Teen Consumer Spending Habits

Teens love to buy clothes

Since many teenagers have part time jobs or get an allowance from parents, they are ready to spend money, and it can be interesting to learn about teen consumer spending habits. Teenagers are shoppers who like to have the latest fashions and technology and since peer acceptance is important to teens, they make a lot of spending decisions. Getting to know the spending habits of teens shows the great power they have as consumers.

Teen Consumer Spending Habits Unveiled

In the past, teenagers were a market that advertisers largely ignored. These days, things have changed quite a bit. Marketing firms have realized that brand loyalty starts at a young age and is often carried to adulthood. Researchers have also found that teenagers have money and they want to spend it. Teenagers are some of the biggest spenders, especially when it comes to clothing, gadgets, and entertainment.

Money to Spend

According to a report from Packaged Facts, there are approximately 25.6 million teens in the U.S. market and the amount of money they have to spend every year continues to grow. It is estimated that teens have an average annual income of anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000. Even though teens might not spend every dollar that they receive from jobs, allowances, or from their parents, the amount of money they have to spend is significant. It is estimated that in 2011 teens will spend more than 200 billion dollars.

Things to Know About Teen Shoppers

A 2009 study done by Seventeen magazine revealed some facts about how teens spend their money. Here are some of the findings:

Teens Want Actual Items

Most teens would rather have an actual item, such as new clothes, rather than something that they can't put their hands on. According to the study, 75 percent would rather have a new pair of shoes than 50 new MP3 downloads, and 63 percent would choose a new pair of jeans over tickets to a concert.

Teens Are Savvy Shoppers

Teens are skeptical and don't buy into the usual marketing messages. While they want the latest and greatest items, they are also willing to wait. Approximately 55 percent of teens wait for items to go on sale, and 50 percent of teens make fewer impulse purchases. Another 42 percent are more willing to comparison shop for the best price.

How Do Teens Spend Their Money?

When it comes to how teens spend their own money, another study, the Teen Market profile, by the Magazine Publishers of America shows what teens value the most when it comes to spending:

  • Clothing is the number one purchased item in terms of teen consumer spending habits
  • Entertainment items were also a big hit, such as video games and CDs
  • Food and drink items, such as beverages, candy, lunch, and snacks were popular
  • Jewelry is high on the list of what teens girls buy, although guys also spend money on jewelry items
  • Cars or car parts were also a common purchase, especially among teen guys

Ways to Save Money

Teen shoppers love good deals just as much as their parents. Here are some good ways to keep money in their wallets:

  • Have clothing swaps where teens trade clothes with peers
  • Go to the dollar theatre more often
  • Eat at home, rather than going out
  • Be willing to wait until the hottest gadgets go on sale
  • Avoid making junk food purchases, such as buying candy and sodas

Teens Love to Shop

Teens have big purchasing power in a household. Their willingness to spend money and obtain the latest items makes them one of the largest spending demographics of consumer goods.

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Teen Consumer Spending Habits