Teaching Teens Shopping Habits

teen shopping, shopping mall, saving money, shopping habitsHarrison is 17 years old from New Jersey, and loves playing guitar, tennis, and learning about current events.  He wants to be a doctor when he’s older and hopes to travel around the world.

What are teens spending their money on these days?  Studies show that it’s mostly spent on snacks, (such as candy bars, chips, etc.) video games, sometimes on clothes, but rarely ever on necessities.  We go to the mall with friends, go to the movies, go out to eat, and these activities become even more relevant as your teen gets his/her license.  In fact, on average, American teens in total spend more than $10 billion every year.  In order to be organized with our money and reach the personal goals that we all want to reach in life, we need to be regulated.

As a parent, it’s important to monitor your teen’s shopping habits, control impulse buying, and overall make sure that he/she is not spending money out of control.  Why is this important at such a young age where teens have almost no financial bearings whatsoever?  Our current buying habits directly reflect how they will spend in the future, when we have real jobs, are in real relationships, and have families of our own to take care of, bills to pay, among many other responsibilities.  My Dad, understanding the importance of this concept, has taken it upon himself to seek out a good and informative program that would help me learn these lessons.  I had already been careful with my money and didn’t spend too much on unnecessary items, but now after learning more, I was able to develop a financial plan and learn how and when to invest my money wisely.  The program that we used can be found here: http://hsfpp.nefe.org/students/channels.cfm?chid=54&tid=6&deptid=15.  (Click “Download Entire Unit” under the Unit 1 title, and more units can be found on the left sidebar; we printed out each unit and put them all in a binder for me to read and work on.)

I’m currently in the middle of the fourth lesson, and so far I have developed my own financial plan and am learning a lot about money and how to use it smarter and to my advantage.  It’s helped a lot, and I would recommend it to any teen that is starting to spend his/her own money for the first time.  Even parents can use it, as my Mom and Dad have had many realizations about what they should have done with their money in the past, and what they still can do to invest better for the future of our family.

Image: colorblindPICASO from Flickr 

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One Response to “Teaching Teens Shopping Habits”

  1. New Moon Girls
    July 21, 2011 at 4:21 am #

    Very good point on how current shopping habits will reflect the future. It almost seems that schools should start teaching students about budgeting…

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