Adolescent aspirations associated with perceptions of “living well” were qualitatively evaluated based on 187 middle school student responses. Using grounded theory methodology, 976 words and phrases were coded and grouped; 41.9% were extrinsic, 36.3% were intrinsic, and 21.8% of the passages were merely descriptive. Extrinsic coded words and phrases emphasized things they would own or purchase; intrinsic coded words emphasized how they would live or who they would become. Extrinsic middle school aspirations were highly status laden, clearly linking expensive and exclusive possessions with self-image and identity. Intrinsic aspirations were characterized by major themes of growth and relatedness emphasizing positive family relationships and the development of skills and personal qualities. Implications for financial education are discussed. Key Words: extrinsic aspirations, intrinsic aspirations, living well, money aspirations

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