Personal finance - Surf to save

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Personal finance - Surf to save

Surf to Save Chpt 4-6

Chpt 4
Bank costs
Go to http://www.bankrate.com/brm/rate/bank_home.asp. Select the Checking/Savings tab. Search for a "Local, Interest Checking Account in a State and City near where you live." Select an interest-bearing account. Which account requires the highest average minimum balance to avoid monthly service fees? Which account requires the lowest average minimum balance to avoid monthly service fees? Which account would you select for your personal checking account from this list?
Discussion Questions
1. What are the most important criteria for you in selecting a checking account? Why?
2. Discuss the pros and cons of using a local versus an Internet-based checking account.

Online vs. on-site
Go to http://www.bankrate.com/finance/checking/onlinebanking-still-favorable.aspx. Read the article about online banking. List the pros and cons of online banking compared to a traditional checking account. Which account type do you feel would be the best fit for a typical banking customer? Which type of account would be the best for you, and why?
Discussion Questions
1. In the future, will we see more or less online banking? Why?
2. Why do you feel these differences exist between online and traditional checking accounts?

Chpt 5
Ticket to ride
Your student business club has U.S. $1,000 to spend on a day trip to Toronto. You estimate U.S. $200 for gas and tolls for the bus, and C$10 for parking at the science center. Go to the Ontario Science Center, website (http://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/), to find the cost of admission, including the two OMNIMAX films. Based on these costs, how many students can the business club afford to send on this trip? (Hint: Go to http://www.oanda.com/converter/ classic for exchange rates.)
Discussion Questions
1. How much money would you budget for meals and other expenses on this trip?
2. What would be some fundraiser ideas to earn more money for your club to take this trip? How much additional revenue could you gain from these fundraisers?

Chpt 6
All-in-one and one for all
Assume you want to buy an all-in-one printer/scanner/copier/fax machine. Go to http://www.staples.com/ and choose an all-in-one machine to meet your needs. How much does it cost? If your state charged 7% sales tax; what would be the amount of the tax on this purchase?
Discussion Questions
1. Is the all-in-one machine less expensive than purchasing separate machines for all of these tasks?
2. When might it be a better option to buy individual machines versus an all-in-one? Why?

Investment know-how
Go to http://biz.yahoo.com/r. From Research Tools go to the Historical Quotes page. Enter a ticker symbol (search by company name if you do not know the symbol) to find the price of a particular stock last Wednesday and on the same date 1 year ago. (Use the closing price.) What was the percent change in the stock you chose?
Discussion Questions
1. What may have caused this change in stock price?
2. How is the current stock price a reflection of the products the company sells?

Surf to Save Chpt 7-9
Chpt 7

Free shipping!
Visit http://www.staples.com/ and search for DVD_RW media. Select enough of the DVD_RWs to equal an amount over $45 in order to qualify for free shipping. How much did you save on shipping? What is your discount percent when you receive free shipping on your order?
Discussion Questions
1. Why do online merchants require a certain minimum dollar purchase before giving free shipping?
2. What other incentives could the online merchant use to achieve the same goal?
Buying software at deep discounts
Go to http://www.academicsuperstore.com/. Choose one product listed on the Students tab. What discount off the suggested retail price is the manufacturer offering through Academic Superstore?
Discussion Questions
1. Why do retailers show inflated suggested retail prices?
2. How can consumers be sure they are getting a good deal?

Chpt 8
Problem 1
What can I afford to drive?
Go to http://www.kbb.com/ and find the dealer`s invoice price of a new car of your choice. Then go to http://www.edmunds.com/ car-buying/dealer-holdback to find the dealer holdback for that manufacturer. (Choose another car if that manufacturer does not have a holdback.) If the dealer sells you the car for invoice price, how much profit does the dealer make? If the dealer`s cost is the invoice price minus the holdback, then what is the dealer`s percent markup based on cost?
Discussion Questions
1. Why do dealers utilize holdbacks?
2. Based on your findings, would you purchase new or used when you graduate from college? Why?
Save big—instantly
Go to http://www.bestbuy.com/. Find a product with a rebate or instant savings. Calculate the percent markdown after rebate.
Discussion Questions
1. What are the pros and cons of rebates from the seller`s perspective?
2. What are the pros and cons of rebates from the consumer`s perspective?

Chpt 9
Sell it on Amazon.com?
Go to http://www.amazon.com/. At the bottom of the page, under Make Money with Us, click on sell on Amazon. Suppose you sold 10 PCs for $500 each and the buyers paid the cost of shipping. After deducting the per-item and referral fees Amazon charges and the $400 you paid for each PC, what was your total profit on these transactions?
Discussion Questions
1. Is it worth the money for you to sell products through this site? Why?
2. Why does Amazon.com charge sellers fees?
Can you afford to retire?
Go to http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/quickcalc/index.html. Assume that you plan to retire at the age of 70 and that you will make an average of $55,000 per year. Calculate your benefit using both today`s dollars and inflated (future) dollars. How do the two values differ? Click to see the earnings that were used. Which number is more realistic?
Discussion Questions
1. How does this tool help you prepare for your future retirement?
2. Will the amounts you have seen for your eventual retirement cover all of your expected expenses during your retirement? Why or why not?
Chpt 10
"Same as cash"?
Go to http://www.consumercity.org/sameascash.html and read the article. Suppose you purchased $5,000 worth of furniture and missed the 90-day deadline to pay it off. If you are charged 18% simple annual interest for the 90 days (1/4 year) on the $5,000, how much will you owe?
Discussion Questions
1. Why do so many companies offer these "same as cash" deals?
2. Do you think most consumers pay off their "same as cash" purchases within the free financing period? Why or why not?
Costs of early out
Go to https://www.afbank.com/rates/cd.cfm. Find the rate for a 60-month certificate of deposit (CD). Now, navigate the site to find the penalty for early withdrawal on 60-month CDs. Calculate the penalty you would pay for early withdrawal if you initially invested $30,000.
Discussion Questions
1. Based on the penalties for early withdrawal, for what reasons would you consider taking money out early?
What is the value to the bank to have your money invested for a specific period of time in which you are not allowed to make withdrawals?

Chpt 11
T-bill tips
Go online and search for a T-bill rate calculator. Assume that you paid $9,925 for a 91-day-bill with a $10,000 face value. What is the effective yield, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent? Calculate the ratio of the price paid to the face value in decimal format.
Discussion Questions
1. Is this a good yield for a 3-month investment? Why or why not?
2. How else could you invest this $10,000?

Chpt 12
Problem 1
"Plant" a money tree
Go to http://www.finaid.org/calculators/compoundinterest.phtml. If you invest $1,000 for 20 years at an 8% nominal annual interest rate, how much will you earn with monthly compounding? Daily compounding? How much difference between the monthly and the daily compounding?
Discussion Questions
1. What are the pros and cons of investing your money for an extended period of time such as 20 years?
2. What is the advantage to the financial institution paying the interest on your investment while holding your investment money?
Double your money!
Go to http://invest-faq.com/articles/analy-rule-72.html. Create another column for the table there where you divide each number of years into 70.Which gives results closer to the true result—the Rule of 72, or the Rule of 70? Can you find a number that when you divide the years into the number you get even closer to the true value? Why do you think the Rule of 72 is used?
Discussion Questions
1. Why would we want to look at our investments from the perspective of doubling our money?
2. What types of investments might be able to earn more than 10% per year?

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