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Teenage residents spending selectively

Economy: Some local youth match national trend found by magazine

Posted: August 8, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: August 8, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Jermaine Fields, 18, shows off a new pair of shoes in the gym at the Castaic Sports Complex recently.

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With long, lazy summer months stretching their dollars, teens in the Santa Clarita Valley have saved and spent selectively, reflecting trends in teen spending nationwide.

“I don’t really spend money. I am saving up for the next NBA 2K game,” said Elijah Earley, 15, who was at the Castaic Sports Complex recently with friends Stanley Wilder, 15, and Jermaine Fields, 18. But he admitted, “I buy a lot of Gatorade.”

Fields was wearing his answer to the question of teen spending — he was sporting Nike basketball shoes. “Basketball shoes and video games are what I spend my money on,” he said. “I’m saving for some Jordans.”

“During summer, we have more time to do stuff so I’m always out,” Wilder said. “I spend most of my money on food and clothes.’

Surveys of teen spending habits during the recession found that youth were saving more than ever — 24 percent reported saving more than they did previous to the recession — and selectively shopping, generally buying more tangibles than intangibles.

A Seventeen magazine survey, for example, found that a new pair of shoes won out over a bunch of MP3 music downloads.
Clothing and other items to enhance physical attractiveness were particularly popular, the survey found.

Ali Mancia, 15, laughs at the question of how she spends her money as she stands in line at Starbucks in the Westfield Valencia Town Center shopping mall. She is split between her favorite clothing store and food.

“I spend a lot of my money at Forever 21,” Mancia said. “Also, I spend a lot on food like pretzels and coffee.”

Mancia’s friend, 14-year-old Shannon Shaeffer, said she spends her money on things such as clothing, accessories and shoes.
Not all teens had to think hard about what to spend their money on.

“We spend our money mostly on skating supplies like wax, wheels, bearings, tools and shoes,” said 15-year-olds Nas Angilo, who, with friend David Martinez, is caught up in activities at the Santa Clarita Skatepark.

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