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pile of cash Is it a Luxury or a Necessity?

Read the Pew Research Center report article Luxury or Necessity? The Public Makes a U-Turn April 2009.

Poll your family, your friends or your class -

Luxury or necessity for these item - Car land line phone, cell phone, clothes dryer, TV, iPod, Dishwasher, Cable or satellite TV service, home computer, microwave, and air conditioning. Add something that is important to your people in age group.

Tabulate the responses.

(Need help with percentages? MathFLIX free online Videos | Khan Academy free, online math videos)

Chart the results. (Hint Graphing - tutorial)

Compare your findings or priorities with the findings of the study.

How do they compare with the chart shown in the article?

question mark Evaluate -

What is the greatest necessity or the most important item?

What is the least necessary or the most luxurious?


question mark Consider -

Who is impacted positively when people buy less stuff?

Who is impacted negatively when people buy less stuff?

Which necessities should people use debt (loans or credit cards) to purchase?

Which luxuries should people use debt (loans or credit cards) to purchase?


question mark Do some digging and discover:

You need money to buy things. What is the relationship between level of education and income?


Develop a set of personal principles regarding how you will use money, debt and credit.

cross sign How much of your weekly income will you spend?

What strategies will you apply to your spending?

cross How much of your monthly income will you save?

What strategies will you use to achieve this?

cross How much of your monthly income will you loan to others?

cross What percentage of your monthly income will you obligate in debt?

cross Why will you pay off your credit card balance each month?


Learn more: Credit Card Facts Activity | Home Ownership - the positives and the negatives

Develop a personal financial plan.

"Thrift was never more necessary in the world's history than it is today." ~Francis H. Sisson

"A bargain ain't a bargain unless it's something you need." ~Sidney Carroll, A Big Hand for the Little Lady



Chart Reading - Federal and State Budgets | Economic Policies of the U.S. Government | U. S. Civics - Salaries of elected officials

Government Integrity - Earmarks - PBL | Priorities - bridges or legislator's earmarks problem based learning project

Chart Reading: Uninsured in the USA - Who should pay? | USA Health Care Spending - What are the Priorities?

Hunger in America - What is the priority? | Energy Plan and Its impact on you | Who gets the money from fines?

Finance info Resources:

Money 101 - CNN | Managing Debt and Credit | Rebuilding your nest egg - Consumer Reports

U.S. Financial Literacy and Education Commission - | Personal Finance @

Federal Citizen Information Center of the U.S. General Services Administration

U.S. Department of Treasury | Federal Reserve | 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy


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posted 4/2009, In the spirit of Ben Franklin who wrote, "A penny saved is a penny earned." - released to public domain by Cynthia J. O'Hora

Aligned with the following Pa Academic Standards - Reading, Writing Speaking, History, Civics and Government, Mathematics, Science and Technology.

tree icon Save a tree - use a Digital Answer Format - Highlight the text. Copy it. Paste it in a word processing document. Save the document in your folder. Answer on the word processing document in an easily read, contrasting color or font. (Not yellow ) Avoid fancy fonts like: Symbols, Techno, blakmore fancy font fonts). Save frequently as you work. I have never liked losing my work. You will not like it either. Be sure to enter your name & the date at the top of the document in a header. Submit via email attachment or class dropbox. Bad things happen: Save a copy of the response document for your records.

Proof your responses. It is funny how speling errors and typeos sneak in to the bets work. smiling icon Make your own printer paper answer sheet

Tech Tip: Working in a group or in two different places like the library & home? You do not have to be physically together to work together. gold starWatch Google Docs video TAI - How could you use free, Google Docs to do a project? How would this facilitate group projects?