The Influence of Advertising – Understanding Techniques

In this lesson students recognize how and when advertising techniques can influence buying decisions.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Understand and identify basic advertising techniques and appeals
  • Understand and identify deceptive or questionable advertising techniques
  • Give examples of commonly seen misleading advertisements, and identify the deceptive or questionable appeals and techniques used in each
  • Discriminate between facts and unsupported claims in print advertisements and in television commercials

 

Suggested Grade Level

7th Grade – 12th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

In today’s modern world, advertising seems to be everywhere we look; online, television, billboards, magazines, newspapers, on buses, grocery carts, even cell phones.

In addition, some forms of advertising can be subliminal, such as the strategically-placed soda can in a movie. We can’t help but be influenced and manipulated as consumers. In this lesson, students will become aware of the various techniques and appeals used to influence consumer behavior.

Warnings must also be sounded. Unethical selling techniques such as “bait and switch,” as well as common deceptive promotions like “get rich quick schemes” are discussed here. This is followed by information on program-length commercials, also called “infomercials.”

Finally, students are asked to develop guidelines for viewing and evaluating advertising. This skill will prepare them to make rational decisions in our very complex and evolving marketplace.

 

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Cars & Loans – Costs & Responsibilities

In this lesson students investigate the legal and financial responsibilities of buying, maintaining, insuring, and operating a car, and translate those responsibilities into a monthly budget.

Teaching Objectives:

  • List some of the costs of owning and operating a car
  • Given a budget, decide how much you can afford to pay for a car
  • List some of the things you should research and some decisions you should make before you begin to shop for a car
  • Understand the differences between various kinds of warranties and service contracts
  • List some steps you can take to resolve warranty and service contract disputes
  • List some of the factors to consider when shopping for a car loan
  • Calculate the total cost of various car loans
  • Understand what a co-signer is, and describe when one is necessary
  • List the responsibilities of a co-signer and of the person getting the loan
  • List some of the factors to consider when shopping for car insurance
  • List some of the factors used to set car insurance rates
  • Understand the circumstances under which a vehicle can be repossessed, and list the legal rights and responsibilities of the creditor and of the debtor
  • Given a budget, decide how much money can safely be spent each month to own, operate, and maintain a car
  • Know the advantages and disadvantages of leasing a motor vehicle

 

Suggested Grade Level

7th Grade – 12th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

“Should I buy a new car or a used car?”

“Where is the best place to finance my automobile purchase?”

“Is it better to take the rebate or the low-rate financing plan?”

These are typical questions asked by people buying vehicles. In this lesson, students are asked to identify costs associated with owning and operating a motor vehicle. Since these costs are commonly underestimated, guidelines are provided on how much to spend when buying vehicles.

The material provided in this lesson will address the many factors and decisions involved in purchasing and financing a vehicle. In addition to comparing used and new cars, we also cover warranties, service contracts, and financing the purchase. Other issues related to using credit for buying a car include the information required by the Truth-in-Lending law, use of a co-signer, and repossession.

Finally, various aspects of auto insurance are discussed. Students will learn about types of coverages,
factors affecting insurance costs, and comparing insurance companies.

 

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Credit Cards – Understanding & Responsibilities

In this lesson students develop skills to compare and evaluate the terms and conditions of various credit cards, the differences between credit cards, and the legal and financial responsibilities involved.

Teaching Objectives:

  • List three types of credit card accounts, and explain the uses and payment methods of each
  • Understand how to shop for a credit card
  • Read and interpret a credit card statement
  • Understand how to deal with billing errors
  • Understand the long-term results of overextending your credit uses
  • Determine safe personal debt loads

 

Suggested Grade Level

7th Grade – 12th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

What is APR? What is a grace period? What are transaction fees?

These and other questions will be answered in this lesson as students learn about credit cards, and the different types of cards available and features of each, such as bank cards, store cards, and travel and entertainment cards.

As students start to shop for their first (or next) credit card, this lesson will make them aware of various costs and features. Included in this section is a discussion of the methods for calculating finance charges.

Various federal laws protect our rights as we apply for and use credit cards, such as procedures for disputes and protection from card theft and fraud. In this lesson, students will also be given an opportunity to analyze the information contained on a credit card statement.

To assist students with making wise decisions related to credit cards, several shopping tips are offered. Finally, once again, students are reminded of guidelines related to determining safe debt loads.

