Teen Spending

Are teenagers learning to manage money wisely?


Teenage American consumers spent a mind-boggling $159 billion last year on everything from movies and French fries to clothes and iPods. Experts say teens are spending more than ever before because they have more to spend. About 10 percent of teens have credit cards, nearly twice that number have debit cards and about 20 percent get money simply by asking their parents for it. Consumer advocates — as well as rappers and professional football players — say kids aren't learning how to use “plastic” wisely. In fact, parents themselves are setting poor examples. Credit card loan delinquencies are at record levels, while Americans' saving rate is at an all-time low. Critics say the credit card industry is too aggressive in marketing to younger and younger ...

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