At EBN’s annual conference in September, keynoter Dave Ramsey said the recession was helping to make “credit cards the cigarettes of the financial world.” New survey stats from Country Financial seem to back him up, as more consumers say they plan to go cold turkey on credit.

CF reports that 61% of respondents say they’ve been adversely affected by the recession (that few?), with 52% saying their personal road to recovery will be at least two years long.

As they begin to plan ahead, 25% say they’ll be less reliant on credit, 21% plan to continue sticking to a strict budget and 18% plan to save and invest more. Holy cow – saving more? Who are these people and what have they done with the real Americans?!

I’m kidding, of course. Although I never would want to live through this downturn again, the downturn has clearly taught us all valuable lessons about what’s important and what we can really do without. While employees are in hoarder mode, I would encourage employers to increase investments in financial education/planning/counseling benefits.

“Making permanent, positive changes in how we all handle our money will make a big difference in achieving long-term financial security,” says Keith Brannan, vice president of financial security planning at Country Financial. “With time and discipline, most can achieve their financial security goals.”

Strike while the iron is hot; offer employees more tools to learn that discipline. After all, the cost of the worst recession in nearly 70 years: hundreds of billions. The cost of consumers learning how to recover: priceless.

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