Teens are consumers. Big consumers. A Teen Research Unlimited study found that American teens spent an average of $104 per week, a total of $172 billion. And yet, research shows they are lacking the skills to deal with their finances responsibly.
Middle School youth are usually financially dependent on their family. Their experience with money management is limited. What money they receive as gifts, allowance, or pay for "odd jobs" is usually disposable income the youth spends on "wanted" items or entertainment. Youth this age have difficulty distinguishing wants versus needs. Teens and young adults are targeted by advertising from all media sources. Additionally, many teens and young adults, unaware of the consequences of high debt, overextend credit to attain the lifestyle they desire. In the next few years, these youth will be making career decisions, securing jobs, and managing their income.
Children of all ages need to understand how to manage their money. Parents need to be role models for their children. K-State Research and Extension will offer a program called Moola Venture for youth that have completed grades 5th-8th grades. Funds for Moola Venture were provided in part by the Kansas Health Foundation Children's Fund administered by the McPherson County Community Foundation. The program is free; but registration is required.
Moola Venture will be offered from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. June 21, with the final Simulation event on June 24, which will include supper for all participants and their family from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. All sessions will be at the McPherson County Extension Office at 600 W Woodside.
Prizes will be given at each session, and participants that attend both afternoon sessions plus the simulation event will be in a drawing for the Grand Prize, a 32" TV. In addition, other very nice prizes will be awarded but the participants will have to attend all educational sessions and simulation event to be eligible.
The goal of Moola Venture is to teach youth about the importance of money management. Youth will develop positive financial management skills such as check writing, balancing a check book, budgeting, managing credit, saving money, make wise consumer decisions.
At the Simulation event, which parents should plan to attend, students play out real life experiences of budgeting, paying bills, financial record keeping, and managing monthly income with the guidance of trained volunteers. After the simulation, students reflect on their experience and how this simulation relates to their future.
If you would like to receive more information on the program, please contact Jana at the
McPherson County Extension Office at 620-241-1523 or email email@example.com.
Page 2 of 2 - To register for Moola Venture, please contact the McPherson County Extension Office at
620-241-1523 or, you can stop by 600 W Woodside for additional information. The program is offered free of charge.
When talking to your children about money don't be scared. Figure out a way that's comfortable for you and start talking about it.
We all learn from mistakes, so be honest and discuss what you did wrong and how you corrected your mistakes. Children may have to make their own money mistakes, but if that mistake occurs on a smaller scale, it will still have the learning experience without the lasting debt.
Help your children begin to save money, make it a habit. Journaling where their money goes and what they want to spend their money on will help them.
Be a good role model. Children do as we do because they watch how we, adults, handle our money. We can tell them to do something, but if we aren't role modeling for our children, they aren't learning it.
Jana McKinney is a McPherson County Extension agent for family and consumer sciences