Purchase Decisions

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Chart of the Week: What Are Your Two Favorite Platforms for Watching “Television?”

 

The answer to this question has budgetary implications given how the cost differential between the platforms. If you are a millennial, your top four platforms, based on a recent survey, are:

  • Netflix
  • Cable TV
  • Hulu
  • Amazon Prime

Hat tip to VisualCapitalist for this infographic: 

Interactive: What Do Consumers Spend Their Money On?

If you are a data geek, you will love this interactive tool/data visualization from Flowing Data (be sure to click on the link to take advantage of the interactive nature of the tool):

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 4.26.15 PM

Let me provide some context for what you are looking at. Here are the data sources:

Question: Can You Really Build Wealth Earning The Minimum Wage?

Thought-provoking infographic from Visual Capitalist. I like the question because the knee jerk reaction to the question would be “of course not.” The infographic lists 10 ways to be able to build wealth while earning a low wage. Frankly these tips work for people at all income strata which is why I am including it here. Some questions for your students:

By |April 2nd, 2017|Current Events, Index Funds, Purchase Decisions, Savings|

Podcast: How Does Scarcity (Time, Money, Relationships) Impact Our Brain?

Thanks for my friend Dan Mennel for pointing this podcast out to me: Hidden Brain: Tunnel Vision (Episode 65, 36:34)

What I like about this podcast:

The first fifteen minutes of the podcast deal with the issue of money scarcity and describe how our brains are wired to handle it and how our responses often meet short-term needs at the expense of our long-term goals.

From Hidden Brain website: When you’re hungry, it can be hard to think of anything other than food. When you’re desperately poor, you may constantly worry about making ends meet. When you’re lonely, you might obsess about making friends. This week on Hidden Brain, we explore the psychological phenomenon of scarcity and how it can affect our ability to see the big picture and cope with problems in our lives.

  • Timeline:

Articles: The History of the Department Store and the Modern Day Department Store Destroyer

Two articles that I thought your students might enjoy since shopping seems top of mind for many teens. I think these would be particularly good as a supplement for your investing or entrepreneurship lessons. One article describes the rise of the department store (Inventing the Department Store in Barrons; about 5 minutes reading) and the other describes the modern day Leviathan that is destroying department stores and other competitors too (Amazon: Primed from the Economist (three articles free per week); about 15 minutes reading).

A Q&A follows focused on the key takeaways from the readings.

Some highlights from the Barrons article:

What led to the first department stores being opened in London? 

As affluence increased in the 18th century and the Industrial Revolution made more goods available, shopping began to evolve into what would become the department store. The first ones began by catering to the most common type of shoppers, women. The first real department store, Harding, Howell & Cos.’ Grand Fashionable Magazine, opened in London in 1796. Its four departments carried furs, jewelry, dresses, and hats, and accessories such as lace and gloves.

Who brought concept to US? Alexander Stewart

What was his insight that led to their popularity? 

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?

_______

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):