Money aspirations about living well: Middle school student perceptions


Beutler, I., Beutler, L, & McCoy, J.K. (2008). Money aspirations about living well: Middle school student perceptions. Financial Counseling and Planning, 19(1), 44-60.

Brief Description: This study explored the aspirations of 187 middle school students, specifically their perceptions of “living well,” to better understand the financial values adopted by adolescents. Extrinsic goal orientations, focused on achieving external rewards such as praise from others, were highly status laden, linking expensive and exclusive possessions with self-image and identity. Social status was a strong extrinsic concept.

Implications: Many early adolescents underestimate the financial resources necessary to purchase and maintain the expensive lifestyle they envision. An “ordinary” job will not provide the luxuries they have their sights on. They lack understanding of the amount of effort, money, and cost to relationships it takes to obtain expensive material possessions. Reality-testing their perceptions and discussing the concept of “enough” is recommended.[[category:Financial Security: Children and Money Research]