Date of Award:

1989

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Department name when degree awarded

Home Economics and Consumer Education

Advisor/Chair:

Jean M. Lown

Abstract

This study investigated the level of financial satisfaction of the family money manager in relation to socioeconomic characteristics, attitudes towards credit, and credit practices. The population was members of the USU Community Credit Union. Data were collected with a mail survey questionnaire from a random sample of 500 subjects. After multiple follow-up attempts, the response rate was 55.2 percent.

The dependent variable was financial satisfaction; the independent variables were categorized into three groups: socioeconomic characteristics, credit attitudes, and credit practices. The conceptual model of this study hypothesized that there is a relationship between the dependent and independent variables. Age, education, home value, household income, and savings were positively related to financial satisfaction. Those who felt comfortable with larger amounts of credit payment were associated with higher income levels and higher satisfaction levels. People with favorable attitudes toward borrowing money to pay for houses were more likely to be satisfied with their financial conditions. Convenience credit card users were more satisfied than installment users. Higher debt repayment-to-income ratios were associated with lower levels of financial satisfaction. Respondents' feeling about their credit obligations was the most powerful predictor of financial satisfaction; people who were concerned about their credit obligations were likely to be less satisfied with their financial situations that those who were not. Concern over credit obligations was not highly related to socioeconomic characteristics or debt repayment-to- income ratio. Accordingly, the subjective assessment of credit obligations was more important in explaining financial satisfaction than the objective measurement of family debt burden such as debt repayment-to-income ratio.

Fifty-two percent of the variation in financial satisfaction was accounted for by socioeconomic characteristics, credit attitudes, and credit practices. Credit practices were more powerful predictors of financial satisfaction than socioeconomic characteristics. This result illustrates the importance of credit management as a contributing factor in financial satisfaction.

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