Sep 08, 2021

Interactive: Making Budgeting Simple and Illustrative

It can be a challenge for students to visualize what money can buy during a budgeting activity without investing significant class time to allow for students to research each choice. The Ohio Lifestyle Calculator budgeting tool is a simple way for students to have a pretty good idea of what they can buy with their dollars in suburban, rural, and urban areas in Ohio. In an ideal world, there would be a lifestyle calculator for every state. If you're worried that students will have a tough time relating to Ohio specific locations, you can always have students reference the M.I.T. Living Wage Calculator for differences in the costs of living throughout the country. 

Using the Ohio Lifestyle Calculator budgeting tool is an alternative to our lesson CREATE: A Salary Based Budget which would take more class time. My approach in using this interactive in class would be to start out with our MOVE: Organize Budgeting Expenses activity and then transition to using the interactive to connect some relatable images to the facts and figures of the Move activity. A few questions for students to consider after using the interactive are:

  • If you made choices based on how you want to live your life, how much will you have to earn each month? Will you make enough each month in your future career to afford that lifestyle? If not, what changes will you make to your lifestyle?
  • Were you surprised by the cost of raising a child or multiple children? Did this cause you to reconsider the size of your future family? 
  • What is one major expense that you initially selected that you could go without, and why? 

If you enjoyed using this interactive, consider visiting our Interactive Library to review others! 

About the Author

Brian Page

Making a difference in the lives of students through financial capability is Brian’s greatest passion. He comes to NGPF after fifteen years of public school teaching where he was the ‘11 Ohio Department of Education recipient of a Milken National Educator Award, the CEE Forbes Award winner, and a Money Magazine/CNN "Money Hero". He served on the working group for President Obama's Advisory Council on Financial Capability. He has private school experience as a Trustee for the Cincinnati Country Day School and was a past Ohio Jump$tart President. Brian holds a BBA and M.Ed. When Brian isn’t working alongside his NGPF teammates he is likely spending time with his wife, three children, and dog; hiking, or watching Ohio State football.

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