This may be a surprise for some, but teens are listening and they are worried about the economy. Not only are they watching their parents and stories on the news, but teens are feeling the effects first hand, and they’re talking about it. Junior Achievement and The Allstate Foundation conducted a poll of U.S. teenagers to gauge their thoughts on the economy, with some surprising statistics:
- More than 50 percent say they talk about the economy with their friends.
- 53 percent of teens surveyed say they’re choosing activities that cost less money.
- Nearly three-in-ten teens (29 percent) said that the economy is causing them anxiety.
- One-third of all teens report less job availability.
- More than three-quarters (77 percent) of the teens polled say that their parents are talking about the economy more than they used to.
- Nearly half (49 percent) said their parents had discussed family finances with them as a result of the economy.
Since the state of the economy is on their minds, now is the perfect time for parents to seize the opportunity to talk to their children about money management. Sometimes broaching the topic of financial literacy is easier said than done, especially if you yourself are a little unsure of the basics of personal finance. With that in mind, Junior Achievement created a new series of free, downloadable teaching tools to help parents talk to their children about smart money management. The lessons, called Junior Achievement $ave, USA, are posted at www.ja.org, and cover such topics as budgeting, the importance of saving, understanding the cost of credit and how to use it, and planning how to pay for college. The lessons are sponsored by The Allstate Foundation and can serve as a great learning tool for children, teens and parents.
There’s no better time than the present to talk to your kids about personal finance. See what they’re learning in school, what they already know. They may surprise you. Once you open that dialogue with them and take away the taboo of talking about money, your whole family can benefit from a financial education.
Guest post from John M. Box, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Education, JA Worldwide. Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, 137 individual area operations reach more than four million students in the United States, with an additional five million students served by operations in 123 other countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.ja.org.