Budgeting

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Question: Who Has The Best Cell Phone Plan?

We know your students love their smartphones. How about putting that obsession to use by having them read this article from the NY Times “Picking a New Phone Plan? Here Are Your Best Bets?” As the article notes, every few months the carriers update their pricing models (check out our earlier posts on the topic here and here):

Shopping for a phone plan can be as daunting as picking a health insurance package. The rates and options constantly change, and it feels impossible to make simple comparisons between carriers. Case in point: The best phone plans we recommended a year and a half ago are now obsolete because the wireless carriers have completely changed their offerings.

The article goes on to highlight the “best plans” for different types of users: Single User, Single Power User, Average Couple, Power Couple, Family of Four, Occasional Traveler. Here are some ideas on how you can structure this as an activity for students to discuss with their parents or guardians (copied from an earlier post):

What’s Trending on the NGPF Blog?

Here are the top 5 posts from January:

  1. Question: How Much Does It Cost To Raise a Child Born in 2015?
  2. Chart: How Does the Typical American Household Spend Their Money (and How Has It Changed Over Time)?
  3. Videos: 4 Simple Rules of Investing from Marginal Revolution University
  4. Videos: What Was Considered Good Financial Advice in the 1940s and 1950s?
  5. Chart: How Strong Are Americans Problem-Solving Skills Using a Computer?

We saw the popularity of #1 (it was 3X more popular than #2) and created a Question of the Day so educators could use it to engage their students. This is a great example of how we use the research that goes into writing daily blog posts to inform our curriculum to ensure that we stay relevant and current. The Marginal Revolution University videos (#3) are a new source that I came across during my travels to Rhode Island in December. I will be reviewing more of those in the weeks ahead.

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By |February 9th, 2017|Budgeting, Career, Chart of the Week, Investing, Video Resource|

As More And More Spending Moves Online…

It becomes easier to spend mindlessly. This is a great graphic (for more, check out this CNN article) to get your class talking about their spending habits:

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Ask your students to think back to items they have bought online recently from Amazon (or other websites) and how many are

Videos: What Was Considered Good Financial Advice In the 1940s and 50s?

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Put this in the category of “not so current events.” Something about my impending birthday has me getting nostalgic for the “good ole days.” I stumbled across this trove of videos from the 1940s which would have been the financial advice that my teenage Mom would have been given. Here are some of the highlights that I thought you would enjoy (with questions):

  • Keeping a Budget: Your Thrift Habits (it’s 10 minutes long, but the first five minutes will give you plenty to discuss):
    • How was Ralph able to buy his camera?
    • What was the budget method that worked for Ralph (full disclosure: this was how I kept track of my newspaper route revenues)?  How did he track his progress toward saving for his camera?
    • Is it easy to make a budget work? Why or why not?
    • What are Jack’s sources of income?
    • What are Jack’s regular expenses? irregular expenses?
    • Why did Jack find it difficult to save?
    • What would be on your list of “Watch these expenses?”
    • Identify an item that you would like to save for and break it down to how much you need to save per week.
By |January 23rd, 2017|Budgeting, Checking Accounts, Investing, Savings, Stocks, Video Resource|

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Author, Columnist and Personal Finance Advocate Beth Kobliner

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I had a great conversation with Beth Kobliner recently. Beth has an incredible personal finance focused CV. She’s been a columnist at Money Magazine, authored one (and soon to be two) New York Times Bestsellers (Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties), served on the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, and gave financial advice to Elmo on Sesame Street (and a whole lot more too)! In this NGPF podcast, Beth shares the money lessons she learned growing up in Queens, New York as well as the motivation for her latest book, Make Your Kid a Money Genius, to be released in February. You will benefit from Beth’s insights on how to invest, use credit cards wisely and a simple test to control those impulsive purchases. Parents will find Beth’s new book a godsend in describing developmentally appropriate actions to build that financial decision-making muscle that your children need to thrive in this financially complex world. Enjoy!

Details:

Chart: How Much of Millennials’ Food Budget Is Spent on Dining Away From Home?

Answer: 47%

From The Atlantic/BLS:

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The chart is interesting when you look at it over a 20 year arc (instead of focusing on the short term ups and downs), where seniors have actually increased their dining away from home more than the other age groups (on a percentage basis).

From the Atlantic:

Question: How Much Does It Cost to Raise A Child Born in 2015?

Hat tip to Brian Page educator (and podcast guest) at Reading High School (Reading, Ohio) for tipping me off to this USDA Report.

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Answer (you better thank your parents): $233,610

By |January 10th, 2017|Budgeting, Current Events, Parent Conversations, Research|

Chart: How Does the Typical American Household Spend Their Money (and How Has It Changed Over Time?)

Good question to open your Budgeting unit.

Start with this question: Looking at the the six spending categories below (NOT ordered in any specific way), what percentage did households spend on each category in 2014? Must add up to 100%:

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Here’s the chart  with the answer (which is going to require interpreting data from the graph; click on the graph to increase it’s size):