The recession has had a tremendous impact on teenagers, Charles Schwab found in its “2011 Teens & Money Survey.” It’s taught them the value of responsible money management and saving.
Ninety percent of the 1,008 teens between the ages of 16 and 18 surveyed said they have been affected by the recession. Sixty-four percent said the recession has made them more grateful for what they have, and 58% said they are less likely to ask for things they want as a result of the recession.
In addition, 56% now have a greater appreciation for their parents’ hard work, and 39% appreciate their families more.
Seventy-five percent said their parents or guardians have talked to them about their financial situation over the past year, resulting in 80% of teens believing the recession isn’t over yet, and 45% thinking the recession will continue beyond 2011.
Seventy-seven percent of the teens said they now consider themselves “super savers,” while only 23% characterize themselves as “big spenders.” These teens have an average of $1,000 saved, with 76% of them planning to use the money to help their parents pay for college. Fewer than 5% agreed with the statement, “You might as well spend as much as you can today, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.”
“It seems clear that the Great Recession has changed the mindset of teens,” said Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, senior vice president of Schwab Community Services. “It has given these ‘Recession Generation’ youth a deeper appreciation for what they have and how hard their parents work. 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.”
Other lessons learned:
Seventy-three percent agreed that it is important to have enough savings on hand in case of an emergency. Fifty-nine percent said it is easy to get carried away and spend too much when times are good, and 51% agreed that it is important to understand the consequences of borrowing money.
A majority of the teens said they would like to learn about strategies for saving money, how to budget and how to manage a credit card.