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Where Does the Money Go?

Subject: Economics
Grade: 6-8, 9-12


Brief Description

Students learn about personal budgets and create their own.


Students identify sources of income, distinguish between fixed and variable expenses, distinguish between needs and wants, and develop a personal budget.


budget, income, expenses, needs and wants, consumer, money

Materials Needed


Lesson Plan


  • Use a projector to display the Sample Budget to the entire class, or copy the budget onto the chalkboard. Have students take a few minutes to look over the budget and discuss the items listed.
  • Ask students to rank the budget items in order of importance and then determine whether each item is a "want" or a "need." Have students figure out what percentage of the total income each item represents and determine whether there is a relationship between the importance of an item and the percentage of the budget it represents.
  • Provide a copy of My Spending Plan to each student, and ask students to complete a personal budget.
Extension: Invite students to go to Jumpstart's Reality Check or The Mint's Calculate Income to determine how much money they will need to earn to support their desired adult lifestyles.


Evaluate students on their participation in class discussion and on the appropriateness of their personal budgets.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Linda Starr

National Standards

Social Sciences:


Originally published 04/16/2001
Links last updated 04/04/2015