Thursday, May 8, 2008

Financial Literacy for Teen

Presenter: Vickie Beene-Beavers

Some Statistics (from 2004):
98% of teens reported spending rather than saving.
More than 1 in 5 youths (12-19) had their own credit card or access to one of their parents'.

Consumer Reports survey of 12 year olds:
28% didn't know that credit cards are a form of borrowing.
40% didn't know that banks charge interest
34% didn't know that you can't tell how good product is from by how much it's advertised.

Today's teen discretionary income:
US teens spent $155 billion in 2000 (mostly on clothing, cds and make up)
US teens spend $158 billion in 2005 and $168 billion in 2006

Children's spending has roughly doubled every ten years for the past 30 years, tripled in the 1990's.
Average adolescent spends $264 a month
Yearly spending increases from nearly $1500 at 12-13 to $4500 by ages 16 to17.
More young adults filed for bankruptcy than graduated from college in 2003.

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In 2000 the SEC said that whole the problem used to be lac of information, now there is a glut of information. The problem being that people don't necessarily have the foundation in financial basics that allow them to use the information they have.

Advertising in teen magazines are for things that are typically very expensive (Coach, Yves St. Laurent, etc.) Not just for women- young men want to look good and will spend the money to do so and don't forget about the rims for their cars (which you can now get on layaway). Cell phones and new technology are the hippest new things that all young people want. - Young celebrities throw money around and they're the role models for our young people.

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Basic Financial Literacy: Introduction to the knowledge and development of real-life skills for personal money-management.

Why should we be concerned:
  • It's what we do, we provide information to the public to assist them in making informed choices.
  • We can help support 21st Century Learning practices by offering students what they need to understand.
  • Today's teens are future taxpayers and need a reason to support our institutions if local governmental budgets dwindle.

There have been a number of examples of teens becoming entrepreneurs who have been very successful. Many more young people have the ability to better themselves and other people's live, but need the support (from people like us) to succeed.
Why should we have Financial Literacy programming?
  • To attract new library users and expose them to the value, role an resource of the public library.
  • Opportunities for intergenerational programming and peer role-modeling
  • Parents, teachers and librarians can discuss how important literacy is for future success.
  • Community outreach, local industries and businesses will want to partner with the library.
  • Still supporting our kids.
  • This is our chance to support and introduce the Economic Standards for the State of Massachusetts.

2004 Harvard School of Ed study found that teens in entrepreneurship programs:
Increase in independent reading by 4%
Demonstrated a 32% increase in attending college
occupational aspirations rose by 44%

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Actual Programming:

Vickie ran week-long programs introducing teens to the way finances work as well as the ways they could start a business. She had teen entrepreneurs and adult entrepreneurs come in and talked to teens. She mostly did advertising in newspapers.

Vickie put together an extensive presentation including many statistics and ideas that I'm sure she will be interested in sharing with you. Please email her at for more information.

I will also be posting her bibliography as soon as I get it.

-Sarah C.

1 comment:

Dewey said...

Great post, I own a company that focuses on credit management for young adults. I have been trying to get my company, Early Bird Credit Training in front of our schools for a while. Do you have any suggestions? I feel like our schools are very close minded when it comes to personal finance and credit management training. If you have a moment please go to Any feedback would be appreciated. I think we could make a big difference in MA if we are given the opportunity.