## Keeping Track

Do your students have any concept of where money comes from? Do they have to work for it or is it simply handed to them? Even students who don't have to earn their money need to learn how to manage their own personal finances. In fact, you'll likely find that the students who do have to earn their money are more likely to have a firmer grasp on what it takes to manage their own finances. Discuss working and earning money with your students before giving them their assignment. Open the discussion by asking some of the following questions.

- Do you work for your money?
- Are you saving money for anything in particular?
- What do you spend your money on?
- Do you feel that you could handle your money in a better way?

After this brief discussion, ask students to take out a piece of paper and write their name on it as well as the date. Then, ask them to write down how much money they earn. Once students write out their income, ask them to itemize how they spend their money on a monthly basis. Students should include any hobbies they spend their money on as well as any money they put into savings. In short, students should be able to roughly account for where their money goes and what they have left over. When students are done with their paper, ask them to turn it in.

Now, give each of your students a spread sheet. Ask students to keep track of their income and monthly spending on this spreadsheet. Show students how to use the spread sheet to fill in their incoming and outgoing monies. Students will turn this sheet in at the end of every week for a month. At the end of the month, bring out the papers they originally filled out and allow students to compare where they thought their money went to where it actually went. This budgeting lesson plan is a great way for students to get a realistic view of what happens to their money. The most probable scenario is that students are spending more money in places that they don't need to. As you review the paper with your students, ask them to come up with some options for how they could have saved money. Some of these options are listed below.

- Walking instead of spending gas money driving.
- Eating at home instead of restaurants.
- Rehabbing old clothes instead of buying new ones.

These are just some of the ways that students can save money. Encourage students to come up more ideas on their own.

## This post is part of the series: Budgeting Lesson Plans Series

- Your Money, Your Community
- Budgeting Lesson: Needs and Wants
- Lesson on Personal Finances
- Plan an Event