Category: Budgeting

Interactive: How much are those streaming services really costing you?

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Nov 17, 2019
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Interactive, Budgeting
With the. proliferation of streaming services, it makes one wonder, am I really better off cutting the cable cord and signing up for a few streaming services. This interactive from MarketWatch doesn't answer that question but it does provide some eye-popping numbers about both the lifetime cost and the opportunity cost of signing up for these services.  Step 1: Students first select the streaming services they currently have (or plan to have): Step 2: After selecting the streaming...

Question: How much more time do adults spend watching TV vs. managing household finances in a typical month?

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Nov 13, 2019
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Question of the Day, Budgeting, Behavioral Finance
Answer: About 70 times more time is spent watching TV (85 hours/month on TV compared to an hour and 12 minutes on finances) Questions: What are three reasons why adults spend so little time on managing finances?  How do you think that technology has impacted the time required to manage personal finance? Explain.  What are examples of activities that adults do to manage their finances?  How important do you think it is to spend time on financial management?  Here's the...

Chart of the Week: Who has health care insurance?

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Nov 06, 2019
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Chart of the Week, Insurance, Budgeting
Interesting interactive on Visual Capitalist highlights how Americans differ by age. The chart below shows how health insurance coverage changes based on age?  Questions: At what age are the most Americans have health insurance coverage? Why do you think this is the case?  At what age do the least Americans have health insurance coverage? Why do you think this age group doesn't have health insurance?  What do you think are the factors that impact whether or not someone chooses...

QoD: How many years has the typical American homeowner been in their current home?

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Nov 06, 2019
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Economics, Question of the Day, Budgeting, Purchase Decisions, Research, Mortgages
This is a good one for Economics class as it's a demonstration of supply/demand factors in the housing market. Given that the trend has been for homeowners to stay in their houses for longer periods of time, the supply of houses for sale (inventory) goes down and if new construction doesn't close that supply gap then there's a supply/demand imbalance. You can guess what happens next.  Answer: 13 years Here's a chart showing the regions where homeowners have been in their homes the longest,...

Interactive Monday: The 50/30/20 Budgeting Rule of Thumb in Action

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Nov 03, 2019
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Interactive, Budgeting
I can't remember how I found this site but thought it might be engaging to your students because it takes a budgeting principle and allows students to see how it actually applies in their community.  The simulation starts by explaining the 50/30/20 budgeting rule of thumb which is the idea that 50% of budget should be spent on needs, 30% on wants and 20% on savings and paying down debt. It then has students select from one of three scenarios: Married couple with 2 children in Boise, Idaho...

QoD: Which Halloween item do consumers spend the most on: Decorations, Candy or Costumes?

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Oct 30, 2019
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Question of the Day, Budgeting, Purchase Decisions
Answer: Note: Figures above represent amount spent per person.  Questions: What did you/your family spend the most on this year? How much did you/your family spend on all Halloween items? [Average spend this year was $86.27]  What role did social media have on your Halloween spending this year (e.g., did you find costume ideas on Instagram?) Explain.  Would it surprise you to learn that Halloween is the second most popular holiday in terms of consumer spending? Why do you think...

QoD: Where do teens consume the most video: Cable, YouTube or Netflix?

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Oct 23, 2019
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Question of the Day, Purchase Decisions, Budgeting
Answer: YouTube Here's the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. Questions: Where do you go most frequently? Why? Five years ago, what would your answer have been?  Compare these services from a cost perspective. Which is most costly? Least costly? Have you heard about any of the new streaming services? Do you think any of them will be in the top five next year? Explain.  Behind the numbers (Piper Jaffray Teen Survey) 37% of teens prefer...

Throwback Tuesday QoD: What is the most popular shopping website for teens?

