There are two major types of credit—using credit cards and borrowing directly from a financial institution. Although they differ in their services, they all charge interest on the funds they lend. In this section, you’ll learn about financial institutions, charge accounts, and credit cards—and why you should be aware of the high interest rates they sometimes charge.

Most Americans are concerned with the reliability of the products and services they use. Many private groups and government agencies work to ensure the well-being of consumers. Consumers themselves, however, must be well informed about potential issues with products and services they purchase, and they must be proactive in their buying habits. In this section, you’ll read more about consumer rights and responsibilities.

The goal of advertisements is to win your consumer dollars, and advertisers are willing to spend millions of dollars to attract your attention to their products. Because of the problems of scarce income and time, however, your goal should be to obtain the most satisfaction from your limited income and time. In this section, you’ll learn about three basic buying principles that can help you and all consumers achieve this goal.

Do you spend a lot of money on small, day-to-day items such as coffee, fast food, and candy, or do you prefer to save up your money for larger purchases? Either way, wise buying decisions will help you get the most out of the products you buy now and will enable you to meet your long-term financial goals. In this post, you’ll learn how to spend—or not spend—your income wisely.

Some government intervention occurs in the American economy, but generally the marketplace answers the three basic economic questions of what, how, and for whom goods and services should be produced. In command (controlled) economies, however, the government (and not the market) answers these three basic questions. Read on to learn about the major alternative to market capitalism

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