This project is an excellent and fun way to help teach students about budgeting and help them develop financial skills that will serve them later in life. This challenge was designed and implemented in an 8th grade Social Studies class, but it could easily be incorporated in a variety of subjects and grade levels. This particular budget challenge activity will take students through five parts of their financial future: their career, their apartment or home, their transportation, monthly costs, and spending/saving. To help prepare students for these activities, they will complete several prompts and make several decisions in each part. As they complete each part, they must make sure they are not going over their budget and are not going into debt.
This product includes a 27-slide slideshow, 3-page teacher guide, and 5 pages of student handouts/packet, both in PDF and Powerpoint form but compatible with Google Drive as well.
This budget challenge activity has many positive outcomes. It engages ALL students in a way that I don’t often see in the classroom. When thinking about their own futures and making choices about their future careers, students are very actively involved, curious about salaries and prices, and may think about new opportunities that they previously had not thought about. Since there are social elements (such as if students decide they want to live together to save money on an apartment or car), students might even forget they are doing an assignment that can help prepare them for their financial futures.
I have set up this Budget Challenge in a way that does not require any preparation and that is a very thorough, active, and realistic look at budgeting and financial literacy. You can take your students step-by-step using the slides if you’d like, or give them the freedom and time to proceed on their own. My students spent about a week on this Budget Challenge activity, and the concepts highlighted in the challenge sparked further questions and discussion that continued after the activity was over. I know you will find it a very helpful addition to your course content!