In this lesson, students will first examine their personal spending habits,
identifying and gathering data about their monthly expenses. Second,
students will learn key differences between gross income and net income
by analyzing sample and authentic paychecks. Third, using online tools,
students will create a home budget. They will not only calculate their total
income and expenses, but will also create a long-term savings plan. And
finally, they will have the opportunity to reflect on their monthly spending
habits and financial goals and to share these reflections, along with their
completed budgets, in poster form.
1. warm-up activity
Make copies of the chart below and distribute. Ask students to
complete a survey about their life and work backgrounds, filling in the
column on the right with a yes or no response. Upper-level students
may compare their responses with a partner or in a group. Survey
students’ responses through a show of hands and compile the class
results on the board.
2. introduction to income and expenses: Blanca’s Story
Prepare the students to listen to the story of Blanca Cabrera (http://
www.youthradio.org/news/youth-voices-economy), a 19-year-old who,
like many young people, is living at home with her parents, trying to
finish up school and working on the weekends. She works in her uncle’s
ice cream shop.
a. Main Idea. Write on the board, “Is Blanca a normal teenager? Why
or why not?” Ask students to listen to Blanca’s story in order to
answer this question, then discuss responses as a class.
b. Cloze Activity. Make copies of and distribute this excerpt from
Blanca’s story. Ask students to listen to the story again, reading the
transcript and filling in the blanks with the words on the right while
they listen. Check answers as a class.
Given budget guidelines and a scenario
that includes household income and
expenses, students will be able to
develop a level-appropriate monthly
budget that addresses at least eight