Kids’ Money Knowledge and Habits

Parents' Satisfaction

Many parents are satisfied with how their teens manage money. Those finding are from a poll of about 800 parents. Of these parents, 83 percent say they are satisfied with their teen's spending choices and priorities.

Parents say they trust their teens’ understanding of each of the following areas:2

Income and Careers 89%; Budgeting 86%; Savings and Investing 81%; Credit Cards 77%

Reasons for Concern

Yet there are reasons for concern:

  • One in six teenagers spends most of his or her money as soon as he or she gets it.5
  • 29 percent of teenagers say they are in debt.3
  • 34 percent of high school seniors say they are either unsure or unprepared to manage their money.1
  • One study finds that high school seniors score just 48 out of 100 on a test of financial literacy.4

Research Sources

1. Capital One (2009, June 24). Capital One survey of high school seniors reveals gender gaps in financial literacy. (News Release).

2. Capital One. (2010). National telephone survey conducted by Braun Research. Unpublished raw data.

3. Charles Schwab (2007). Charles Schwab teens & money 2007 survey findings (News Release).

4. Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. (2008). 2008 personal financial survey of high school seniors. Washington, DC: Author.

5. Kwon, E. (2010, December 17). Ten ways to talk with your teens about money.