Budgeting

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Question: What Financial Products Should A Young Person Use To Manage Their Money?

Hanging out on the Boglehead Forum today skimming the topics that have received the most replies. Forums seem so “old school” in this age of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat) but the ones that have survived and thrived have done so for a reason. For those not familiar with the Boglehead Forum, the forum is named in honor of John Bogle, founder of Vanguard Investments, and attracts knowledgeable, thrifty investors passionate about sharing their knowledge in a variety of topics. Anytime I descend into the rabbit hole of a forum thread, I find myself wiser for the time invested. Students need to know where to go for reliable, credible sources for financial information.

I thought your students would benefit from this thread titled “College-bound teens and finances,” since it takes a holistic view on how to set up a young person for financial success from a parent’s perspective (other people’s parents which probably helps:) Here was the opening question on the thread: 

Video: Suburbs and Cities: Why Do We Live Where We Do?

Hat tip to Big Picture blog who brought this well produced and engaging 10 minute video to my attention. It provides an historical perspective on how cities developed and the factors that determine where people live in in the U.S. compared to Europe. This would be a good supplement to your budgeting lesson as housing costs tend to be the largest expense so where you live is consequential:

Questions for students:

  • Why did cities in Europe develop differently than those in the U.S.?
  • Where do rich people tend to settle in European cities? Why? How is it different in the U.S.?
  • What factors led to more suburbanization in the U.S. compared to Europe?
  • What is the unintended consequence of this move to the suburbs in the U.S.?
  • Where would you prefer to live: the suburbs or a city? Why?

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Check out the most popular NGPF Activity: Create A Salary-Based Budget

By |March 22nd, 2017|Budgeting, Mortgages, Purchase Decisions, Research, Video Resource|

Question: What Percentage of High School Seniors Have A Driver’s License?

Answer (from Pew Charitable Trust): 71.5%, a significant decline from 85.3% in 1996.

See chart below the line:

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:

Sketch-OneClickBuy

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: