Vending Machines for Cars?

Believe it or not, you can buy a car from a vending machine.  Carvana has created an eight-story high glass structure holding 30 cars. The online auto retailer opened its first vehicle vending machine in Nashville, Tennessee, and also has locations in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, Texas. Payment, financing, and trade-ins are arranged online.  Free delivery is offered in the areas served.  However, buyers have the option of receiving an oversized Carvana coin to drop in a slot to automatically move the car to the delivery bay ready to drive.

For additional information on Carvana, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

  • Have students search for a website or app related to car buying services that was not available a few years ago.
  • Have students talk with others about their car buying experiences. Ask students to propose an app or website that would improve car buying activities.

Discussion Questions 

  1. What benefits are associated with this type of motor vehicle buying process?
  2. Describe common mistakes people might make when buying a motor vehicle?

Reducing Impulse Buying

All buying decisions fall into two categories: (1) items we need; and (2) items we want. Financial difficulties often occur when the categories are blurred. People try to convince themsleves that things they WANT are things they NEED, when often that is not the situation. Our true needs involve a fairly short list:  food, air, water, shelter, health care (including health insurance), clothing, and maybe…Internet access.

However, Internet access can be basis of our financial troubles. Time spent browsing online can result in many unneeded purchases.  How might you avoid this?  The following suggestions are offered:

  • Don’t buy an item right away. Delaying a purchase allows you to consider the value more carefully.
  • Review the purchases you delayed for at least a month to determine if the urge to buy the item still exists, and if the money is available.
  • Delete from your “wish list” any items that you no longer desire to buy.
  • Consider returning an item, as allowed, when the purchase does not meet your expectations.

For additional information on reducing impulse buying, go to:

Link #1

Link #2

Teaching Suggestions

  • Have students describe purchases that might have been avoided using the suggestions above.
  • Have students talk to others to create a list of methods to reduce impulse buying.

Discussion Questions 

  1. Why are some people continually involved with impulse buying?
  2. What are the short-term and long-term financial consequences of impulse buying?

Ways to Reduce Environmental Impact and Save Money

To save money and help improve the environment, 20SomethingFinance.com suggests that you:

  • grow your own food and buy from local sources.
  • replace meat in meals with beans and vegetables.
  • bring your own containers to buy bulk items.
  • use refillable drink bottles.
  • ride a bike instead of driving.
  • use a low-flow showerhead.
  • sell items not being used; buy used items instead of new.

For additional information on saving the environment and money, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

  • Have students ask people to describe environmental-saving actions commonly used.
  • Have students create a promotional plan to create awareness of money-saving actions that are also environmental friendly.

Discussion Questions 

  1. What are benefits and drawbacks of environmental-saving actions?
  2. What factors might be considered when taking actions that save money and improve the environment?

THINGS NOT TO BUY

To avoid wasting money, financial experts suggest cutting back on items that might not best serve your needs, such as:

  • cable television, since there are less expensive alternatives such as online streaming, which save a person over $800 a year.
  • name-brand razor blades costs can be reduced by using a membership program or by shopping at a discount retailer.
  • bottled water costs can reduced by using a home purification system.
  • USB drive costs can be reduced with the use of cloud storage.

For additional information on wise buying, click here:

Teaching Suggestions

  • Have students talk to others and create a list of items on which money is often wasted.
  • Have students suggest lower-cost alternatives for various items that are purchased regularly.

Discussion Questions 

  1. What actions can be taken to find low-cost alternatives for items that are purchased frequently?
  2. Explain short-term and long-term financial benefits of saving money on items that are purchased frequently.

Trick yourself into saving

Saving money can be automatic with some simple actions that would reduce your monthly spending.  Some actions, which can include lowering your monthly cash outflows by as much as $400, include:

 

  • Using a programmable thermostat which can be used to automatically raise and lower the temperature in your home, resulting in energy savings.
  • Increasing insurance deductibles for your home and auto insurance which will likely result in an annual savings of several hundred dollars.
  • Practicing less aggressive driving; using a constant speed can save money on fuel costs.
  • Seeking out ways to reduce your communication bills, such as using basic cable along with streaming video on your computer. Also, using a free texting app on your phone.
  • Using a refillable water bottle can save hundreds of dollars by not buying bottled water.

 

To ensure that you actually save this money, each month, have funds automatically moved into a savings account or investment program.

For additional information on saving, go to:

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/video/saving-money/trick-yourself-into-saving.aspx#ixzz3IKDG71pN

Teaching Suggestions

  • Have students conduct online research to determine various actions to reduce spending and increase savings.
  • Have students interview several people to determine various actions that might be considered for reducing spending.

Discussion Questions 

  1. What actions have you taken to reduce spending and increase savings?
  2. Explain short-term and long-term benefits of reduced spending.

 

 

The Sharing Economy

Saving money or earning extra income can be as easy as using an app to rent a car or lend someone your backyard tools. With about 5,000 sharing companies, organizations and programs in operation, consumers could save hundreds and even thousands of dollars a year.

The main focus of the sharing economy is car and bicycle rentals, home sharing, and shared nanny services.  But consumers can also borrow drills, saws, ladders, lawn mowers through a community tool shed.

To avoid obvious dangers, be sure to use a sharing service that screens potential customers with background checks and identity verification. Technology can increase trust with online profiles and reviews from users.

There is also money to be made in the sharing economy by providing rides to others or renting out an extra bedroom. Before getting involved in the sharing economy, be sure to have proper insurance coverage and an understanding of tax implications. Participants in the sharing economy also note the social benefits of connecting with others from around the world.

For additional information on the sharing economy, go to:

http://www.kiplinger.com/article/business/T049-C000-S002-cash-in-on-the-sharing-economy.html

http://www.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T050-C000-S002-sites-to-help-you-save-make-money-by-sharing.html

Teaching Suggestions

  • Have students research various apps that facilitate transactions in the sharing economy.
  • Have students create interview questions that they might ask someone who is a buyer or seller in the shared economy.

Discussion Questions 

  1. What benefits are present for individuals and society as a result of the sharing economy?
  2. Explain how technology helps to increase the participation and acceptance of sharing economy activities.
  3. What concerns should be addressed when participating in the shared economy?