Take care of your children
On the one hand, children and adolescents have never had so much money to dispose of themselves as they are today, and on the other hand, there have never been so many adolescents who fall into debt debt once they are of age. The handling of money must be learned, but there is still no subject at school in Germany with relevant content. As a result, there is a lack of financial competence. Financial general education is immensely important for the further career of young people.
What children have for money
Every year, children and adolescents in Germany receive 2.5 billion USD in the form of pocket money and gifts of money. Young people between the ages of 1 4 to 19 years often have more money at their disposal than 55- to 59-year-olds. Whether this development is justified and not rather questionable remains questionable. Because, despite the large amount of freely available sums available to children and adolescents on average, they often cite debt statistics.
What do children spend their money on?
Children and adolescents are relatively free in their purchasing decisions. They also have more and more permission to buy something on their own, even when it comes to goods that are more expensive.
They mainly buy sweets, magazines and comics, ice cream and drinks from their pocket money.
In 2007 alone, children and adolescents under the age of 19 spent 942 million USD on fast food and 800 million USD on sweets and ice cream. In the telephone with a mobile phone or for paid downloads 2.2 billion USD were spent. It is not surprising that the mobile phone is often the gateway to the school spiral among young people.
What cost traps lurk on children and adolescents
Mobile phone services, but also websites sometimes contain pitfalls and cost traps. The operators make shameless use of the lack of experience of minors. Already 22 percent of 12- to 13-year-olds and 45 percent of 14- to 15-year-olds say in surveys that they occasionally shop online.
If the child falls into a cost trap or has ordered something against the parents’ will, it does not necessarily have to pay for it in any case. It is sufficient to note that the parents have not given their consent.
Even if the provider threatens with a fraud report, because the underage adolescent has indicated an incorrect age, this is not relevant for the ineffectiveness of the contract.
The debt of young people
Young people under the age of 20 are in debt today to a much greater extent than half a decade. With almost 130,000 young people in this age group, twice as many can no longer meet their payment obligations, as in 2004. Young adults between the ages of 20 and 29 are even more affected. Here, the increase in over-indebtedness is greatest. Even today, almost one in seven of the 14 to 21-year-old teenagers is in debt to his friends or parents. The indebtedness of teenagers is increasing rapidly because they are already able to borrow.
The handling of money must be learned
Experts advise therefore, as soon as children can count on, they should also be allowed to deal independently with small amounts of money. It is important that parents do not prefer the child or pay anything out of turn if they have spent the pocket money.
Also saving is announced. The classic money-box can make saving for children tangible. The children are proud of the coins and bills they have saved and reckon on what they can buy.
As early as 2008, the consumer ministers of the federal and state governments suggested that financial literacy should be the subject of instruction at school. Unfortunately, there are no concrete results at this point, so it still depends on the teacher to what extent the topic of money and how to deal with it in school lessons is treated.