars in debt) in order to prepare themselves to find the best job possible. There is not one class during those 17 years that educates students on how to live a healthy financial life with the income you earn from your job. In addition, many of the jobs kids are going to school for today are not there waiting for them when they finish school (see lawyers).
Here are two unfortunate charts that summarize the abysmal state of American financial balance. The first shows 47% of households have a 0% savings rate.
The second shows the stress financial difficulties have on both work and life. If you spend the bulk of your day worried about paying your bills there is no question it will negatively impact both your daily work and family life.
There is no discussion currently on the table for education reform in the United States so these trends will be with us for many years to come.