December 8th, 2021

Middle School Resource: Where Does It Come From? Where Does It Go?

Middle School Resource

Where Does It Come From? Where Does It Go?


In this activity, students will

  • Gain an awareness of how work relates to providing for the needs and wants of a family.
  • Be able to prepare a balanced monthly budget that provides for the needs and wants of the individual.


  • Students brainstorm how people support themselves financially.
  • Teacher explains the purpose and basic components of budgets.
    • Food
    • Housing
    • Clothing
    • Utilities
  • Students brainstorm other expenses they might need or want to include in a monthly budget.
  • Students are divided into small groups to work on budgets. Each group is given a different situation (e.g., number of children, if any; amount of monthly paycheck after taxes) to use in creating a monthly budget.
  • Students are provided with resources to use in determining their budgets.
    • Grocery ads
    • Clothing ads
    • Classified ads indicating various rents or mortgages
    • Cost information from local utilities
    • Internet sites with prices for various items (e.g., Peapod for groceries, clothing companies)
  • Groups work to create monthly budgets based upon their resources and personal situations.
  • Students present their budgets to the class, discussing each component.
  • The class discusses the reasons for any variations. Teacher instructs students on how individual banking accounts, both checking and savings, work.
  • Teacher explains how to write a check.
  • Students are given blank, mock checks to use in “making their monthly payments.”

Related NY State Academic Standards: W.7.7, W.7.11, CDOS.I.1.1.A, and more!

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