Question of The Day: How Are Teens Spending Their Money?

Oct 09, 2014
Question of the Day, Budgeting, Personal Finance, Financial Literacy

I bet you could get students engaged by talking about how they are spending their money.  I had a similar post about teen spending habits earlier this fall based on University of Michigan research.  Might be interesting to ask students a question, have them write down their answer and then show them the chart with the results from this Piper Jaffray report on Taking Stock With Teens (data gleaned from approximately 7,200 teens with average age of 16).

Here are six questions with accompanying charts (thanks to Business Insider for gleaning these highlights):

1.  How much are parent’s contributing when it comes to teen spending?  70% of spending money from Upper Income parents and 66% for Average Income.

teen survey

2.  What are top 3 categories for teen spend?   Clothing (21%), Food (20%), Personal Care (10%).

Teen spending

3.  What are top 3 clothing brands?  Nike (22%), American Eagle (8%), Forever 21 (7%).

teen survey

4.  How have spending trends changed over the past ten years?  Spending less on clothing, more on food.

Teen survey

5.  What are their favorite websites to shop on?  Amazon at 32% is 4X more popular than the nearest competitor (Nike at 8%).

Teen survey

6. What are the most popular social networks?  Instagram, Twitter and Facebook in that order.

teen survey


Check out Next Gen Personal Finance’s unit on Budgeting, which teaches students about budgeting through an engaging post-college simulation.

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

Share This Post

Search The Blog