Friday, December 24, 2010

Boys vs Girls and Spending

Students between ages 15-21 feel unprepared to face the world. Only 20% of those saved over a $1,000 compared to older teens aged 16-18. According to a Charles Schwab survey, 50% of teenagers say they spend some of their money when they get paid and save the rest, 30% save the money in a bank account. 87% of teens say their parents are their main source of financial education.

According to the Boys & Girls Club of America, teenagers that learned about checking accounts and managing money were more likely to have opened a checking and savings account and to have a budget.

You may have heard that women are from venus and men are from mars. This is evident even among children especially with money. Girls lag behind in finances and with confidence to set and obtain financial goals. Girls show low confidence when asked about money and may avoid the subject or respond by saying “I don’t know, I guess so, or laugh”. Finances are not a high priority on girls’ agendas. They focus more on appearance and use money to go shopping or on entertainment.

The difference in how girls and boys view money may be related to how parents and educators teach girls and boys about money. Mothers may take girls to the grocery store to learn about how to comparison shop and budget for groceries. Fathers may take boys to buy a car. Both are good experiences but limit the knowledge that can be shared among each child. Boys and girls should be treated the same when discussing finances and life skills. If a child is not interested, parents must still provide the basic financial and life skills knowledge so later in life children will be able to apply it to their daily lives.

Girls are more emotional when it comes to spending and boys are more results oriented. Boys like to spend their money on big purchases like electronics, cars and technology. Girls like to spend money on things with little to no value like makeup, clothes, purses, shoes, etc. Many girls are taught to find a husband to take care of them which may prevent them from learning about finances, budgeting and investing because they will depend on their husband to have the knowledge.

Parents have to get girls and boys to change the way the think about money. Parents have to tell children If you want to own a home, go on vacations and live a certain lifestyle you have to save your money, invest and make good financial decisions. Boys and girls should be taught financial skills as soon as there are taught how to add and subject to ensure they become financially responsible adults.

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