How Kids Think About Money

Brad M. Griffin | May 31, 2011

How are teenagers attitudes toward money shifting?

Last week the Charles Schwab corporation released a report on their Teens and Money Survey. In it they share some insights on kids changing perspectives as they live through a recession. Ninety percent claimed to have been affected by the recession, often because of personal financial hardship (or at least perceived hardship).

A few highlights of the survey of 1,000 16-18 year-olds:

  • Two-thirds of teens (64%) are more grateful for what they have.
  • The majority (58%) of teens say they are less likely to ask for things they want.
  • The majority (56%) of teens have a greater appreciation for their parents hard work.
  • More than a third (39%) of teens appreciate their families more.
  • Seventy-Seven percent think of themselves as Super Savers.
  • More than half (51%) of teens say it is important to understand the consequences of borrowing money.
  • Compared to 2007, the percentage who claim to be knowledgeable about how to manage a credit card declined from 64% to 39%.
  • Over three-quarters (77%) of teens say their parents are great role models for money management.

Overall the report suggests that older teenagers are acting less entitled (or at least viewing themselves that way) and showing more appreciation for their parents and their stuff.

What do you thinkbased on the kids you know, is this a realistic take on their attitudes toward money? What resonates with or rubs against your experience?

Brad M. Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Senior Director of Content for the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, writer, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of over a dozen books, including 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager, Faith in an Anxious World, Growing Young, several Sticky Faith books, Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating Our Digital World, and Can I Ask That? Brad and his family live in Southern California, where he serves as Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries at Mountainside Communion.


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