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.

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.

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.

Americans use credit to make many purchases . The total amount of funds borrowed and lent each year is enormous. In addition to individuals borrowing funds, the federal, state, and local governments all borrow funds, too. The nation’s economy, in fact, depends on individuals and groups being able to buy and borrow on credit.

In this section, you’ll learn what credit is and why people use it.

As with every decision in life, when you decide to buy a car, you are going to make a trade-off that involves an opportunity cost. You will have to decide what type of vehicle to buy, whether to buy new or used, and whether gas efficiency or engine size is more important to you, for example. In this section, you will learn about some of the important things to consider when shopping for a car.

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