Personal Finance Unit | PBL Simulation | Print and Google™ Drive

Grade Levels
6th - 9th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
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220 pages
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  1. If you’re looking for a way to teach life skills that gives kids the opportunity to see what it’s like to have the financial responsibilities of an adult, this Project-based Learning Simulation is it! In this financial literacy unit, kids will confront the challenges we all face, as they try to make
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If you’re looking for a way to teach life skills that gives kids the opportunity to see what it’s like to have the financial responsibilities of an adult, this Project-based Learning Simulation is it! In this financial literacy unit, kids will confront the challenges we all face, as they try to make their money last the month, while paying the usual bills, and hoping to dodge those unpleasant surprises that sneak up on us from time to time.

*** 7-16-2021 BIG Announcement!

The digital version of Personal Finance has had an awesome update! It's now a Digital Interactive Notebook (DIN). The best part is all the pages are in one Student comp notebook with tabs for easy access. This makes teacher prep much easier - and who doesn't like that?!! It's the perfect way to blend in-class and online learning!


Here's what teachers are saying about Personal Finances!

♥ I wish I could give this resource an A+++!!! My 7th graders absolutely loved it!! I used it after testing and we finished up our school year with this. Everything is completely laid out for you and so easy to understand! My 8th graders even want to do it again and continue where they left off.

♥ This is a VERY comprehensive, well thought out unit! My students LOVED it, especially that it was "real life" information that they actually "need" to know! I will use this over and over!!! AWESOME!!!

♥ My fifth graders are having a blast with this and are so excited to come to class.

♥ This is a well planned unit that is very easy to implement. I'm excited to teach it to my students.

♥ My students are loving this unit! They are so surprised at how much money gets taken out for taxes as well as how expensive it is to live in our area. They are learning so much!

♥ Used this with High school students and it really gave them a good idea of the real world

♥ This is a great way to cover Financial Literacy!


This is one of my very favorite units to teach! Once you do it, you'll see why. I walk you through the prep with detailed, step-by-step instructions and visuals, included in the Teacher Sample INB folder and Teaching notes.

Each student chooses a job, based on their interests. They don’t know how much they’ll be making until they get their first paycheck, less taxes, of course. Salaries are based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individualized for your area.

They’ll have to find a place to live, a company in their community to work for, and some form of transportation. They’ll pay bills, plan meals, shop for groceries, and dine out. And along the way, they’ll experience a few bumps and financial bruises they hadn’t planned on. Sound familiar?

Probably the most eye-opening part of Personal Finance, besides finding out how expensive it is to live, is when they receive their bank statements and have to balance those statements at the end of the unit. It really shows how important it is to keep accurate records.

This unit includes an opportunity for an independent study. I've included 11 different options that pique students' interests, with a 12th option to come up with their own project. These are presented at That's Life Expo.

Interactive Notebook Activities include:

♦ Writing checks

♦ Learning About Job Applications & Writing a Résumé

♦ Gross vs Net - Figuring Net Income

♦ Finding Housing

♦ Transportation

♦ Health Insurance

♦ Planning a Week's Menu

♦ Grocery Shopping

♦ Dining Out

♦ Paying Bills

♦ Experiencing (and paying for) those incidentals that come up (Daily Event cards)

♦ Independent study: That's Life: Project Expo


In addition to the Student DIN option, this PBL unit also includes a full-page Student Journal option for those that prefer to use a full-size notebook or folder.

The Full-page Journal folder contains everything in the Student INB folder. This is a good way to differentiate for those students who have difficulty working on the smaller INB pages.


Also included:

• All teaching notes

• A bank (editable spreadsheets, both PC & MAC versions)

• Final writing evaluations and self-assessment

• Several online links to lesson extensions


Attention Canadian Teachers- I have created a full-sized page paper version of Personal Finance unit for my Canadian friends. Spelling has been changed and the unit uses Canadian data. To obtain the Canadian version, simply purchase this unit and send me an email at with the purchase number. I will send the Canadian version to you via WeTransfer.


Unit Updates...

(03-30-2021) Choose Your Job and Creating a Résumé have completely new links across all the files. This should alleviate issues with those pages.

I'm excited to announce an awesome update! (12-31-2018)

Both MAC (Numbers) and Excel spreadsheets now have functions embedded to make set up of kids' job and tax information easier!

This month-long unit may be condensed into two weeks, if necessary. Many of these lessons are designed to be stand-alone activities, making it easy to pick and choose.


This unit is based on the National Standards for Financial Literacy


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© 2016 - Present Pamela Kranz Desktop Learning Adventures All Rights Reserved

Total Pages
220 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 month
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Attend to precision. Mathematically proficient students try to communicate precisely to others. They try to use clear definitions in discussion with others and in their own reasoning. They state the meaning of the symbols they choose, including using the equal sign consistently and appropriately. They are careful about specifying units of measure, and labeling axes to clarify the correspondence with quantities in a problem. They calculate accurately and efficiently, express numerical answers with a degree of precision appropriate for the problem context. In the elementary grades, students give carefully formulated explanations to each other. By the time they reach high school they have learned to examine claims and make explicit use of definitions.
Reason abstractly and quantitatively. Mathematically proficient students make sense of quantities and their relationships in problem situations. They bring two complementary abilities to bear on problems involving quantitative relationships: the ability to decontextualize-to abstract a given situation and represent it symbolically and manipulate the representing symbols as if they have a life of their own, without necessarily attending to their referents-and the ability to contextualize, to pause as needed during the manipulation process in order to probe into the referents for the symbols involved. Quantitative reasoning entails habits of creating a coherent representation of the problem at hand; considering the units involved; attending to the meaning of quantities, not just how to compute them; and knowing and flexibly using different properties of operations and objects.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.


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