Monday, September 26, 2005


Ad Pulp found this article on teenage decadence.

American teenagers spend more than $150 billion a year - more than the gross domestic product of Finland, Ireland or Chile.

Early overindulgence is leading teens to unrealistic lifestyle expectations, weakening their work ethic and plunging them into disastrous financial practices that will haunt them for life, economists and employers say.
"They're spending as soon as the money comes in the door, and in the future, that can mean that these young people end up back on their parents' doorstep," said Jerald Bachman, research scientist at the Institute for Social Research who first labeled the phenomenon "premature affluence." "Once kids get accustomed to spending a lot, it's a difficult transition to waiting and saving."

Meanwhile, most simply assume they'll hold jobs with high salaries, lots of perks and little grunt work.

Even parents' best intentions contribute to the problem. Collaborative decision-making in the home has given children vast say in family purchases. Young teens alone now account for 53 percent of family expenditures on clothing and entertainment, according to MarketResearch. And the drive to give kids every educational advantage has led parents and grandparents to blow their own budgets for pricey summer camps, private tutoring and study abroad.
Now teens under 15 control $40 billion in purchasing power and use it lavishly - 70 percent have a TV in their room, for example, and a third have cable. Meanwhile, the average 18- or 19-year-old spends more than $9,600 annually, according to MarketResearch.


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