MSE’s Academy of Money
MSE’s Academy of Money

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Session 1: Making good spending decisions


Download this video clip.Video player: Video 1 Introduction to Session
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
Video 1 Introduction to Session 1
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Welcome to the first session of MoneySavingExpert’s Academy of Money.

In this session the focus is on spending.

Spending money is something we do virtually every day, whether that’s buying a sandwich at lunchtime, a trip to buy clothes for yourself or the family, or shopping online. A lot of us enjoy this, whether that’s the shopping experience itself, or the anticipation of using or consuming the item we’re buying.

We are, however, subjected to an array of influences when it comes to how we spend our money.

Some of these influences come directly from our personalities and habits. Some are socially driven – for example, spending money to impress others, or as a manifestation of a certain type of lifestyle. Or, we might be directly influenced, whether consciously or not, by the retailer marketing certain products to us

You’ll start this session by looking at these influences. Then, you’ll look at how a simple decision-making model can help you ensure that you make rational decisions when choosing to buy something, rather than falling foul of these internal and external pressures.

You’ll then be taken through how to apply this model to one category of spending that nearly all households engage in – buying insurance products. The range of different types of insurance, the multitude of insurance providers and the complexities in the terms of the products make this an ideal area for the help that the four-step model can provide.

Next, you’ll look at online shopping and at how to make good decisions online. You will also find out how to identify the clues to the scams that are found on the internet and the action you can take to minimise the chances of being scammed online.

To ease you into the course you’ll start by examining your financial personality. What are your financial traits? Are any of these bad habits? Understanding the ways you currently approach money management will help not only with this session but the entire course.

After studying this session, you should be able to:

  • understand some of the behavioural, social and marketing pressures that affect spending
  • use a four-step approach to make effective spending decisions
  • understand the factors affecting the cost of insurance products
  • apply the four-step model to the selection of insurance products
  • identify scams when shopping online
  • be a savvy internet shopper.

The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional start-of-course survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.

This Session is one of a suite comprising the course MSE’s Academy of Money and has been made possible by financial and content contributions by

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371