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Watching Storage Wars

Category: Movies, Music & TV | Age Group: 11-13

TOPIC:

Spending Money—Ways to pay less for things

RESOURCES NEEDED:

An opportunity to watch the relatively popular reality TV show Storage Wars.

LEARNING OPPORTUNITY:

Often children believe that the only option is to purchase an item brand new and they never consider the possibility of acquiring an item used or “second hand.” While it is true that some items are best bought new it is also true that some items can safely be bought second hand and the savings can be significant. They need to be introduced to this idea and, then, consider what types of items could be purchased used and the value of doing so.

THE ACTIVITY:
  • Arrange to sit down with your child and watch a ½ hour episode of Storage Wars.
  • As you watch the show, ask your child if they would ever consider buying anything that was found in one of the lockers.
  • Discuss with them their response—If they would discuss why they would purchase that item or, if not, why they would not.
  • Indicate to them that second hand stores are quite common and ask them who would buy things from these stores and why would they buy items there rather than purchase them new from a department store.
  • Once you have discussed these issues, indicate to them that there are some things that normally no one would buy second hand (have them give examples) and there are other things that people often buy second hand (have them give examples).
  • Indicate to them that money can be saved by buying second hand—a car for example—but that there are also some risks involved.
  • Explain to them that when something is purchased second hand it may not have a warranty or the “latest” features but, if it checked carefully before buying, could serve the purpose well and save a good deal of money.
  • Conclude the discussion by talking with your child about when it makes sense to considering saving money and buying second hand and when it makes more sense to buy an item new. Indicate to them that often, it is not am easy decision to make but the second hand option should be considered before buying.
TIPS:
  • While there are saving associated with buying second hand there can also be risks. Ensure that you have considered the “trade-offs” before making any purchase.
FOLLOW UP IDEAS:
  • Have them look at the risks of buying second hand—hidden problems, less or no warranty etc.
  • Compare the cost between buying an item new and purchasing the item second hand and then discuss what could be done with the saving.
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