Financial Literacy: Budgeting

   Develop and evaluate a spending/savings plan.

90 minutes

📲Technology Required
Teachers will need a computer connected to a projector or smart board to show the presentation or video. Students will need access to Excel, Sheets or other spreadsheet software.

Students will participate in a class discussion on the importance of budgeting and be presented an example of a personal budget. Students complete a personal budget using estimated or actual expenses and income. The lesson concludes with students watching videos that guide them through deciding on a long-term purchase using a spreadsheet.


Introduction to budgeting discussion

Use this presentation to lead a class discussion on what budgeting is and why it is important.

During or after the presentation, ask these questions

  1. Why is a budget important?
  2. Name a short-goal.
  3. Name a long-term goal.
  4. What are 3 things on which you need to spend money?
  5. Name 3 things on which you want to spend money.

Project: Complete a personal budget

Introduce the personal budget project using this slides presentation that explains the purpose of the project and gives an example of a completed budget.

Assign the budget worksheet to students. This sheet can be opened and completed in Google Docs or downloaded and completed as a Word file. If students prefer, they can create a table in Sheets or Excel.

Project: How Good is Your Budget?

NOTE: This activity is part of the Applied Digital Skills curriculum through Google for Education. You do NOT need to create a classroom in the Applied Digital Skills program to complete this lesson. The only activity that requires sign-in is submitting a quiz at the end, which is really just an evaluation of how well the student liked the lesson.

In the previous activity, students completed a budget. In this activity, students complete the research a long-term purchase using a spreadsheet. Although the videos are done by Google and use Google sheets, the steps in creating and duplicating a formula work identically in Microsoft Excel. The video examples use selecting a cell phone and phone plan but students can use any other expense that interests them, including renting an apartment or buying a car. Teachers can copy and paste the instructions below into their Google classroom.

Instructions to Students

  1. Watch the Google for Education videos that you will find here on researching a long-term purchase.

2. Create a spreadsheet following the instructions in the videos. You can follow the video example of selecting a cell phone or use another long-term purchase, such as a car.

3. Submit your spreadsheet.

4. Submit a document in Word or Google doc explaining which option you picked and why.


Students will participate in a class discussion and complete the two budget worksheets for teacher review.


You may wish for students to play the Crossroads: New Decisions game budgeting module.

The game can be downloaded here. 

IMPORTANT NOTE TO TEACHERS: As this game was developed for youth in high-risk situations it includes game levels on making a safety plan, the Adverse Childhood Events Scale and other topics not normally covered in the classroom. It would be most appropriate for students in a therapeutic setting or in a life skills class where topics such as abuse are discussed. If you are not familiar with the ACES, please check the questions here


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