For Parents

Wants vs. Needs Budgeting Worksheets

Check out these wants vs. needs worksheets to help your kids learning smart budgeting habits.



I’m sure your kid is in hearing range whenever you try to spell it out (Never mind that they’ve won every spelling bee contest this school year.). 

When it comes to prioritizing, your teenager not only benefits from being able to distinguish between needs and wants, but to actualize them.

That’s how we knew this resourceful list of Wants vs. Needs worksheets would come in handy for parents like you – as it helps students manage their individual budgets, set spending priorities, and function better in the world of money!

Bottom Line

When kids understand the basics of budgeting, there’s no limit to how they can spend, earn, save and invest money! 

To understand the budgeting process, your kid must first understand money, how it works, how it should be used, how to calculate their expenses and income, and how to create a budget plan that strongly considers their very own wants vs. their needs.

As mentioned, understanding the difference between wants and needs is a core component of financial literacy. It’s the basis for a healthy budget and offers an efficient way to reduce spending. We’ve compiled 12 wants vs. needs budget worksheets for your kids that are guaranteed to change their lives, making them more financially inclined to manage their money correctly. 

As a parent, you can feel confident about downloading one or more of these worksheets for your kid to start working on today!

OppU Loans – Needs vs. Wants Budget Worksheet

Suggested age: 14 and up

If a child shows a high level of maturity and responsibility with money, this worksheet will help them precisely arrange their finances down to receipts and bank statements. Even if the child isn’t ready to do the calculations, they can also use it to estimate their day-to-day expenses and decide if it’s time to trim their budget to save better. The worksheet also offers sample costs for your child to start with to gauge their expenses. 

A great draw-in to this worksheet is the “frugal” column. It helps the child evaluate their spending and determine if there’s possible room to cut unnecessary costs. Finally, they allow you to put your needs and wants into perspective by using a Venn Diagram and to see a broader picture with a “wish” column used for future financial goals.

OppU Loans – Needs vs. Wants Activity Sheet

Suggested age: 14 and up

Similar to the OppU Needs vs. Wants Budget Worksheet above, this can be a wonderful add-on to your child’s deeper learning of how to prioritize money. In the scenarios, it allows your child to decide on their own which costs are “needs” and which are “wants” and to explain how they arrived at their answer. There are five scenarios in total. Your child can work on the different scenarios in segments over a period to help extend the learning experience, or they can simply work on the activity sheet all in one shot! 

The purpose of adding this worksheet to our list is that children learn particularly well from external situations that are presented to them – giving them a chance to put themselves in the other person’s shoes. In some cases, they feel they can relate!

OppU Loans Needs vs. Wants Elementary

Suggested age: 6 – 9

OppU Loans offers a wide range of Budget worksheets for varying age groups, and this comprehensive and perfectly suited worksheet for kids between first and third grade will make learning about wants and needs fun and engaging. The visual images draw in the child and allow them to immediately decipher between “wants” and “needs.”

Cash Course Needs vs. Wants Worksheet

Suggested age: 9 – 13

This worksheet assumes that kids think they have more “wants” than needs, which is rightfully so. Kids hate hearing the phrase, “But, you don’t need that.” This budget worksheet will get them rethinking your take on priorities. 

Prompting them to list all the things they think they need, they will eventually understand how those items they thought were “needs” are actually “wants” and will therefore categorize them as such. Another perk to this worksheet is the amount of space the child has to work with in listing their priorities.

Math Worksheets 4 Kids

Suggested age: 7 – 13

Math Worksheets 4 Kids has countless worksheets related to budgeting that your child can choose from and get started on today! Ranging from Needs and Wants – identification, sorting, charts, cut and glue projects, and much more!

National Disability Institute – Needs vs. Wants Worksheet

Suggested age: 7 – 13

The National Disability Institute provides a simple and concise budget worksheet that features many expenses related to most kids and their interests. When using this worksheet, your kid will seamlessly focus more on identifying which expenses are wants and needs.

Smart About Money Wants vs. Needs Worksheet

Suggested age: 9 – 14

This elaborate yet concise budget worksheet provides a breakdown of wants and needs, what each means, how they are different, and how to prioritize them. Self-guided in nature, your child of reading age may decide to proceed with this worksheet without any assistance, or you can read aloud to them and work together to build their worksheet. After filling out the worksheet, you can work with them to answer a series of questions at the end to ignite critical thinking.

ScoilNet Needs vs. Wants

Suggested age: 7 – 13

Another quick and easy worksheet that can be done unassisted, this worksheet encourages the child to fill in the sheet by themselves. This shows self-assurance in one’s capability to make decisions. After they are done, it will be helpful for you to talk with them about their answers and find out why they consider an item a want or a need. 

For the items that they already have, they are prompted to add an asterisk to differentiate them from the wants or needs they do not have. This will also open up further discussion into their mindset on the Wants vs. Needs budgeting concept.

Practical Money Skills – Student Activity Sheet

Suggested age: 9 and up

A more in-depth and analytical budget worksheet will get your money-minded kid’s brain churning with this series of budgeting scenarios. Suggested for high schoolers or elementary students who are analytical and critical in thought can also use and benefit from this helpful lesson in prioritizing expenses.

Each scenario is different yet relatable to students in the above age group. Your child will easily picture themselves in each of the scenarios, making the learning process more intuitive. 

Eco Literacy Needs vs. Wants Activity

Suggested age: 7 and up

This downloadable resource expects preparation beforehand. A few material items are listed, making this a well-thought-out activity for kids and families. It recommends that the child have a partner handy or a larger group that can be divided into pairs.

The worksheet gives you a step-by-step guide on how to use this hands-on activity.

Consumer Finance – Budgeting for Needs and Wants

Suggested age: 9 and up

Another worksheet that uses scenarios as a learning tactic to grab the child’s attention and focus. With instructions to follow, your child can complete this worksheet without any assistance from you, or you can accompany them during this learning activity.

Nusenda Credit Union – Needs & Wants

Suggested age: 7 and up
Nusenda Credit Union offers this printable budget worksheet with a game twist! Although it was created as a teacher-led activity for students, parents can utilize this for their child and add on as many players as they’d like. The game has two rounds, both offering unique insights and discussion questions.

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About the Author

Christina Ezeagwuna

Christina is a professional writer with 7+ years in entrepreneurship, opening a rental baby furniture business in 2016 that she still runs today. Christina is a mom of three budding, financially savvy kids and works as a content manager for the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement.

Last updated on: November 21, 2022