My son, Garret, kept asking us for money on the weekends to go out with friends. It really became a problem. So we decided to give him an allowance and a debit card. My husband tracks where he spends his money, but doesn’t question him about it because we want him to make his own choices.
Recently, we noticed that Garret spends most of his money on food. That kid loves to eat. He and his friends are big fans of Chipotle. Now that my son’s friends are driving, it’s where they go on a Friday or Saturday night. It’s also where they go on an early release day from school. If you ever go to Chipotle, you will notice a ton of teens there. Chipotle tends to put its locations near high schools and universities. Pretty smart, huh?
Even though my son is a foodie, I am now learning that he is pretty normal in his spending habits. Teens are spending most of their money on food. Yes, they are spending more on eating Chipotle and drinking Starbucks than on clothes, sneakers and video games. Even while we complain about our teens being less social because of their electronic devices, they are spending their money on eating out.
Piper Jaffray, which has surveyed teens about their spending habits for 17 years, has just released its 2017 Taking Stock With Teens research survey. The survey found food is the most important category within a teen’s wallet at 24 percent of spending. Clothing comes in second at 19 percent.
“We are seeing teen spending continue to shift more toward experiences — eating out and leisure,” Piper Jaffray senior analyst Erin Murphy said in a release.
Here’s another pretty interesting finding: Teens would rather buy athletic apparel than fashion brands. That kind of surprised me.
Other interesting takeaways:
- 81 percent of teens expect their new phone will be an iPhone, the highest level ever seen in the survey.
- Move over Facebook: Snapchat was listed as teens top social media platform at 39 percent. Instagram was second at 23 percent. Facebook and Twitter tied for third at 11 percent apiece.
- Disney films were the clear winner for the most anticipated moves list with “Beauty and the Beast,” “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” grabbing some of the top spots.
- Bad news for console gaming: The percent of teens who plan to digitally download more than half of their games increased to 45 percent from 37 percent in the fall of 2015.
Do you keep track of how your teen spends his or her money? Would you agree that food is the most frequent purchase?