Tweens Savvy About Savings

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The next generation is learning financial prudence, according to a survey of American “tweenagers” conducted by Weekly Reader Research and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). When asked what they would do with a gift of $100, 59 percent of children between the ages of 9 and 12 indicated they would save at least $50.

The announcement of the survey results, coincide with the launch of a special “Budget Buzz” program. The program is sponsored by the AICPA as part of the 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy campaign, as well as Academic and Career Development activities. It is being distributed in Weekly Reader Grade 4 magazines and this week more that 650,000 fourth graders across the country will learn how to create a budget; figure profit and expenses for operating a lemonade stand; and define words like estimate, invest and economize.

“It is so important to teach children at a very early age the importance of money management so they don't find themselves in trouble later on in their teens and twenties,' said Terry Bromberg, President of Consumer Custom Publishing Weekly Reader. “We are thrilled that we were able to partner with AICPA on this very worthwhile project.”

The survey also found that:

  • 56 percent of 9 – 12 year-olds earn a weekly allowance ($7.35 average)
  • 53 percent have savings accounts
  • 47 percent say they have plans for saving and spending their money
  • 31 percent say their parents discuss finances with them, including bills, budgets and the cost of education
  • 24 percent report their parents force them to save
  • Only 18 percent spend all their allowances
  • 56 percent say they are putting away money for college.

“Financial literacy is not an end in itself, but a step-by-step process,” said Carl George, Chair of the AICPA's National CPA Financial Literacy Commission. “It begins in childhood and continues throughout a person's life all the way to retirement. Instilling the financial-literacy message in children is especially important, because they will carry it for the rest of their lives. The results of the survey are very encouraging, and we want to do our part to make sure all children develop and strengthen their financial-literacy skills.”

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