Teen Girls Hold Power Over Family Spending

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Thursday, June 30, 2011

Teen Girls Hold Power Over Family Spending

It may not be news to parents of teenage girls but researchers confirmed it yesterday: no-one can stop their 16-year-old daughter from deciding how the family spends its money.

The willpower and determination of teenage girls gives them a big say in how a family’s spending money goes on everything from food and meals out to mobile phones and, of course, clothes.

Teenage boys do not show up at all in the analysis that tried to trace the influence of young people on household spending.

Children who reach the age of 21 and live at home have less say over the family budget. Parents appear to be more resistant to their bargaining power the older they get – even though they may have a job and be bringing in their share of income.

The findings on the irresistible spending power of teenage girls were calculated from the United Kingdom's Office for National Statistics records of family spending during the 80s and 90s.

Researchers examined how much money went on services and leisure goods in different kinds of homes. They checked spending on food, restaurant meals, alcohol, tobacco, services, leisure, heating, transport, clothes and sports and entertainment equipment in 2,745 British families.

They found: ‘Teenage girls in the UK typically play an active role in family decisions about the allocation of household resources. But older children, those over the age of 21, who are still living with their parents, appear to have no say over household decisions.’

Source: Daily Mail