Teach Students to "Share to Save"

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May 02, 2019
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NGPF Fellows, Lesson Idea, Math

This guest blog post comes to you courtesy of NGPF Fellow Aric Weiker of Interlake High School (WA). I personally love this lesson idea because, I think, too often we focus on teaching students to "give up" their favorite spending habits entirely. How many times have you heard, "If you only saved that latte money"? Aric's got the good start of a lesson idea to teach students how they can still have their favorite coffee drink and still reduce their spending. For those who teach math or financial algebra, it's also got some basic numeracy and operations that can be extended up into algebraic functions if you wanted. Fuse personal finance concepts and math into one learning experience!

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Share to Save on Purchases

This is the first of a two-part series that quantifies how sharing can drive significant savings with minimal sacrifice. The focus of this post is new purchases.

Intuitively, we know that splitting a meal lowers the cost compared to ordering half as much individually. But how much does this actually save, and what are the easiest and best options for students? With enough effort and patience, the list of potential savings is very long. However, there are goods and services where the product and payments are not easily divided. A single popsicle or concert ticket are clear examples. Better choices are foods that are already available in smaller portions with packaging that accommodates easy separation. Group discounts for activities and shared use of rental spaces are also good choices. With peer-peer payment apps such as Venmo and CashApp, the hassle of collecting cash is also eliminated.

Encourage students to consider this list of top Share to Save options and to provide feedback on which of these they are already doing. As a follow-up, they can supplement the list with additional examples and look up prices to determine how much each new idea could save.

Top Tips for Saving on Purchases

Food:

  • Subway: Buy a footlong and each take 6”
  • Starbucks: Buy a Vente and share vs. two Talls
  • Baskin Robbins: Buy a double scoop, ask for an extra cup and then divide the scoops

Restaurant

Individual Price

Combined Price

Half of Combined Price

Savings

Subway

$4.97

$7.90

$3.95

$1.02

Starbucks

$3.45

$4.86

$2.43

$1.02

BR

$3.26

$4.67

$2.34

$  .92

 

Transportation: ride shares, airline coupons

  • Uber/Lyft/Cab: Share a ride
  • Alaska Airlines Companion Fare: Travel together if you have a discount coupon 2 for 1 (plus a fee)

Travel

Individual Price

Combined Price

Half of Combined Price

Savings

Ride Share

$  10

$  10

$     5

$    5

AlaskaAir

$400

$521

$260

$140

 

Activities via Groupon

  • Bike Rental
  • Escape Room

Services

Individual Price

Combined Price

Half of Combined Price

Savings

Bike Rental

$  30

$  40

$  20

$  10

Escape Room

$  40

$  56

$  28

$  12

 

Looking ahead to College…Housing

  • Your own room with a friend in a two bedroom apartment vs. your own apartment. Even more savings would come from sharing a room, but that is not as comparable.

Apartment

1 bdr

2 bdr

Half of 2 bdr

Savings

 

$2000

$2775

$1388

$612

 

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Use Aric's idea to get your own lesson going about Sharing to Save money on purchases rather than cutting out the fun entirely from your budget.  

 

 

About the Author

Jessica Endlich

When I started working at Next Gen Personal Finance, it's as though my undergraduate degree in finance, followed by ten years as an educator in an NYC public high school, suddenly all made sense.