When asked about the first thing they would do if money got tight, 66% of survey respondents age 17 or younger said they would either spend a little less or stop spending money on unnecessary items altogether, according to themint.org, a collaboration between the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, the charitable arm of Northwestern Mutual, and the National Council on Economic Education.
Twenty nine percent of the youngest generation said they would prefer to “earn more” by getting another job or working more hours instead of “spending less” or “donating less,” according to a Northwestern Mutual press release.
By comparison, 15% of adults aged 18 to 29 said their first choice was to earn more. Just 3% of older adults aged 30 to 59 said they would choose to work more before spending less.
Children can test their budgeting brainpower by taking the Spending Challenge on www.themint.org . The short quiz helps them see how their choices impact their piggybanks and credit card statements, the press release said.
According to themint.org, a collaboration between the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, the charitable arm of Northwestern Mutual, and the National Council on Economic Education, h istory shows that challenging times can affect personal saving behavior.
According to a Northwestern Mutual press release, in the early 1940s, following the Great Depression and during World War II, the U.S. personal saving rate soared above 25%. From 2005 to early 2008, that rate hovered between 0% and 1%, even dropping into negative territory for one quarter as Americans spent more than they earned.
By mid-2008, as the U.S. economy slowed, the savings rate spiked, jumping to over 3% by year-end. The trend has since continued through May 2009, with the savings rate up to 6.9%, a 15-year peak, the press release said.
An historical chart of the U.S. savings rate is here .
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