At age 27, you might expect your child to be relatively
self-sufficient. However, one in four teens say they will probably
still be hitting up mom and dad for money when they are that old.
That's one finding of the 2013 Teens and Personal Finance Poll
released last week by Junior Achievement USA and The Allstate
Budgeting and money management are concerns
looked at the attitudes of teens between 14-18 years old and found
36 percent believe they will be better off financially than their
parents. However, that confidence may come, in part, from an
expectation that they will receive financial support from their
parents well into adulthood.
While most teens say they should achieve financial independence
between the ages of 18-24, others think they will need help longer.
Of those surveyed, 25 percent say they won't be financially
independent until between 25-27 years of age, and 4 percent think
they will be older than 28. An optimistic 1 percent sees their
financial independence occurring between the ages of 16-17.
It appears some teens may be feeling hesitant about the future
because they lack
basic money management skills
. Of those polled, a significant percentage said they were somewhat
or extremely unsure about their ability to do the following.
- Invest money: 34 percent
- Budget successfully: 23 percent
- Use credit cards: 20 percent
Financial literacy important
The poll results come just in time for April, which is National
Financial Literacy Month. Typically, financial literacy is defined
as the knowledge necessary to practice sound money management. It
may include basics such as balancing a checking and savings for
Sound financial literacy may help teens
become financially independent at an earlier
, and according to Allstate, a teen's financial education begins at
"Parents continue to be the No. 1 influence on teens when it
comes to money, so helping their teens set financial goals and take
steps to meet them should pay off financially for both teens and
their parents," said Don Civgin, president and chief executive
officer of Allstate Financial, in a written statement.
In particular, Civgin notes there is an opportunity for teens
and parents to talk about college costs, which are looming in the
future for many families. The poll found 30 percent of teens say
they haven't discussed paying for higher education with their
parents. In addition, only 9 percent of teens have actually started
saving for their education.
Parents can help
encourage financial literacy
by involving their teens in their own purchasing and budgeting
activities. Informal learning at home may make the most impact on
teens, but formal programs, such as those offered by Junior
Achievement, may also help teach financial literacy.