Home > Teens > Teen Values and Responsibilities > Teens and Money > Help Your Teen Become a Wise Consumer
|

Help Your Teen Become a Wise Consumer

While the nature of teenhood involves endless trips to the mall with lots of money dropped on makeup or at the video arcade, when it comes to major purchases, your teen wants to get the most “bang for the buck,” just as you do. You can help him learn the art of wise shopping:

Info Flash

According to a 1994 study conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, teens have real spending power. They spend nearly $100 billion a year ($63 billion of it their own money). Teen boys spend an average of $44 per week of their own money, while girls spend $34.

  • Preach against carrying a lot of cash. This guards against catastrophic loss and also teaches Good Consumer Tip #1: Resist buying on impulse.
  • Teach her to consider the life span of everything from a sweater set to a used car. “Is this really worth the money?” “Will it last?” And when appropriate: “Is it durable?” “How much trouble will it be to take care of?” “Will it shrink?”
  • Teach about comparison shopping for a better price and a better product.
  • Encourage him to benefit from the experience of others by talking to people who own what they are shopping for: Do they like it? Did they have any problems?
  • Help non-drivers get to sales. They'll love being able to afford more because they're paying less!
  • Owning “label” items is a rite of passage for teens who are trying to carve out an identity for themselves. Tampering with this compulsion is likely to bring on a fight that you'd rather avoid. If a certain make of jeans or sneakers is a “must,” you might mention the premium that is charged for the label (don't nag, just offer a point of information), and point out other areas where your teen—who may now be running low on funds—might buy off-brands and save.
  • Discuss the costs of things, not in terms of dollars but in energy spent: Are new rollerblades worth 40 hours of babysitting or six lawn jobs? They may look at purchases in a new light when viewed in this way.
  • Zillions magazine is a kid-version of Consumer Reports. The magazine rates everything from best frozen pizza and toothpaste to computer games and boom boxes. Ask to see a copy at your library.
  • Any teen making a major purchase (electronics gear? computer accessories? CD player?) should know about Consumer Reports, also available at your local library. By teaching your teen the art of doing homework before making major purchases, you'll be giving her a gift that will last a lifetime.
|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Parenting a Teenager © 1996 by Kate Kelly. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

jack-o'-lantern creator

Design and print
your own
jack-o’-
lanterns!

GO

highlights

Top 10 Free Homework Help Websites
Is helping your child with homework more frustrating and confusing than ever before, thanks to the new Common Core standards? Check out the best free homework help websites to boost kids' success in math, science, English, and more.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

11 Fantastic Fall Apple Desserts
Nothing says fall like the smell of an apple dessert baking in the oven. Use up your family's surplus of apples with our 11 favorite apple dessert recipes.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!