 

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Credit – Understanding Rights & Responsibilities

In this lesson students gain an awareness and understanding of what credit is and the rights and responsibilities of using credit.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Understand some of the reasons for getting credit
  • Understand some of the advantages and disadvantages of using credit
  • Understand why banks issue credit
  • List and understand some of your rights and responsibilities as a consumer
  • Understand creditworthiness
  • List some of the reasons for establishing a credit history and understand how a credit history is built
  • List and understand the three principal types of consumer credit
  • Determine a safe debt load

 

Suggested Grade Level

7th Grade – 12th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

In today’s world, credit is integrated into everyday life. From renting a car to reserving an airline ticket or hotel room, credit cards have become a necessary convenience. However, using credit wisely is critical to building a solid credit history and maintaining fiscal fitness. While most students have a general idea about the advantages and disadvantages of credit, this lesson provides an opportunity to discuss these issues in more detail.

Young people and others commonly wonder how to establish credit. In this chapter, students will learn about the creditworthiness factors of character, capital, and capacity in order to help them gain an understanding of how to start and maintain a credit record.

This chapter will also introduce students to different types of credit: single-payment credit, installment credit, and revolving credit. Finally, this section will educate students about how much credit might be appropriate for their situation.

 

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Banking Services – Comparing & Evaluating Financial Service Products

In this lesson students practice comparing and evaluating various banking services, including checking and savings accounts, debit cards/ATM, and online banking. Perform the tasks associated with maintaining checking and savings accounts.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Understand the services offered by banks, savings and loans, and credit unions
  • List some of the factors to consider when shopping for bank services
  • Understand the responsibilities of having a checking account
  • Write checks and keep a running balance in a checkbook
  • Describe how to deposit a check
  • Read and interpret a checking account statement
  • Reconcile a checking account using a checking account statement and a check register
  • Describe what an ATM card is and explain how it is used
  • Describe what a debit card is and explain how it is used

Suggested Grade Level

7th Grade – 12th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

If the fee for an ATM transaction to withdraw money is $1 and a person withdraws money twice a week, the banking fees for that person will be $104 a year. Over a five-year period, those fees invested at five percent would grow to more than $570.

Most students know that banks and other financial institutions (credit unions, savings and loan associations) offer a variety of services. However, few people know how to make wise choices when using financial services. In this lesson, students will learn about the different types of financial service products available and the features of each.

When selecting a checking account, remind students to consider the required balance, monthly fees, interest earned, cost of printing checks, and charges for other fees and services.

 

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Buying a Home – Understanding the Process and Costs

In this lesson students gain a basic understanding of the process and costs involved with home buying.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Compare benefits and drawbacks of renting vs. buying a home
  • Develop a knowledge of the home-buying process
  • Understand steps involved in applying for a mortgage
  • Understand and compare various types of mortgages
  • Identify actions to take when selling a home

Suggested Grade Level

7th Grade – 12th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

For many, buying a home is the single most important financial decision they will make in their lifetime. However, the process of becoming a first-time homebuyer can be overwhelming, and requires a foundation for basic home-buying knowledge.

This lesson will provide students with information on buying a home and where and how to begin the process. After comparing the differences between renting and buying, students will be introduced to a five-step process for home buying. This framework provides an overview for the activities involved with selecting and purchasing a home.

“What type of mortgage should I select?” This common question will be covered, as well as what lenders look for when qualifying an applicant for a home loan. Next, the costs associated with finalizing a real estate purchase, or “closing costs,” are discussed.  Finally, students are put on the other side of the real estate transaction—as a seller. Several
suggestions are offered for selling a home.

 

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Living on you Own – Costs and Budgets

In this lesson students learn about the costs of living on their own.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Set up a budget that includes rent, moving expenses, and the expenses associated with setting up a household
  • Understand the rights and the legal responsibilities of a tenant
  • Understand the rights and the legal responsibilities of a landlord
  • Read and interpret various clauses in a lease

Suggested Grade Level

7th Grade – 12th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

As young people grow up, a common goal is to live on their own. However, the challenges of independent living are often quite different from their expectations. This lesson provides a reality check for students as they investigate the costs associated with moving, obtaining furniture and appliances, and renting an apartment.

