"Teaching Thrift: A Curriculum" Unit 4: Frugality

Bernadette McHenry

Institute for American Values, 2016

The enduring understandings gained in Unit 4: Frugality are: (1) Many factors affect the availability of goods and services, (2) Needs and wants must be measured and evaluated according to available resources, (3) Individuals must consider many complex factors before making decisions about consumption, (4) There is a difference between building good credit and accumulating consumer debt.

Content includes: (1) the effect of the relationship between supply and demand on price and availability, (2) how to make prudent individual consumer decisions based on price and availability, (3) how to complete a cost-benefit analysis before making a major purchase, and (4) how to build good consumer credit without accumulating unnecessary and harmful debt.

The essential questions covered are: What is the difference between wants and needs? What is the relationship between wants, needs, and resources? What is the difference between frugality and stinginess? What is the difference and/or relationship between credit and debt? How does the relationship between wants, needs, and resources affect decision making for individuals and for communities? How are choices made because of scarcity? What are the effects scarcity on an individual's credit and debt? What are the long-term effects on individuals and communities of decisions made based on scarcity?

Students will master the following skills in this lesson: (1) draw a supply and demand curve, (2) determine the price at which scarcity occurs, (3) evaluate the effect of scarcity on individual, business, and government decisions, (4) identify and evaluate government regulation, (5) define debt and credit, (6) distinguish between debt and credit, and (7) evaluate the effect of debt and credit on individual, business, and government decision.

Subjects: Curricula, Teaching thrift, Thrift Collection

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Lesson 3: Spending: Good Debt vs. Bad Debt

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