Advice Teens Can Count on Financial Literacy Programs Teach High Schoolers to Develop a Plan for Spending Series: A Workbook from a Financial Literacy Class at North Reading (Mass.) High School. 3) as Part of the Course, Students (L. to R.) Michael McNeil, Mark Scarfo, and Laura Grant Discuss Teen Spending Habits, Which Often Omit Saving for the Future. PHOTOS BY R. NORMAN MATHENY - STAFF

By Marilyn Gardner, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, April 28, 1997 | Go to article overview

Advice Teens Can Count on Financial Literacy Programs Teach High Schoolers to Develop a Plan for Spending Series: A Workbook from a Financial Literacy Class at North Reading (Mass.) High School. 3) as Part of the Course, Students (L. to R.) Michael McNeil, Mark Scarfo, and Laura Grant Discuss Teen Spending Habits, Which Often Omit Saving for the Future. PHOTOS BY R. NORMAN MATHENY - STAFF


Marilyn Gardner, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Ask teenagers about money and they'll talk freely about spending it -- on cars and clothes and CDs, dates and proms, snacks and gifts. But ask them about saving it and the chorus of voices grows quieter.

As Michael McNeil, a senior at North Reading High School, explains with a laugh, "When I got my paycheck I thought, Hmmm, should I put this away? But then I thought, Naaah." One classmate calls money "a revolving door." And Mark Scarfo, another senior, says, "When you have a lot of money, say $800, you want to see if you can get to $1,000. If you have $100, you just want to blow it."

This casual approach is one reason that, at 9:30 on a Wednesday morning, Michael, Mark, and 13 other students in a financial management class listen as Geoffrey Simons, a senior financial adviser at American Express Financial Advisors in Wakefield, Mass., talks about the need to set goals and priorities. "Most people don't have a plan - they just go ahead and buy," Mr. Simons explains. "The decisions you make have a big ripple effect. The process is deciding what you really want, and then making a plan for spending and saving." To help students create a plan, Simons serves as a guest teacher in this six-week "financial literacy" program, covering such topics as income, stocks and bonds, credit, and the value of invested money. He works with William Devin, the class's regular teacher, who says, "We've got to let kids know what's happening out there. The credit debt in this country is just unbelievable." The unusual curriculum, developed by the National Endowment for Financial Education in Denver, represents part of increasing efforts by financial experts to teach students about money. Despite their youth, their economic clout is impressive. Last year American teenagers spent an estimated $103 billion, according to Teenage Research Unlimited in Northbrook, Ill. Boys average $70 a week and girls $64. This month, as part of National Saving Month, Merrill Lynch financial consultants are conducting "teach-ins" at schools across the country to emphasize the importance of saving. And last month, Money magazine published a special supplement, called Extra Money, to help high school students stretch their incomes, invest wisely, and borrow responsibly. In addition, Stein Roe Mutual Funds has created a Young Investor Fund to teach a new generation about investing. It offers stocks of particular interest to young people. For Simons, talking about investing includes giving the class an imaginary $10,000 to buy three stocks. Each week students chart gains and losses. "It's a real eye-opener that they can invest." Another eye-opener is seeing how much they spend. When he asks students to track their expenses for two weeks, he tells them, "You'll be surprised how much money goes through your hands every day. It's an amazing amount." Amazing indeed. During one five-day period this month, students' spending ranged from a high of $222.98 for Anthony Perrotti, a junior, to an impressive low of $19.45 for Emily Thomas, a sophomore. Anthony, who earns $10 an hour working for a construction company and was chosen Business Student of the Month in March, says he averages $100 a week on restaurant meals alone. By contrast, Emily says, "If I go to college, I'll be totally responsible for paying for it. That's a scary thought." Other teenagers share her financial concerns. Nearly three-quarters of students in a Money magazine poll say they worry about money. A quarter fear they won't be able to afford college, and 11 percent worry that they won't have enough money to raise a family.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Advice Teens Can Count on Financial Literacy Programs Teach High Schoolers to Develop a Plan for Spending Series: A Workbook from a Financial Literacy Class at North Reading (Mass.) High School. 3) as Part of the Course, Students (L. to R.) Michael McNeil, Mark Scarfo, and Laura Grant Discuss Teen Spending Habits, Which Often Omit Saving for the Future. PHOTOS BY R. NORMAN MATHENY - STAFF
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.