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Math: Budget Balancing

Subject: Math

Grade: 2

Lesson Objective: Students will learn the importance of balanced budgeting and how to do it effectively.

Common Core Standard: CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.MD.C.8 – "Solve word problems involving dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies, using $ and ¢ symbols appropriately."



Say: "What do you know about money?" (Allow the students to answer.)


Say: "If you've been shopping with your parents, then you may know the disappointment you feel when you don't get what you want. There can be many reasons for this, but the most likely is because of what's called a budget."

"Some of you might earn money through an allowance or as part of special occasions; you may be able to spend that money on fun things such as toys. As you grow older, you'll be able to earn more money, but you'll also have more responsibilities. This doesn't mean you still can't buy fun things for yourself. By separating what you need from what you want, you can plan how much you will spend and how much you will save."

"What are some things you want to buy? What are some things you think you need to buy?" (Allow students to answer.)

"It is more important to buy the things you need, but with proper budget balancing and patience, you can also buy the things you want. To do this, we must understand how math can help make sense of money."

Money Lesson:

"When adding and subtracting with money, you must remember the difference between dollars and cents. Dollars are numbers with this "$" symbol in front of them, while cents have this "¢" symbol behind them." (Show students.)

"One penny is worth one cent. One nickel is worth five cents. One dime is worth ten cents. And one quarter is worth twenty-five cents. If any combination of these coins adds up to one hundred cents or more, you have one dollar and some change."

"At a glance, dollar bills are harder to tell apart than coins, but they work similarly. Two one-dollar bills are worth the same value as one two-dollar bill because one plus one still equals two."

"Adding and subtracting money becomes more difficult when both dollars and cents are involved. It can be learned, though, and is important to creating a balanced budget."

"You are going to learn about budget balancing by creating a plan to buy something you want while ensuring you still have enough for what you need."

"Does anyone have any questions?" (Answer questions and work through an example or two as a class.)


Say: "Who would like to share something they want to buy and how they plan on budgeting to buy it?" (Allow the students to share.)


Budget Balancing Printable Student Worksheet

Read about budget balancing and then complete the exercise below.

Before buying anything, it is important to know your total amount of money. When budget balancing, you should know where you are getting the money from, how much, and how often. Knowing this will help you decide how much you can spend and how much you can save.

To complete the exercise below, you must understand how to add and subtract dollars and cents. Use the following guide to help:

0.99¢ + 0.01¢ = 100 cents

100 cents = $1.00 (1 dollar)

It is useful to think in only cents when working with amounts that include both dollars and cents. In other words: cents make sense!

$2.97 - $1.30 is the same as 297 cents minus 130 cents.

And so, if we instead subtract 297 cents by 130 cents, we now have 167 cents.

Now all we must do is remember that there are 100 cents in a dollar, and we can rewrite the answer like this:

$2.97 - $1.30 = $1.67


Imagine a scenario where each week, you earn $12.25. However, each week you need to spend a total of $6.50 to help your parents buy food. There is a toy that costs $20 you want.

Complete the chart below to create a balanced budget so that at the end of week 4, you have enough money for the toy.

Savings Goal: $20.00

Week                         Total Earned                  Total Money               Total Spent               Total Savings

Week 1                       $12.25                              $12.25                          $6.50                          $5.75

Week 2                       $12.25                                                                   $6.50

Week 3                       $12.25                                                                   $6.50

Week 4                       $12.25                                                                   $6.50

Written by Adam Parks
Education World Contributor
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