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Q&A Opportunity With Junior Achievement


I was contacted not too long ago by Junior Achievement. They were wondering if I would like to do an interview with them on here. I’ve done interviews in the past, but I never felt like I asked the right questions. So I wrote them back asking if I could ask you for your questions to have them answer (like what I did with the authors of “On My Own Two Feet). They are happy to do a Q&A with you!

First of all, I should let you know more about Junior Achievement. From their site:

JA Worldwide is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.

I realize now, more than ever, how important it is for children to learn life skills related to money. I try to fit in some personal finance tidbits when I can with our son and we are trying to be good financial role models. Sometimes it’s tough. With the economy the way it is right now, kids are feeling some of the stress.

Junior Achievement sent me some facts to share:

  • 14 percent of U.S. teens 15-17 years-old report the need to contribute financially to the family budget.
  • One-third of all teens report less job availability.
  • 53 percent of teens surveyed say they’re choosing activities that cost less money.
  • More than 50 percent say they talk about the economy with their friends.
  • 18 percent of 15 -17 year olds polled said they have lost a job due the economy.
  • Nearly three-in-ten teens (29 percent) said that the economy is causing them anxiety.
  • More than three-quarters (77 percent) of the teens polled say that their parents are talking about the economy more than they used to.
  • Nearly half (49 percent) said their parents had discussed family finances with them as a result of the economy.
  • 15 percent of teens said they have reduced extracurricular activities as a result of the economy.

With that, I’d like to open up the floor to you for asking Junior Achievement any of your “kids & money” questions. Just leave your question as a comment below. I’ll keep the comments open until Tuesday (04-07-09) at 11:59pm and then I will send them over for them to answer. Depending on the response – they might not be able to answer them all.


  • Mike D. |

    Are teens today more aware of the economy, and more aware of how important saving vs. spending is, compared to 10, 20, etc. years ago. Is this trending in any way (more aware, less aware).

    What do they think this recession will mean for that generation. Will it be more like the generation that came out of the great depression where they are less wastefull and got everything they could out of an item before getting rid of it, saving more, and using less debt? Or will this generation continue a lifestyle similar to what is in the economy now where people consider credit cards a way of life?

  • SmileyGirl |

    As teens growing up in today’s economy do you feel it benefits your personal growth to have to pay for part of your expenses (car insurance, gas, spending money, etc.) or should we as parents reward you more for saving your money. As a parent of a teen and two pre-teens, I struggle with the right balance of teaching my daughters to be responsible with their money by saving and at the same time showing them that life costs money and it is a priviledge to do things like drive, eat out, etc. I want them to realize that life is not a walk in the park where you can spend carelessly with no consequences but at the same time I don’t want them to feel so strapped financially that their years of youth are spent agonizing over money. Any advice?

  • Yankees Chick |

    SmileyGirl, I think that is a great question to ask. I don’t have any kids yet but was a teenager myself not too long ago (!) and I strongly feel that while it’s important for kids to understand that things cost money and have them pay for certain things, teaching them to save for the future (even the short-term future like saving up for a prom dress) is even more important. It’s not realistic to think that a teenager will be able to pay for everything themselves, but having them make a contribution to expenses like car insurance can work well (even if it’s just $25/month, it gets them in the mindset of “I am responsible for paying a monthly bill that in turn provides me with xyz service”). I think that MOST of the money that they earn should go into a savings account that they can see and be proud of and use for expenses that you both agree on – even though it is their money that they earn, I still think it’s a good idea for you to have some say over what they can use it on (i.e. they can’t spend all their babysitting money on clothes, they should have to save some of it for college, or a school trip they want to take, etc).

    I hope this helps!

  • Ken |

    What 2 or 3 basic things can I do to begin to teach my 2nd grader about money?