Fashion is important to many teens. Because most teens don't have to pay rent or other household expenses, they can spend a larger portion of their money on clothes than most adults. Additionally, self-image and clothes go hand-in-hand for many teens. So, when they get money, much of it ends up being spent on the latest fashions.
Teens spend 40 percent of their money on new clothes, according to a 2013 report on The Business Insider website, reporting information from a Piper Jaffrey survey. The average U.S. household spends 3.8 percent of its annual income on apparel and services, according to an article at TheAtlantic.com, citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Teens don't always take money from their parents to buy their new duds. More than one-third of them work part time, about 18 hours a week, and they earn an average of about $480 per month, according to statistics compiled from 2006 by the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights. Although most teens do not work regular jobs, getting an allowance from parents often means doing work around the house. When teens spend their money on clothes, they often have earned the money they spend.
Going for the Gold
Armani, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Coach have become popular in recent years with some teens, according to IGLHR data. Teens might spend much of their money on clothes, but some teens might end up getting fewer items just to have the one luxury brand item that they have had their eyes on for a time. Spending on athletic shoes has also risen by 5 percent since the spring of 2012, according to Business Insider’s report on the Piper Jaffrey survey of about 8,000 teens.
How to Curb the Spending
When it’s back-to-school time, consider giving your teen a budget he can spend on clothes if he is spending your money that he hasn’t earned. Rank the clothing items he must purchase. He can make the choice of how to spend the money, but you can rest assured that he doesn’t come back in a few months saying he doesn’t own enough socks. You might do the same even if your teen earns his own money to help him budget and save appropriately. All hope isn’t lost, however, for having thrifty teenagers. Business Insider reported that more than two-thirds of teenage girls said they did their shopping at low-cost stores, while 55 percent of boys did.
- The Atlantic: How Teenagers Spend Money
- Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights: How U.S. Teens Spend Their Time and Money
- The Atlantic: Prices and People -– A Short History of Working and Spending Money
- Money Saving Mom: How to Spend Less on Teen Fashion
- Business Insider: Here’s Where Teens Spend All Their Money
- Photo Credit Chad Baker/Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images