In preparation for living on their own, students are reminded of the budgeting process. In this lesson, we will encourage students to carefully consider various fixed and flexible expenses. In addition, they’ll learn budgeting strategies for both flexible expenses (variable costs that change depending on level of consumption), such as entertainment, restaurants, and vacations, and fixed expenses (those that need to be paid every month), such as rent and apartment insurance.

As students start the apartment selection process, many factors will be considered. Where to live, how much to pay for rent, whether to share an apartment with a roommate, and what type of lease to sign, are just a few topics that will be addressed. Many students are probably not aware of the many important elements of a lease. In this section of the lesson, various information sections and clauses of an apartment lease are discussed. This material can help to create awareness and caution among students before signing a lease (or other contracts).

 

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The Art of Budgeting – Developing Personal Financial Goals

In this lesson students develop their own personal financial goals and budget.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Identify and prioritize some of your personal and financial goals
  • Identify the steps you can take and the resources you will need to achieve your goals
  • Identify and examine your current spending behaviors and patterns
  • Understand what it means to budget, and identify the reasons to maintain a budget
  • Create and maintain a personal budget that supports your personal and financial goals

Suggested Grade Level

7th Grade – 12th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

A personal budget is a financial plan that allocates future income toward expenses, savings, and debt repayment. “Where does the money go?” is a common dilemma faced by many individuals and households when it comes to budgeting and money management.

Effective money management starts with a goal and also a step-by-step plan for saving and spending. Financial goals should be realistic, be specific, have a timeframe, and imply an action to be taken. This lesson will encourage students to take the time and effort to develop their own personal financial goals and budget.

In this chapter students will monitor their spending habits (in writing) and will be able to better obtain the most value for their available dollars. We will also demonstrate that by carefully considering needs and wants, an individual or a family will spend appropriate amounts for current living expenses, while saving and investing for long-term financial security.

 

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Making Money – Financial Aspects of Employment

This lesson introduces students with making money and the various topics related to career planning and the financial aspects of employment.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Know the phases of the career-planning process
  • Identify and apply for employment
  • Understand the interview process
  • Understand some of the hidden costs of a job
  • Understand some of the benefits companies often offer employees
  • Interpret a pay stub

 

Suggested Grade Level

7th Grade – 12th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

Building your career is one of the surest ways to increase income and make money. When planning for the future, one of the most critical financial decisions is determining your career path.

In this lesson, students will be encouraged to consider various topics related to career planningand the financial aspects of employment. This variation of the decision-making process can help a person match personal abilities and interests with appropriate employment opportunities.

“How does a person apply for a job?” This is a question asked by many students. First students are informed of sources for identifying available employment positions. Next, various aspects of interviewing are discussed, as well as information on preparing for a job interview along with tips for successful interviewing.

Then, financial aspects of employment are considered, including the “hidden costs” of working and employee benefits. Finally, for students who have not worked in the past, information is offered about payroll taxes and other deductions from a person’s income.

 

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Making Decisions – Introduction to Decision-Making

This lesson introduces students with an opportunity to learn more about decision-making.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Identify decisions.
  • Identify the steps in the decision-making process.
  • Identify and explain factors that can affect the decision-making process, and give examples of decisions that have been influenced by one or more of these factors.
  • Identify and explain frequently used decision-making strategies, and give examples of when these strategies have been used.
  • Analyze influences of economic conditions on personal and financial decisions.
  • Identify risks and opportunity costs associated with personal and financial decisions.
  • Practice making decisions using a decision-making diagram.

Suggested Grade Level

7th Grade – 12th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

Each day, we are faced with many decisions. While most decisions are simple, such as “what should I wear?” or “what should I eat?,” others are more complex, such as “should I buy a new or used car?”

As decision-making skills are used and improved, a person’s quality of life is enhanced. Wiser choices result in better use of time, money, and other resources.

This introductory lesson provides students with an opportunity to learn more about decision-making. The lesson starts with an overview of the decision-making process followed by a discussion of various internal and external factors that affect decisions.

People are usually not aware of economic influences that can affect decision-making. These economic factors include inflation, interest rates, and the unemployment rate. Also, common risks associated with decision-making are often not considered. Students should also be aware of opportunity cost—what a person gives up when a decision is made.

Finally, the lesson concludes with strategies for analyzing the results of decision-making. Students are encouraged to consider their experiences in an effort to improve the quality of future decisions.

 

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