American teenagers, college students, and recent grads earn and spend more money than ever before.
Did you know?…
- As a cohort spent over $172 billion in 2002. (National Endowment for Financial Education, 2003)
- Average expenditures: $104/ week; $5,408/year (Teenage Research Unlimited, 2001)
- Forty-one percent of students work full time in the summer; 22 percent work 20-35 hours per week and 18 percent work 5-20 hours weekly. (Youth and Money Survey, 1999)
- Twenty-four percent earned over $5,000 per year, while 26 percent reported earnings of $2,500 - $4,999. (Youth and Money Survey, 1999)
- Receive $50/week from parents (National Longitudinal Survey of Youh)
- One in three carry credit cards, even more have an ATM card.
- High School graduates stand to earn over $1 million in adulthood—without adjusting for inflation. (NEFE, 2001)
- Impacted by “Premature affluence” (Institute of Social Research, 1983)
- Undergraduate students carry an average of three credit cards each and have an average credit card debt of $2,327 in 2002—a 15 percent decrease from the 2000 average! (Nellie Mae, 2002)
- The average college freshman has 2.5 credit cards; by graduation they have almost tripled the number of cards they hold. (Nellie Mae, 2002)
- Graduating students have an average of $20,402 in combined education loan and credit card balances. (Nellie Mae, 2002)
- Graduate students have an average credit card debt of $4,776 and hold an average of four cards each. (Nellie Mae, 2000)
- Twenty-eight percent of students with a credit card roll over debt each month. (Nellie Mae, 2000)
- University administrators state that they lose more students to credit card debt, than to academic failure. (Utah Mentor, 2003; The Voice Digital News, 2003)
- We have recently seen an over 50% increase in bankruptcies among people under age 25.
- 1.4 million families filed for personal bankruptcy in 2001. (American Bankruptcy Institute, 2003)
Financial literacy education:
- Only 21 percent of students between the ages of 16 and 22 say they have taken a personal finance course through school. (Youth and Money Survey, 1999)
- Ninety-four percent of youth cite their parents as primary source of financial education. (Youth and Money Survey, 1999)
- Thirty percent of youth report that their parents rarely or never discuss saving and investing with them. Forty-seven percent say their parents rarely or never discuss household budgeting with them. (Youth and Money Survey, 1999)
- Sixty-one percent of parents say that parents and schools should share the responsibility for teaching children about financial education. (Parents, Youth and Money Survey, 2001)
- Research has shown that as little as 10 hours of personal financial education positively affects students spending and savings habits. (National Endowment for Financial Education, 1998)
If you’re in high school, college, or just entering the workforce, a world of possibilities lies ahead. Some of the choices you make now can dramatically affect your financial future. We created a special section called Start Out Smart! to help young people gain confidence and develop skills in handling money. Following are some additional tips and resources for building money-management skills that will benefit you now and far into the future. Or visit the Louisiana Jump$tart Coalition’s website, which has additional links to financial information.
Consider going to college. The Louisiana State Treasurer oversees investments in the Student Tuition Assistance Revenue Trust Program (START Savings Program), which makes it easier for parents, grandparents and other individuals to save money for college. Louisiana also offers the TOPS scholarship program for graduating seniors who qualify. Visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance website for more information on TOPS and other financial award programs for higher education.
Credit Cards. Before you fill out the first credit card application you get in the mail, take a few minutes to learn what you’re really signing up for. Learn about why debt is considered an “anti-investment” on Tomorrowsmoney.org while you’re at it.
Saving. Saving money doesn’t seem like much fun. But wouldn’t you like to have the money you need in the future to do the things you’ve always wanted? Get motivated to begin saving by checking out “Saving and Investing: When, Why & How”.
401(k) is Key. Did you know that your employer might offer you free money for retirement? It’s possible. If your company offers an employer-sponsored retirement savings program such as a 401(k), you can put just a little bit of money away now and see it grow exponentially for your retirement. Learn more about 401(k)s today. It’s never too early to start saving for retirement.