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Preparing teens for the financial world PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

High school youth, soon to enter the adult world, are faced with an array of new learning experiences. One of the more daunting and difficult experiences is the responsibility of managing their financial future.

Whether a full-time student, a full-time employee or sometimes both simultaneously, teens are quickly faced with multiple decisions which often have consequences for many years.

It is estimated that in 2011, teen spending will reach over $91 billion. This money comes from jobs, allowances, money doled out by parents and as gifts.

Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts, estimates teens in the 15-17-year-old age group generate an average annual income of $4,023.

The importance of increasing financial literacy and capability for teens cannot be overstated. Currently, most youth report education in financial management comes primarily from their parents, even though many parents do not feel that they are good financial role models. Parents can help their teens by giving them opportunities to make good decisions, to set financial goals, and to live with their decisions, no matter whether the consequences are good or difficult to handle.

What kind of role model are parents for their teens about saving money? Have they had discussions about the importance of having savings to fall back on in case of an emergency or to accumulate funds for future goals?

If not, this is a good time to start. April is Financial Literacy Month. Take the opportunity to talk to them about their future goals and putting money aside to achieve them.

When young adults go to work or to college and experience financial freedom for the first time, they will be thankful.

Resources to help parents raise financially literate teens can be found at www.extension.org/pages/Financial-Security:-Children-and-Money.

For more information, contact Gisele Jefferson, Golden Plains Area Extension, Family and Consumer Science/Youth Development at 970-345-2287 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Holyoke Enterprise May 26, 2011