Kids got the message. They saw what happened to the finances of their family and their friends’ families the last four years, and they have a whole new attitude about money. That is the uplifting conclusion from Schwab’s 2011 Teens & Money Survey.
The Great Reset, as this recession has been called, reached way beyond Moms and Dads who in varying degrees have had to rethink their savings, career and mortgage; and even their retirement ambitions. The recession reached teens in a visceral way, and many are now rethinking their material ambitions as well as their congenital indifference to things like budgets, late fees and cell-phone upgrades.
According to the survey:
• Nine in 10 teens say they were affected by the recession.
• Nearly 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.
• Nearly three-quarters (73%) of teens say it is important to have an emergency fund.
• More than half (51%) of teens say it is important to understand debt.
All this newfound self-awareness is heartening. A mind-boggling 86% of teens say they would like the chance to learn about budgets, taxes, credit cards and savings strategies in class — before making money management mistakes in the real world.