Personal Finance


Type: Investigation

Theme: Life Skills

Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Learning Target: Students will learn how to develop a monthly budget using a spreadsheet.

  1. Introduce topic to students. Explain the concept of a budget and how income must at minimum equal expenses. 
  2. Group students into teams of two or three. Teams will produce one monthly budget for a fictitious character. Students will name that character and write one paragraph describing the character traits of that person. What does he or she like to do? What does he or she do for a living?
  3. In groups, have students discuss what types of monthly expenditures may exist for their character.
  4. Demonstrate how to use the spreadsheet. 
  5. Have a group discussion around the idea of credit and credit cards. (current APR, interest rate example). 
  6. In groups, students will decide who researches which "expense" topic: groceries and food, mortgage or rent, utilities, transportation costs, auto insurance and registration, health insurance costs.

What to Submit

One Word document or PowerPoint. Please include:

  1. One paragraph describing your fictitious character. Please include his or her name, occupation, residence (location), and interests. 
  2. Completed spreadsheet with monthly expenditures. Be sure that the NET budget is greater than or equal to zero.
  3. Graph monthly expenses budget.
  4. Research on the following (minimum one paragraph; please list who researched which section):
    1. Groceries and food
    2. Mortgage or rent
    3. Utilities
    4. Transportation costs
    5. Auto insurance and registration
    6. Health insurance costs
  5. Include a few fun pictures of your character living life.




Exit Ticket
CCSS Math Practice
  • I can reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  • I can attend to precision.
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts