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Where Does It Come From? Where Does It Go?


Math, Science & Technology

Grade Levels

Intermediate, 7th Grade, 8th Grade


  • Monthly budget is evaluated.
  • Written checks are evaluated.


Lynn Corder, Kathy Eberlein, Bob Lammly, Patricia Molloy, and Diana Voerg.


5 class periods

Essential Question

How is work important to me?



  • Students will gain an awareness of how work relates to providing for the needs and wants of a family.
  • Students will 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.”

Materials / Resources

  • Computers
  • Internet access
  • Calculators
  • Budget forms
  • Utility cost information
  • Check samples
  • Newspaper advertisements for housing, groceries, and clothing

Comments / Modifications

This activity could be adapted for younger students by using allowances.


Lynn Corder, Kathy Eberlein, Bob Lammly, Patricia Molloy, and Diana Voerg. “Where Does It Come From? Where Does It Go?” In Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Resource Guide with Core Curriculum. New York State Department of Education, 96.

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