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Thanks to the Recession, Teens Learn to Manage Money

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — A new study from Junior Achievement andThe Allstate Foundation shows that 81 percent of teens say the recession has motivated them to learn more about managing their money and parents are their number-one resource for financial planning, yet less than half of teens say they have discussed money management with their family.

“Much like the ‘birds and bees’ talk from previous eras, money management has become the topic that today’s teenagers desperately need to learn from their parents,” said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and chief executive officer of Junior Achievement USA™. “But, and also like the birds and bees, many of today’s parents may not feel up to the task of educating their children about money matters, so they hope their children learn what they need to know in other ways.”

Tougher economic conditions have pushed teens to make money management a higher priority than in the past. Nearly 90 percent of teens plan to save more and 78 percent will spend less in the wake of the recessive economy.

To help kick-start a family conversation about money management at home, Junior Achievement, in collaboration with The Allstate Foundation, recently launched a series of free online lessons that empower youth to own their future economic success. The online lessons, the first resource of its kind from Junior Achievement, engage kids in an online space to learn about money in a fun and entertaining way.

“It’s more important than ever to invest in America’s youth to ensure their personal financial well-being and the continued growth of the economy,” said Matt Winter, president and CEO, Allstate Financial. “The Allstate Foundation and Junior Achievement are reinventing the way our children learn how to weather a tough economy and manage their financial futures in the real world.”

Junior Achievement’s online and in-classroom curricula teach age-appropriate concepts around spending, sharing and saving money. Elementary students learn about taking responsibility for financial decisions, how to make those choices based on prioritizing needs and wants, and then develop a plan for spending and saving. Middle school students learn to take income into account to create a personal spending and savings plan that uses different payment methods, including credit. High school students build on these lessons and apply them to real life scenarios such as buying a car and paying for college.

Other key findings from the poll include:

  • 81 percent of teens surveyed say K-12 is the best time to learn money management.
  • Nearly 50 percent of teens are unsure of how to use a credit card effectively, yet 24 percent think high school or younger is when they should get their first credit card.
  • 73 percent of teens use a savings account, checking account, debit card or credit card, compared to 66 percent in 2009.
  • 89 percent of teens say they will be as financially well off as their parents.

 

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