Purchase Decisions

/Purchase Decisions
­

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):

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Internet Car Sales Manager, Andrei Smith

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAfcAAAAJDg4N2IxOWU3LTExYzgtNDI1Zi1iMWU3LTNkODY4OGI0ZjU2ZA

You never know where you might meet your next podcast guest. I met Andrei at his dealership recently (that’s an Audi in the background). We had a good conversation and he told me how passionate he was about financial literacy (he want as far as to ask how he could get access to our site). I sensed his enthusiasm and his perceptiveness and thought he would be great on a podcast and boy was I RIGHT. Andrei will share with you some insider tips on buying a car, describe the psychology behind the hundreds of car purchases that he has closed and explain how a bad credit score can really hurt you when it comes to car loans. You will also learn about the special breed of car buyers known as “super grinders.” It isn’t pleasant. For your students considering sales as a career, he describes the skills needed to succeed in this Darwinian profession. Enjoy the conversation! I certainly did!

Details:

By |January 25th, 2017|Podcasts, Purchase Decisions|

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

In My Financial Life: A Nudge in the Wrong Direction

I had one of those annoying situations occur over the break. I got an email (which I missed) from my credit card company notifying me that my automatic payment from my checking account had been returned by my bank. Something about a bad account number which was the SAME account number that I have used to pay the balance on my card (successfully) dozens of times.  You know the drill from here with credit card companies, if your payment is not made on time, the late payment kicks in and interest charges and a higher penalty APR comes along for the ride. As a customer who had NEVER made a late payment on this card, I was confident that  a phone call would reverse all this nastiness and it DID (I blogged about how to negotiate your everyday expenses last year and that advice came through). Phew!

So, when I went to reset my automatic payment on my credit card back to the same account number that I have used countless times, I was dismayed to see this:

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%:

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-9-30-54-am

__________________

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):

Personal Finance In My Life: Calculator Deflation

Shopping at the Half Moon Bay Ace Hardware (with the most helpful associates ever!), I came across this basic Sharp calculator for $5.99:

img_7961

By |December 18th, 2016|Budgeting, Current Events, Math, Purchase Decisions, Question of the Day|

Question: Experiences or Things? What Do You Enjoy More?

download-2

This question seems apropos given the holiday season and is a great discussion starter. Ask your students to think about the 2-3 items that they purchased in the last year that they were (and continue to be) most excited about. Would they be classified as experiences or things?

This very accessible and relatively short (914 words or about 5 minutes) Scientific American article provides some scientific research to support one purchase type over the other (bold type are my own):

How Could a 1987 Videogame Cartridge Be Worth $30,000?

download-6

Economics teachers will love this long-form ESPN article as it provides a good demonstration of the value of scarce goods and supply and demand. The game: Stadium Events (I don’t ever remember this game which is probably the point). Let’s get the story started:

THE GAME CALLS out to collectors. It is seductive because of its rarity but also a testament to the darker side of a hobby reaching new heights of popularity.

It isn’t a good game. It’s a boring game. Released in 1987 by the Japanese company Bandai, Stadium Events was made for a piece of peripheral hardware called the Family Fun Fitness mat. Playing it required jumping on the mat’s sensors to emulate running, the characters in the game sprinting, hurdling in accord with how fast the player could go. The graphics weren’t anything special. The easiest way to play was to give up running and crouch in front of the pad and slap your hands on the sensors as fast as possible — cheating.

So, how many of the cartridges were produced?

By |December 4th, 2016|Article, Behavioral Finance, Current Events, Purchase Decisions|