Teens have gotten smart about money
American teenagers now have a greater appreciation for the sacrifices their parents make on their behalf, a new survey says.
"You might as well spend as much as you can today -- because you don't know what tomorrow will bring," an anonymous teen quoted in the report says.
According to the study, America's teens have a deeper appreciation for what they do have, namely how hard their parents have worked to keep a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, and in many cases, pave a financial path to college.
"It seems clear that the Great Recession has changed the mindset of teens," says Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, senior vice president at Schwab Community Services. "It has given these 'Recession Generation' youth a deeper appreciation for what they have and how hard their parents work," and this "may be the silver lining to the economic downturn since it gives parents and educators an enhanced opportunity to communicate critical lessons about financial decision-making." Post continues after video.
The study reveals some interesting trends:
- 64% are "more grateful for what they have."
- 58% want fewer material goods.
- 56% have a "greater appreciation" for their parents' hard work.
- 80% believe the economy remains in a recession.
- 45% think the recession will still be here in 2012.
However, there is good news for banks too, if not so much for the consumer economy: More teens are becoming "savers" (77%), while just 23% viewed themselves as "spenders." Additionally, a large majority said the money they are saving is earmarked for college.
Schwab also found that teens have learned some important financial lessons:
- It is important to have enough emergency savings for when times get tough (73%).
- It is easy to get carried away and spend too much when times are good (59%).
- It is important to understand the consequences of borrowing money (51%).
Financially speaking, it appears that this generation is growing up fast. Unfortunately, with the unemployment rate for America's teens hovering around 25%, it might be a while before they can put their lessons into practice.
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