Happy Thanksgiving! Following Thanksgiving, many people start thinking about shopping for the holidays. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving has been considered the beginning of the holiday shopping season in the U.S. since 1952. Many retailers open early and offer deals on key merchandise. More recently, some retailers have opened during overnight hours on Thanksgiving Day, traditionally in the evening. Cyber Monday began in 2005, as a marketing term for the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday. There are many circulars available at this time of year. You can use the Tampa Bay Times Circulars to have students search for sales. They can create budgets, conduct comparison shopping, and discuss the ways in which advertising influences shopping decisions. In addition, discuss the importance of conducting research through unbiased sources like Consumer Reports or Consumer Search.com. Then, if you are considering buying apps, consider using Common Sense Media. For more information on trusting product reviews, check out the NPR interview with Consumer Reports and Consumer Search. In order to protect consumers against fraud, the government has established a Consumer Protection Bureau under the Federal Trade Commission.
Financial Literacy Standards and Activities
SS.4.FL.2.7 Planning for spending can help people make informed choices. Develop a budget plan for spending, saving, and managing income. Use the flyers to create a budget for holiday spending.
SS.4.FL.2.6 Predict how peoples spending choices are influenced by prices as well as many other factors, including advertising, the spending choices of others, and peer pressure. How does advertising influence you in choosing things that you want? What about peer pressure? Did you ever want to buy something because your friends or someone famous used the product?
SS.8.FL.2.1 Explain why when deciding what to buy, consumers may choose to gather information from a variety of sources. Describe how the quality and usefulness of information provided by sources can vary greatly from source to source. Explain that, while many sources provide valuable information, other sources provide information that is deliberately misleading. Consider some holiday gifts you would like to purchase. Gather information from flyers and other online sources, including product reviews. Think about the bias that might occur in reviews that are on the product website. Which sources can you trust?
SS.8.FL.2.2 Analyze a sources incentives in providing information about a good or service, and how a consumer can better assess the quality and usefulness of the information. Why would producers and sellers want to provide information about their goods? Why would buyers want to provide information about goods? It is important to use a variety of sources to research a product.
SS.912.FL.2.3 Discuss that when buying a good, consumers may consider various aspects of the product including the products features. Explain why for goods that last for a longer period of time, the consumer should consider the products durability and maintenance costs. What are some of the features of a good that make you consider purchasing a gift? For example, if you were purchasing running shoes, what would you consider? What about electronics? How should durability and maintenance impact your decisions?
SS.912.FL.2.4 Describe ways that consumers may be influenced by how the price of a good is expressed. Check out the Black Friday flyers. How do advertisers try to influence consumers with the ways the prices are expressed? What language do they use? How do the worlds bargain, save, sale, and deal influence buyers?
SS.912.FL.2.7 Examine governments establishing laws and institutions to provide consumers with information about goods or services being purchased and to protect consumers from fraud. Check out the Consumer Protection Bureau under the Federal Trade Commission. What laws exist to protect consumers? Check out Consumer Reports or Consumer Search.com and the NPR interview with Consumer Reports and Consumer Search. How do agencies like these provide consumers with information?
Deborah Kozdras, Ph.D.