Young Americans might be more conservative after recession

The 2011 Teens & Money Survey detailed the extent to which these young Americans were impacted by the most recent recession. More than nine out of 10 of the participants specified that their perceptions have indeed been affected by the event.

The attitude that many young Americans have about the economy may be different after the recent recession, as a Charles Schwab poll has indicated that many U.S. teenagers have experienced shifting mindsets as a recent of the latest economic downturn.

Changed mindset

The biggest group of respondents was those stating that their mindset was changed “a little,” by the economic downturn, with 55 percent specifying this result. The next-largest fraction was people saying that it impacted their frame of mind “a lot.” A total of 38 percent of participants relayed this consequence. Only 7 percent said that the recession had no impact on their current attitudes.

Reality check

The survey revealed that many young Americans have less confidence in their knowledge of finance than they did before the Great Recession. While 43 percent said in 2007 that they know how the interest and fees of credit cards function, 32 percent specified this during the most recent poll.

The fraction of people stating that they know how to effectively use a credit card plunged to 39 percent from 64 percent, and the percentage of individuals who either know how to scrutinize a bank statement for accuracy or balance a checkbook fell to 43 from 60 percent.

“It could be that the effects of the recession have given these young people a reality check – making them realize they aren’t as knowledgeable about financial tools and products as they may have once thought. But the good news is that three out of four teens say that learning about money management is one of their top priorities, which is an improvement since 2007,” Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, senior vice president of Schwab Community Services, said in the statement.

Lessons learned

A total of 73 percent specified that it is crucial to have the right amount saved in case of tough economic situations. This comes as the savings rate of U.S. consumers became substantially higher after the financial crisis than before, when many people lived beyond their means. Also, 51 percent emphasized that they need to know the potential consequences of taking out loans.

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