Featured NGPF Lesson: Budgeting

Sep 29, 2014

Our Next Gen Personal Finance unit on Budgeting is unique for a lot of reasons. First, the entire unit is based on an in-class assignment that Tim’s successfully executed many times in his personal finance classes. Students loved it, so we took that single project– students design a post-graduation budget for themselves– and transformed it into an entire unit.

In Lesson 6.1 Budgeting Basics, students learn some fundamentals of employment, such as the difference between gross and net pay and how to read a pay stub. Then, they follow directions to complete a full adult budget based on their future career plans. The budgeting is done in a Google spreadsheet template, which reinforces the benefits of using digital tools. After budgeting in categories such as savings, rent, transportation, food, and health care, students see whether they are left with a surplus or deficit and reflect on the entire process.  

The cohesion of this unit becomes apparent as you progress through the remaining 6 lessons, each of which teaches an explicit component of budgeting and then instructs students to double-bak to their original budget and make edits, now that they’re budgeting “experts.”

To get started, check out Budgeting Basics in our Gooru Library. It contains 2 videos, an article, 3 activities, multiple-choice questions, and a Common Core aligned performance task, which should be perfect for your personal finance classroom.

Thanks to Jessica Endlich Winkler, NGPF team member for this description of the Budgeting Basics lesson she created!

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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