Teens becoming more frugal -- Are parents saying 'No?'

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Higher gas prices, low-paying jobs, and increasing school expenses has led teenagers to slow down their shopping. Long considered "recession-proof" spenders due to their discretionary income, many have had to confront the impact of a slowing economy. According to a survey conducted by BIGresearch in July, 60% of teenagers said they had become more frugal in the last six months--compared with only 50 percent of adults.

Even the usual fall bump in sales when college and high school kids go back to school didn't happen this year. Piper Jaffray released their semi-annual survey of teens that said that teen spending on fashion was down a whopping 20 percent from a year earlier.

This might be an unexpected benefit to the slow economy: parents saying "No." Rather than handing cash to over-indulged children, parents are looking at their budgets and setting limits. They are insisting that kids look for bargains and evaluate whether they really "need" something. This is actually very good training, because this is how the world really works.

In the real world, nobody just hands you cash, clothes and cars. You have to work for what you want. In fact to get ahead, you have to work really, really, hard. Kids that learn how to live well below their income using bargains and coupons are in good shape to someday achieve wealth and security. The mantra "spend less than you earn" should be taught in every home.

Barbara Bartlein is the People Pro. She is the author of Why Did I Marry You Anyway? Overcoming the Myths That Hinder a Happy Marriage. For more tips to build balance your life, please visit: www.thepeoplepro.com Sign up for Barb's Free E-mail newsletter at: The People Pro.

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