Monday, November 11, 2013


Lest We Forget.

Today is November 11th
It is Remembrance Day. 
Please take a moment to think of those who have served and are serving in the Armed Forces.

Today’s Recommendation.

Just a quick post about the importance of understanding the real cost of stuff and knowing where your money goes after it leaves your hot little hands.

Follow Your Money by Kevin Sylvester and Michael Hlinka explain what is money, its history and several examples of breaking down the cost of consumer goods that would be of interest to kids.

For example: Breakfast consists of bacon (estimated cost $3), eggs ($3), bread ($2) and a glass of orange juice (.50).  The breakdown includes the amount of money the producer gets with their item is purchased.  But when we the cost of what it takes to produce the item is accounted for we get to see what their actual profit is.  Take the bacon.  A consumer pays $3 for the bacon.  The farmer gets $1.  But factor in the cost of buying and feeding the pig and the cost of running the farm, the farmer only makes about 10 cents.

Other examples that break down the real cost good included items used in school, clothes and shoes, jewellery, gas/fuel, transportation (car vs. bus), food, entertainment and various pieces of technology.  As you can see a real range of items and activities.

I like that they included many aspects that are hidden or that we just don't know about when in comes to producing, distributing and consuming goods.  Who knew that the ink in computer printing cartridges works out to be "more expensive - by weight- than the same amount of gold" . (p.29)  What I didn't see were costs related to transportation or waste.

A few additional online resources are listed to follow up.

The information isn't too dense and very accessible for students in middle school.


Jeff Barger said...

This is a valuable book. There should be more emphasis on financial literacy. Thanks for sharing!

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