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Tweens influence family spending PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

Tweens are a group of about 20 million youth between the ages of 8 and 12 years old. Collectively, they spend about $43 billion each year. Not only do they spend their own money, but they influence family spending on everything from cell phones to vacations.

For example, automakers estimate that tweens influence about $50 billion in parental spending on new and used vehicles, cars and pickups. They have so much influence, a new term has been coined for this behavior: “kidfluence.”

Parents should be asking themselves how much influence they have on their tweens’ spending and saving. Are they eye witnesses to parental arguments over money or do they live with good role models who have financial goals and a plan to achieve them? Do parents talk to their tweens about the family financial situation, especially if budgets and goals have had to be revised during the recent recession? On the other hand, do parents shelter them from the harsh economic realities of the family finances?

During the tween years, it is important to learn about saving and sharing with others, as well as spending. Delaying spending and saving money for future goals are healthy money habits to learn early in life. Both are habits that will serve tweens well throughout their lifetimes. Most adults today wish they had saved more in their earlier years. It is important to share these life lessons as parents strive to positively “influence” their children.

April is Financial Literacy Month. Take every opportunity to talk to tweens about money and provide many chances for them to learn about spending, saving and sharing, even if they make mistakes. Both parents and their children will reap long-term rewards.

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

Holyoke Enterprise May 26, 2011