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ShoppingSpot > Young Consumers

Young Consumers

Open the bedroom door and take a peek at your peacefully sleeping, innocent little child - it's hard to believe that you're looking at one of the main targets of advertisers today. More than $2 billion is spent annually on advertising specifically aimed at children. It's no wonder. According to Kids and Commercialism - Center for a New American Dream, in 1983 television advertisers spent $100 million on kids. Today, they spend about 150 times that much.

With all the enticement for money to slip through their fingers, how can you teach your kids to be savvy consumers and perhaps even save some of that wealth? Kids love the Internet, and there are lots of sites they'll have such a great time visiting that they won't even realize they're learning valuable financial lessons.

If your children are spending money, make sure they're spending it wisely. Zillions: Consumer Reports Online for Kids features topics like brand-name clothes vs. look-alikes, financial New Year's resolutions and product testing results.




The best way to entice a kid to save money is to make it fun. The Cool Kids Club, sponsored by First Atlantic Federal Credit Union, features topics like "Making Your Money Last With A Budget," and provides links other money-related sites.

Once children get used to saving, and realize that with interest they'll end up with even more money, it's only a short hop to investing. Send them to these sites and you'll have a regular Rockefeller on your hands. YoungInvestor.com is snazzy site where children can challenge their parents to a securities showdown; see how they measure up to their peers in understanding money and investing; and calculate how much they'll need to save for college.

Investing for Kids is a site designed by kids that examines stocks, bonds, mutual funds and all those other mysterious ways of investing money. A quiz determines how much children know about finances and directs them to the features that will be most helpful. The ThinkQuest stock game lets young investors see what they can do with $10,000 in the stock market.

Games can be a great way to make a child interested in financial matters. Play Lemonade Stand to learn a few lessons about start-up capital, advertising, and supply and demand. EduStock demonstrates how the stock market works, and what a stock really is and gives the player the opportunity to choose stocks and manage a portfolio.

Get ready to use that $94 billion wisely!




   --- J. Walker

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