Retailing and marketing strategies are designed to encourage you to spend more than you plan. You can avoid these tactics by being aware of the tricks used to make you buy.
- “5 for $5” implies that you must buy five to get the deal. However, you most likely can buy one for $1.
- Taller, narrower packages are often viewed as holding more product. Be sure to check the actual weight. Also beware of smaller packages for the same price as before, or even higher.
- “Up to 50% off” usually means many items in the store are being sold for a discount of less than 50 percent.
- “A small $5 fee,” instead of “A $5 fee,” may influence you into thinking that is more reasonable than it really is. Also beware of prices that exclude shipping and taxes.
- Rebates attract customers, but not everyone submits the needed paperwork to receive the refund.
- Many prices end in 9 to create the impression of a lower price.
- Beware of promotions that emphasize low payment; be sure to calculate the total price.
Remember: items may not always be “on sale,” but they are always “for sale.”
For additional information on avoiding marketing tricks, click here.
- Have students talk to others to obtain suggestions for wise buying.
- Have students create a visual summary (slide presentation or video) with tips for wise buying.
- What actions can a person take to prevent spending money unwisely?
- Describe actions you use to make wise buying decisions.
With growing numbers of video streaming services and product box programs, these subscriptions are becoming the newest budget buster. These seemingly small monthly charges add up, lowering a person’s ability to save along with a potential for increased debt. These ongoing financial commitments leave people with a lower percentage of free cash flow, or unencumbered income.
Subscription service spending is often overlooked especially when the payments are on auto pilot. A $4 or $8 monthly fee may not seem like much. However, research indicates that subscription services are an increasing financial burden as most people underestimate the amount. In one study, 84 percent of respondents estimated monthly spending on these services at about $80; the actual amount was over $110. In addition to video steaming services, people sign up for automatic monthly shipments of beer, wine, contact lenses, cosmetics, meal kits, pet food, razors, vitamins, and other products.
For additional information on subscription services, click here.
- Have students survey several people to determine the types and amounts of subscription services being used.
- Have students create a financial analysis for amounts saved over several years by reducing or eliminating subscription services.
- What factors influence a person’s decision to use a subscription service?
- Describe suggested actions that a person might take to reduce or eliminate subscription services.