Budgeting Basics: How to Manage Saving and Spending

Arkansas educators asked, we listened! We asked teachers around the state what topics they would like to see new materials on, and budgeting was a top response. Based on that feedback, UCA Family & Consumer Sciences Professor Dr. Kathryn Carroll developed an in-depth content review, hands-on simulation, and several additional resources specifically designed to teach budgeting in Arkansas classroom.

Content Overview:

Learning how to track your income and expenses on a regular basis is a foundational financial literacy skill. Before students dive into topics like Building Wealth, they need to know what their income and expenses are and how they can project what they will be in the future. When a student receives their first paycheck, what do they do next? Do they know what taxes they paid? Will they pay themselves first, by creating savings goals? Do they have future purchases, like cars, apartments, or education that they would like to pursue? In order to meet these goals, students need to master budgeting.

The lesson plan provides examples that you can discuss with students to show them how to track income and expenses as well as how to create short and long terms savings plans. Vocabulary strategies are also included to get students comfortable using personal finance terms like net & gross income and fixed & variable expenses.

Overview of Activities:

Using this curriculum, students learn through simulations and hands-on decision making.

Student Budget Scenarios

Using Student Budgeting Scenarios, students are presented with a case study of a young adult with several financial decisions to make. Students help their case study character evaluate their current budgets and create new budgets that would help their character reach their financial goals.

Budget Building & Spending Tracker Activities

Students are also challenged to track and account their personal expenses and try to create some short, medium, and long term savings goals. They evaluate earning potentials and various salaries and research the cost of living around the United States.

Podcast Listen & Response Activity

Using a podcast and article, students learn about inflation, back-to-school shopping, and how families plan for small purchases throughout the year. They then complete an activity where they shop for school supplies on a tight budget.

Download Budgeting Basics here!

Resources for Digital Classrooms:

Do you use an online learning system for your classroom? If you are needing digital versions of activities, you can find a fully digital resource guide here: https://rb.gy/mtzl84