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Oct 21, 2019
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Question of the Day, Budgeting
We last asked this question back in November of 2017 so it was time to check back with the Piper Jaffray Taking Stock with Teens Survey 2019 to see what had changed.  Answer: Amazon (and it's not even close!) Questions: Do you shop online at all? If so, what is your favorite website? How much of an impact does social media have with your online purchases? For example, are there influencers on Instagram that pitch products they like that you purchase because of their endorsement? Are there...

Interactive Monday: What's the average commute time in your town or city?

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Oct 20, 2019
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Interactive, Budgeting
Interactive map from the Census Bureau allows students to scroll over their metro/nearest metro area to find out how long the average commute is: When you scroll over a given metro area, you get the average commute time and also the various modes of transportation to get there. Here's my county (Santa Clara, CA):  This would be a good resource to include when students are completing a post-high school or post-college budget. Good starting point for a conversation about the tradeoffs...

Reading List for October 18-20

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Oct 18, 2019
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Current Events, Financial Literacy, Cryptocurrencies, Student Loans, Financial Scams, Career, Budgeting, Taxes
Financial Wellness Rather than focusing on life events, banks are now basing their products and marketing on everyday financial decisions, getting into the financial wellness business. (The Financial Brand) Is your credit card debt making you sick? A detailed study by CarefulCents.com finds the answer if “yes.” (PRNewswire)   Economics/ Crypto-Currency Here is an article from The Economist that discusses the demise of cash across the world’s economies. (For more detail...

QoD: Rank order these snacks from most to least popular for Gen Zs: Goldfish, Cheez-It, Lays

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Oct 15, 2019
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Question of the Day, Budgeting, Purchase Decisions
Answer:  Questions: How much do you think you spend on snacks in a typical month?  For those of you who buy snacks pretty regularly, think about the details of these purchases (time of day, day of week, location). Is there a pattern to these purchases?  What makes each of these snacks so popular?  What is one idea you have on how to save money on snacks like these?  Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your...

QoD: To tip or not to tip: What percent of people tip at coffee shops?

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Oct 13, 2019
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Question of the Day, Budgeting, Research, Behavioral Finance
I love this question because of the prevalence of these touch screens that get turned toward the customer at time of purchase. Do you feel that nudge...? Answer: 48.5% (median tip is 17% or about $1 tip on a $5 latte) Questions: Do you leave a tip at your local coffee shop/cafe? If so, how much do you normally tip?  Is your tipping behavior based on the service you receive or do you have a consistent policy? Does the presence of a touch screen where the people behind you in line can see...

Chart of the Week: New Car Loans

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Oct 08, 2019
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Chart of the Week, Purchase Decisions, Budgeting, Behavioral Finance
Summary: This chart shows the percentage of new car loans and the term of their loans (in months).  Questions: How would you summarize the trend in the length of new car loans over the past decade? Increasing or decreasing? Which loan term has seen the sharpest increase in the past decade?  What is the relationship between the term of the loan and the amount of the monthly payment? The longer the loan term, the _______ the monthly payment.  The _________ the loan term, the...

QoD: Can you name ONE of the FIVE most impactful pieces of financial advice that millennials have received?

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Oct 07, 2019
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Question of the Day, Personal Finance, Budgeting, Savings, Research
Questions: Create a similar list with students in your classroom in answer to this question "What is the best financial advice that you have received from family members?"  What does the phrase "Don't live beyond your means" mean to you? Can you give some examples of people "living beyond their means?" Why do you think that building an emergency fund has been such useful advice to millennials.  The advice listed above seems pretty "common sense." Why do you think that many people...

Interactive Monday: What are the trends with single-family homes?

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Oct 06, 2019
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Interactive, Research, Math, Budgeting
Have your students explore this interactive from the Census Bureau to learn more about the characteristics of single-family homes built and sold in 2018. Putting the cursor over the yellow circle and blue squares in the interactive reveal information about the specific feature in the house. Lots of opportunities for math teachers teaching percents with this interactive as students can calculate how prevalent each home feature is.  Questions: What was the median square footage for a new...