Teen Bucks Get Safe Haven At Youth Credit Unions, Banks: The Yum-Yum Tree

September 1, 2000

Credit card companies, cigarette manufacturers, the alcohol industry, purveyors of dietary supplements and e-commerce websites are all targeting the teen consumer market, offering cyber-gift cards up to $5,000 — similar to pre-paid telephone cards — good for trendy clothes, athletic footwear, CDs and albums, games, art and school supplies, sporting goods, electronic equipment and auto accessories.

The stakes are high, according to the Illinois-based Teenage Research Unlimited, which calculated that U.S. teens spent $153 billion last year — up 8.5 percent from 1998. While they spent $48 billion of family money, they spent a whopping $105 billion of their own (received through allowances, gifts and employment). And in the first six months of 1999, the percentage of teens who purchased online jumped from 4 to 10 percent.

The researchers also found that 69 percent of the nation’s 31 million teenagers (11.5 percent of the population) have savings accounts, and nearly one-in-five have checking accounts. In addition, 32 percent of 18-to-19-year-olds have credit cards in their own name, while 9 percent of teens say they have access to a parent’s credit card.

Alexander, Bill. "Teen Bucks Get Safe Haven At Youth Credit Unions, Banks: The Yum-Yum Tree." Youth Today, September 2000, p. 17.

©2000 Youth Today. Reprinted with permission from Youth Today. All rights reserved.