Budgeting Activities

CARTOONS: Needs vs. Wants

In this activity, students will be able to: 

  • Examine a number of cartoons about the challenge of identifying needs vs. wants and choose one to analyze in more depth
  • Explain the cartoon's key message about needs vs. wants and how it depicts that message

INTERACTIVE: What Tech World Did You Grow Up In?

In this activity, students will: 

  • Explore various stages of technology development for watching videos, internet access, listening to music, and cell phones
  • Analyze how new technology products affect their budget 

INTERACTIVE: Living Paycheck to Paycheck (Sp)

In this activity students will:

  • Simulate living for a month with a $1000 budget
  • Make decisions between which expenses they can afford to pay and which to sacrifice
  • Read information and facts about unemployed Americans living through poverty

Available in English & Spanish

INTERACTIVE: How Much Salary Do You Need to Buy a House in a Given City?

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Discover the salary necessary to own a home in different cities
  • Investigate the type of home someone can own with a particular salary

INTERACTIVE: What is a Millennial?

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Define the millennial generation based on their habits and preferences
  • Hypothesize how the habits of millennials will continue to impact marketing, products, and the economy

INTERACTIVE: Is It Better to Rent or Own?

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Determine whether renting or owning is better for particular people based on parameters
  • Calculate the cost of renting versus buying based on criteria

ANALYZE: Your Federal Student Loan Repayment Options (Sp)

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Estimate their total student loan debt
  • Use a Loan Repayment Calculator to compare their monthly payments using various repayment plans
  • Choose a repayment plan that best fits their needs and lifestyle

CALCULATE: Unit Price

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Calculate unit price and then use their answers, as well as other factors, to make decisions about grocery shopping.

COMPARE: Find an Apartment

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Determine an appropriate amount to budget for housing
  • Find an apartment that balances affordability, amenities, and proximity to public transport in a city of their choice
  • Avoid common pitfalls and hidden fees associated with renting an apartment

COMPARE: Needs vs. Wants (Sp)

In this activity, students will be able to:

 

  • Prioritize budget items to determine their needs vs. wants.
  • Consider how their values and budget ultimately determine how they spend their income.
  • Available in English & Spanish

COMPARE: Select a City to Live In

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Choose 5 US cities to compare using cost of living and economic growth measurements.
  • Choose which would be best for them and do an apartment search to determine where they could afford to live.

COMPARE: Select a Health Insurance Plan

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Compare the costs and advantages of various health insurance options.
  • Search on the Affordable Care Act marketplace for plans.

COMPARE: Select Your Utilities

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Research the cost of utilities for an apartment in the city of their choosing.
  • Prioritize to fit their budget.

CREATE: A Salary-Based Budget (Sp)

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Follow multi-step directions to complete a full adult budget including housing, transportation, food, insurance, student loans, etc.
  • Reflect on the adult budget they’ve completed and assess how their choices impact their lifestyle.

CREATE: Monthly College Budget

In this activity, students will:  

  • Make choices regarding income in college
  • Set aside money to pay yourself first in savings
  • Create a monthly budget to follow during freshman year
  • And then reflect on the process of budgeting.

PLAY: The Bean Game

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Practice budgeting basics using The Bean Game
  • Understand the impact a restricted budget can have on their spending habits
  • Reflect on their personal budgeting choices 

RESEARCH: Do I Need a Car?

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Choose a city and research the costs associated with non-car commuting such as bike ownership and public transportation.
  • Decide whether a car is a need or want for their lifestyle.

RESEARCH: Monthly Cost of Car Ownership

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Do research on car costs such as purchase price, loan payment amount, insurance, fuel, and maintenance.
  • Compare these costs to their estimated monthly take-home pay.