Virtual Adaptation - Budgeting Case Study: How Do I Budget?

May 25, 2020
Teaching Remotely, Budgeting

Budgeting is a foundational topic in any personal finance class. A hidden gem in the NGPF curriculum is case studies. A great activity that combines both of these variables is Case Study: How Do I Budget? 

NGPF Case Studies present personal finance issues in the context of real-life situations. Students explore decision-making, develop communication skills, and make choices when there is no "right" answer. In this case study, students learn the basics of budgeting, from setting priorities, creating a savings goal, tracking spending, and learning about tradeoffs required to achieve financial goals. 

At a time where many schools have transitioned to offering synchronous and asynchronous learning, we've listed some adaptations and extension ideas that may work for your current classroom environment. 


Synchronous Environment Ideas:

  • Work together as a class through the case study in "chunks". (A "chunk" means reading a section of the case study together and stopping at each question area.)
    • When you get to a question area, you can allow individual think -time to answer the question or utilize the breakout room feature on your conference platform (if available) to have students discuss the questions in small groups.
    • One implementation idea in a synchronous environment is to delete the questions from the case study (but keep the response box). This may keep students' attention during the synchronous class. As you reach the embedded boxes in the case study, project the question on your screen for students to answer.
  • If your conference platform allows, break students into small group breakout rooms to read through and discuss the entire case study. Each group can answer the embedded questions. When the students are finished, have a discussion on the key components of the case study as a whole group.
    • Teacher Tip: To keep students on task, give them a set amount of time to complete this task. 


Asynchronous Environment Ideas:

  • Complete the assignment as written but add a video or Flipgrid component at the end to check for understanding.
    • Change the last question to a video response that checks for comprehension and has students articulate a clear plan for the character, Alana.
      • Options for students to create and submit a video could include:
        • using their phone to record a video, upload it to their Google Drive, and submit a link to you to view.
        • using a screencast tool such as Screencastify.
        • using a web tool such as Flipgrid. In Flipgrid you can set the video to be viewed only by the teacher, or you can set the permissions where others in the class can view and comment, making it more of a discussion platform. NGPF Fellow Amanda Volz created a Tech Tip video on how to get started using Flipgrid in your classroom. 



Extension Idea:

All of NGPF's Lesson Guides include a Discussion Prompt and Exit Ticket. To extend this activity a bit further, incorporate both the Discussion Prompt and Exit Ticket questions in the 9.1 Lesson Guide

View NGPF's Virtual Adaptation Series if you're looking for additional resources with suggestions on how to facilitate in a virtual environment. 

About the Author

Amanda Volz

Amanda joins the NGPF Team with 18 years of experience teaching personal finance. During that time, she led her students to hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships, won multiple awards, and most importantly, impacted the financial lives of thousands of high school students. Amanda prides herself on being an educational leader and is constantly looking for innovative ways to make the classroom relevant, rigorous, and fun. She is a passionate advocate for financial education and has been a long time member of the NGPF community. Fun fact - Amanda was NGPF’s first teacher account! When Amanda isn’t working, she enjoys cooking, gardening, and traveling with her husband and two children.