Budgeting

/Budgeting
­

Do Your Weekly Lunches Cost You $90,000 in Retirement Savings?

“US households spent $3,008, or about $8.35 a day, on average, eating out in 2015… Investing $3,008 each year… would add up 30 years later to… more than $250,000.  Similarly, investing $3.50 a day for 30 years instead of buying a latte would add up to savings of nearly $107,000”. (USA Today, June 2017)

_________

We all know that it is hard to save enough for retirement.  Financial education teachers also know that students sometimes struggle to relate decisions in their current, daily lives, with how much they will need when they retire much later in life.  This interesting article attempts to help close this inter-temporal gap by framing our current weekly spending choices in terms of equivalent dollar amount closer to retirement.  “Is eating lunch out two times a week worth losing out on a potential investment windfall of $88,000?”

_________

Questions for Students:

Shopping In The Amazon Era

A fella two rows back from me on my flight today was lamenting the fall of Sears. He hadn’t shopped there in a while and was surprised how far and how fast the retail experience at their stores had declined. As more and more shopping moves from “bricks and mortar” to online, we better start developing a new skill set for shoppers. You will see one example of what can go wrong with online shopping described below.

But before we get to that, here are some stats showing the dominance of Amazon from a recent KQED radio call-in show (transcript provided) with Atlantic writer, Derek Thompson:

By |June 8th, 2017|Budgeting, Purchase Decisions, Research|

NGPF’s Top 15 Activities, Courtesy of Jessica Endlich

Given the comprehensive nature of our website (full disclosure: Sometimes I forget that we have certain projects/activities/data crunches/blog posts….), teachers often ask us “OK, but what are the best resources that you can recommend?” At that point, we typically turn to Jessica and she always has a few ideas to recommend. So, this month, we asked Jessica to provide us with her “Best of NGPF” specifically for the last days of school.

The responses we got from teachers was nothing short of ecstatic with lots of exclamation points too! Note the various ways that teachers plan to utilize this list of end-of-year activities:

  • “I LOVE your TOP 15 List!!!   It came at just the right time as my new job has me looking for 4 weeks of FUN, ENGAGING lessons for our new freshmen Business exploratory!! I can’t wait to try ALL of these out!  They seem PERFECT, sparking early interest in our Business courses that are often overlooked!!
  • OMG!  Thank you so much… I must be out of my classroom just one day before the end of the term.  I was having a hard time developing meaningful sub plans so late in the course (and so close to the end of school).  I’m going to watch the “All Time Favorite Video” tonight and create some reflection questions.
 Here are Jessica‘s favorites to fill these last few days before summer break:

Question: How Much Time Are Millennials Spending a Week On Their Finances?

From USA Today story about how millennials are stressing about their financial situation (and spending time at work on it):

The irony of course is that you would expect with all the fintech apps out there that millennials would be spending LESS time working on their financial matters. Raises a few interesting questions:

Article: How Online Shopping Makes Suckers of Us All

Rather long (about 15 minute read) but intriguing article from The Atlantic that provides great context for trends that I have blogged about the growth of online shopping (here and here). The article describes how in this era of “big data” retailers are harnessing consumer information to price discriminate and obliterate the concept of a fixed price.

Here are a few excerpts:

Interactive: How Did The U.S. Government Spend A Few Trillion Dollars In FY2016?

I thought Econ teachers might like this interactive website. Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO and owner of the L.A. Clippers (A $2 billion purchase) has done a public service by harmonizing data from federal, state and local governments and putting it all on a website, USA Spending.gov (note that this interactive may move here this summer).

So, how did the federal government spend $3.85 trillion in FY2016? Note that on the website, you can scroll your mouse over the individual elements to get additional information.

By |May 11th, 2017|Budgeting, Chart of the Week, Interactive|

Question: What Does It Mean To Be An Adult?

An entertaining question to get a discussion rolling with your students. Note the number of items at the top of the list that are related to finances (e.g., paying own bills, full-time job, financial assistance…). How many are covered in your class?

From BuzzFeed:

By |May 4th, 2017|Budgeting, Current Events, Investing, Taxes|

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Co-Creator of “Spent” Game, Jenny Nicholson

MW-AM896_nichol_20110923090653_MD

I first heard about the game Spent from podcast guest, Helaine Olen. She described it as one of the best simulations in how it immersed the player into what it feels like to live “paycheck to paycheck.” After playing the game in our offices, we agreed with her, wrapped an activity around it with discussion questions and added it to our Interactive Library. Teachers are glad we did since we are constantly getting feedback like this about the impact of the game on students: