Develop a Budget and Live by It

Approximate Duration: 30 min.


This activity will give students experience with calculating their income and expenses while in high school. The students will consider how and when they spend money for their wants.


Pass out a copy of the budget worksheet to each student or divide the class into work groups and pass out a copy to each group. You can copy the worksheet from page 10 from the CARE booklet if you have printed booklets, or you can download a PDF of the worksheet.

Before the students begin to list their dollar amounts in the budget worksheet, ask them to talk about typical expenses they have. Ask them to think about where their money goes. The budget lines are guides to list expenses but some may not be filled in. Discuss the present budgets and students may compare and contrast their spending habits. The “After High School” budget is a projection of how their expenses will change after high school graduation. Students may want to research costs of apartments and other budget lines that may not be as familiar to them.

Students, or the work groups can share their budgets and open the conversation about how money is received and how it is spent. The “After High School” budget will allow the students to research the cost of an apartment and talk with parents and others about expenses that they are not familiar with. The Internet can be used to find average health insurance costs. This budget will be hypothetical and will provide an opportunity for the students to estimate costs and project their lifestyle.


Develop a Budget and Live by It Worksheet (pdf, 912k)