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Teens Must Develop Financial Management Skills

1060 words - 4 pages

"Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'"

Bob Dylan - "The Times They Are A-changin"

While upper class students can relax and reap the benefits of living large in a large world, students in the lower or middle classes are struggling to keep up with society’s transition to the newer, better, and much more expensive living standards of today. With doubling student-loan rates, lower entry-position salary, a smaller job market, and a world that’s filled with enticing commercial marketing, it's never been a more important time for teens to develop good financial management skills.

Today’s society absolutely loves bigger, better, and has standards different to those in the past. In the past, the world that one lives in, and more specifically speaking ones respectable social class set a living standard. There weren’t T.V. shows documenting the lives of the rich and famous, shopping malls filled with designer brands wasn’t where kids would casually hangout, and the latest in modern technology wasn’t sold to anyone for a few hundred dollars. Today, this is all passé and the lives of the disgustingly wealthy are documented in shows such as Keeping up with the Kardashians, shopping malls are like a second home to impressionable children, and the latest Apple device has become to upmost standard and are available for little to nothing upon signing a contract. With children spending free time in shopping malls, it’s almost like as if owning this expensive merchandise in the stores surrounding them seems absolutely natural. Today’s generation of children are pressured by brands using enticing marketing that suggests owning the latest trends are absolutely necessary; making tweens feel pressured to “fit in” by purchasing the clothes, whether or not they can afford it.

The finger of blame on why todays college students want it all can be pointed in many directions, anywhere from growing up with the latest breakthroughs in technology, to having parents that not only love and spoil their children more then in past generations but also see them more as best-friends then as responsibilities (Yarrow, O’Donnell). No matter the reason, the problem that lies behind this obsession with constant attention, entertainment and expenses is that a slew of economic problems face todays graduate. The student loan rate is currently at a whopping 6.8%, and this is an increase from last year’s 3.4%. Even before the rate was doubled, American students collected one trillion dollars worth of debt (Wagstaff). Not to mention that this year, the unemployment rate was at 8.8%, which is accompanied by the hardship of graduating during a recession, where those new to the workforce, “suffer permanent earnings losses and are permanently...

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