Audio Resource: How Does Our Spending Reflect Our Values?
Just done listening to this 28 minute Hidden Brain podcast “Money Talks” which asks such provocative questions such as:
- Would you buy clothing from a department store if you knew the apparel was made in a sweatshop?
- If you have a choice between a local coffee shop and a national chain, which would you choose?
- Does how a company treats its employees (e.g, Uber) or customers (e.g., United) factor into your purchasing decision?
I also learned a new term listening to this podcast:”buycott”, which is the opposite of boycott. You will also hear about some interesting research findings about how ethics play into purchase decisions.
We might think that we use money mostly to satisfy economic needs, but Paharia has found in her research that we often aim to satisfy psychological ones — whether that means driving a fancy car to show off our social status, or buying coffee at the local shop instead of a chain to express our moral values.
But while we do use money to support causes we believe in, we are often selective about when we express those beliefs — and when we ignore them.
Questions for students:
- How would you answer the three questions above?
- Give examples of decisions where you have used money to express your values.
- What are examples of purchases that teens make to express their status?
A few resources you might want to pair with this podcast:
- PBS Video (8 minutes): Why Are Teens So Brand Conscious?
- Lesson idea: How Do You Teach Money Values?
About the Author
Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.
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