Virtual Adaptation - COMPARE: Needs vs Wants

Jun 15, 2020
Teaching Remotely, Budgeting

A key aspect of creating a budget that works is determining needs from wants. This type of lesson is typically a staple when teaching personal finance. In the activity, COMPARE: Needs vs Wants, students will prioritize budget items to determine their needs vs wants and consider how their values and budget ultimately determine how they spend their income.

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 with your current classroom environment.


Synchronous Environment Ideas:

  • If your conference platform allows, have students work in partner groups to complete Section I and II. Students can complete their own document but the conversation around needs, wants, and values will be eye-opening. 
  • Have students complete Section I and II on their own quietly. When finished, use a platform such as Padlet to have students post how they budgeting their $900 in Section II. After all students have posted, allow time for a digital gallery walk so students can see how their classmates budgeted their money. Conduct a whole-class discussion on some of the similarities and differences they noticed. 


Asynchronous Environment Ideas:

  • Assign the activity as written but include an option where students can share their ideas and responses to Part II of the activity. Padlet, Google Classroom Question, or a simple shared spreadsheet or document are great options. Allowing students to share and view each other's budgets will demonstrate how personal values will change how each person spends their income. 



Extension Ideas:

  • This activity is part of the Semester Course 9.2 Lesson. View the Lesson Guide for additional videos, articles, and materials that you can use before this activity or to extend it.


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.