Dec 11, 2015
Activity, Behavioral Finance, Research, Credit Cards, Mutual Funds, Advertising, Purchase Decisions, Insurance, Video Resource
I saw this US News and World Report article titled “7 Tricks Advertisers Use to Make You Spend Money” and immediately thought it would be fun to pair with a series of advertisements. The assignment is simple:
Students review the advertisements (see below) and indicate which of the 7 tricks the advertiser uses (several of the ads may use multiple tricks):
Appealing to greed or other vices
Exciting our emotions
Suggesting that everyone else is doing it
Using attractive people in...
Dec 07, 2015
Behavioral Finance, Research, Credit Cards, Advertising
We have all seen these offers (what in industry parlance are known as deferred interest promotional financing). These amazing offers where you can buy a big ticket item now (TVs, appliances, furniture) and not have to make payments for a period of time. How cool is that? Immediate gratification in return for future pain. Of course they also come with the fine print, which is often smaller than you see on the image above. The dirty secret (it’s not really a secret; it’s just not...
Oct 30, 2015
Activity, Payment Types, Teaching Strategies, Advertising, Purchase Decisions, Writing assignment
Got this idea for a student writing assignment from a recent Forbes column in which people open their wallets and describe the last ten things they purchased while also providing the payment type, some context and the motivation for the purchase.
Here is an excerpt from a 19 year old college student:
1. Breakfast bagel sandwich: $7.78
Although I have a meal plan at my university, I occasionally treat myself to food from outside establishments for breakfast. On this day, I woke up...
Aug 27, 2015
Behavioral Finance, Budgeting, Credit Cards, Student Loans, Advertising, Current Events, Audio Resource, Podcasts
Thank you to Dottie Vollmer, a Peer Financial Educator, for sharing her expertise with our educator community in this recent podcast. Dottie counsels college students as a member of the MoneySmarts team at Indiana University.
In this podcast, she shares what she has learned in her work with college students on budgeting, student loans and credit cards and answers such questions as:
What are the biggest misconceptions about money that college students have?
What budget items do college...
Jul 13, 2015
Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day, Investing, Mutual Funds, Advertising, Current Events, Article
One of the top NY Times articles columns this weekend came from a Harvard economics professor and was titled “Why Investing Is So Complicated And How To Make It Simpler.” This will be great article for your students to read to become more familiar with investing terminology and understand why so many are flustered by the thought of making investment choices. As the professor notes at the conclusion of the article, throwing one’s hands up and not doing anything isn’t a...
Jun 11, 2015
Identity Theft, Advertising, Current Events
An PBS NewsHour article provides a good reminder of what you may be giving up in return for that “free trial:”
“How much do you know about what companies do with your data? Perhaps you don’t care who sees it, because you think you have nothing to hide…”
Apr 17, 2015
Savings, Checking Accounts, Advertising, Current Events, Video Resource
It’s late on a Friday afternoon, so in search of entertainment, I found some recent 30-second bank commercials for your students to enjoy by answering the following questions:
What is the key message for each ad?
What are the different approaches the ads use to try and influence you?
Is it convincing to you? Why or why not?
Which ad do you believe is most effective?
Roll the tape….
Nordnet: The Most Honest Bank Commercial You Will Ever Watch
Wells Fargo: Over 2.5 million...
Mar 26, 2015
Behavioral Finance, Budgeting, Personal Finance, Savings, Advertising, Purchase Decisions, Article
I’m blogging for #NationalReadingMonth. While reading is typically an inexpensive pastime, shopping is not, yet many out there would say it’s one of their favorite hobbies. This article helps us realize why…
5 Reasons We Impulse Buy
What is it? This is a Psychology Today review of why people buy things they don’t need in too large of quantities. As the title implies, they offer five concrete reasons, from a psychological perspective, for why we just can’t...
Feb 06, 2015
Activity, Credit Cards, Advertising, Current Events
What if you wanted to apply for this credit card? Maybe a friend told you about the company, you googled the company name and clicked on the APPLY link.
You then got to a page that looks like this:
Before students go any further, you might ask them what’s missing. Hint: Any information about the terms of this credit card that’s readily available (the savvier students will see the TERMS AND CONDITIONS at the bottom of the website and get here).
When they click APPLY NOW, they will see...
Dec 18, 2014
Activity, Behavioral Finance, Lesson Idea, Student Loans, Advertising
Posted about this Brookings study recently that showed too many college students with loans don’t realize that they have debt. From Time:
The data reveals that students are generally clueless about the costs of higher education and how they’re paying for it. Nearly half of students underestimated their debt loads by at least $1,000, with 25% of students underestimating their debt by $5,000 or more.
Why this cluelessness? They offer a few hypotheses:
There are a lot of reasons students...
Dec 12, 2014
Credit Scores, Activity, Credit Cards, Lesson Idea, Advertising, Current Events
We need to teach our students to be savvy consumers. How can we do that? I have a few posts titled “What’s the Catch” in which students analyze a financial product and come up with reasons they should be wary of it. My inspiration in the middle of the night was to string together a few of these posts and have students “solve” them in class today as an activity I called “Financial Detectives.”
Here is how the class unfolded:
Sorted the class into groups of 4-5
Dec 01, 2014
Activity, Financial Literacy, Checking Accounts, Advertising, Current Events
This ad seems pretty straightforward, right?
Free checking right. I mean Totally Free Checking. Well, not really.
The Consumer Financial Protection Board took action against M&T Bank for “deceptively advertising free checking.” So,what happened? It turns out M&T didn’t disclose that “the free checking account customers had to maintain a minimum level of account activity with deposits and withdrawals to maintain the free account.” So, when 59,000 customers...
Nov 21, 2014
Behavioral Finance, Advertising, Purchase Decisions
All consumers at some point will find themselves on a car lot looking to purchase a new or used car. The internet has leveled the playing field for consumers who now have all the information they need to negotiate a fair price. This American Life provides consumers with an insider’s view of a Jeep dealership and how incentives drive the behavior of salespeople, the general manager and consumers. Among the fun facts you will learn from this radio show is that balloons sell cars. Enjoy!...
Nov 20, 2014
Credit Scores, Financial Literacy, Student Loans, Advertising, Current Events
Here’s what’s trending on credit scores recently:
What city has the highest credit score? Find out the answer and more in Experian’s State of Credit Report (Experian); great resource to familiarize your students with credit terminology:
Experian’s fifth annual State of Credit highlights the U.S. cities with the highest and lowest credit scores, bankcard usage, average debt as well as other factors in more than 100 metropolitan areas across the country. To find out where your city...
Nov 12, 2014
Behavioral Finance, Savings, Checking Accounts, Advertising, Video Resource
Given how consumers today are bombarded by marketing messages, I think it is important to teach students to analyze these messages. Here are three bank commercials that use different techniques to deliver three very different messages.
Prior to showing these commercials to students, ask them to focus on these three questions while they watch: 1) the key message of the commercial 2) how effective it is at persuading them to take action and 3) what the commercials do not talk about...