School pupils run up debts more often

One in five secondary school pupils shows risky financial behaviour by borrowing money too often and getting into debt, says family budget institute Nibud in its latest report on teenage spending.

Some 63% of children borrowed money last year, compared with 45% in 2007, the report says.
‘It would appear that they are not aware of the risks attached to borrowing money,’ the institute said. Girls, children at trade schools and 15 and 16 year-olds are most likely to run up debts.
‘They save less, borrow more often, spend their money easily and find it more difficult to cope with money than other pupils,’ the report said.
Clothing allowance
At the same time, parents are spending more money on their children, the institute said. In 2004, 20% of parents paid children’s mobile phone bills but that has now risen to 30%.
Five years ago, 30% of parents paid for their children’s clothes, the percentage today is 60%.
Even in households where children are given a clothing allowance, 32% of parents are still buying their offspring’s clothes. This is ‘incomprehensible’, the organisation said.
Some 95% of secondary school children get some form of allowance from their parents and 50% have a regular job. Boys have an average of €155 a month to spend and girls €133, Nibud said.

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