Mar 01, 2023

Question of the Day: Which cost has grown fastest over the last 20 years? a) Cellphone service b) College tuition/fees c) New cars


Answer: College Tuition and Fees


  • Analyzing this chart, is there a conclusion that you can draw on whether the cost of a) goods OR b) services have grown the fastest over this period? 
  • What forces do you think have led to DECLINING prices of consumer products like TVs, Toys and Cellphone Service? 
  • What's your headline for this chart? 

Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Behind the numbers (Visual Capitalist)

Since the start of the 21st century, U.S. consumers have seen a divergence of price movements across various categories. Nowhere is this better illustrated than on this chart concept thought up by AEI’s Mark J. Perry. It’s sometimes referred to as the “chart of the century” because it provides such a clear and impactful jump-off point to discuss a number of economic forces.

The punchline is that many consumer goods—particularly those that were easily outsourced—saw price drops, while key “non-tradable” categories saw massive increases. 


NGPF has oodles of resources on the topic of inflation, including activities, videos and lessons. Here's what the NGPF Search Tool found.  


What does the experience of living paycheck to paycheck feel like? Play NGPF Arcade game Spent and find out. 














About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

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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