Survey Says Teens Lack Understanding of Credit Cards, Investing
Economists expressed concern at the results of a recent survey measuring American teens' understanding of personal finance. For the eleventh consecutive year, Junior Achievement and The Allstate Foundation conducted a "Teens and Personal Finance" survey. 22% of respondents admitted that they didn't budget their money, while nearly half of the teens surveyed told researchers that they didn't understand how to effectively invest their savings.

"Teens are admitting that they don't have knowledge of some of the basic money management skills around investing, budgeting and using credit," said Jack E. Kosakowski, president of Junior Achievement USA. "The poll shows we need to do a better job of ensuring our youth are financially literate." Although the survey respondents expressed optimism about the nation's financial future, nearly five out of six teens believe that money management skills should be taught within the K-12 curriculum.

With support from The Allstate Foundation, JA has launched a series of downloadable courses on money management, credit card use, and investing called $ave USA. Parents and children can work on one set of exercises together, while teachers can download classroom programs and course material. $ave USA content can be downloaded for free from the JA.org website.

About the Author

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Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.