For Teachers

Teaching by Topic: Budgeting

Here are a bunch of tips, learning objectives, worksheets, and pre-built lesson plans to help you build your curriculum to teach students how to budget money!

classroom-with-teacher-preparing-lesson-plan

No matter what grade level you teach in financial education, budgeting plays a significant role. Kids can learn this valuable skill early and develop more complex budgets as they age. Knowing how to teach budgeting is crucial to student success – use these resources to keep them on the right track!

You can find the materials you need to teach budgeting, regardless of your students’ levels. Here are budgeting lessons, worksheets, activities and games, and some key tips –  by grade. We also include budgeting learning objectives for each grade, which are pulled straight from the National Standards for Personal Finance Education.

National Standards for Personal Finance Education

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Our free cheat sheet covers every learning objective in the National Standards for Personal Finance Education and the corresponding Kids' Money Lesson Plans - we cover each and every standard!

Kindergarten

Learning Objectives

Kindergarteners can begin separating their resources and getting an idea of budgeting in simple terms. They should be able to:

  • Prioritize future spending, taking resource limitations into account.
  • Brainstorm a personal list of goals for consumption of goods and services.

Kindergarten Budgeting Lesson Plans

  • KMLP Kindergarten – Needs: This lesson plan introduces kindergarteners to budgeting, primarily through a fable kids can understand. It includes hands-on activities, discussions, and life lessons for young students to grasp.

Kindergarten Budgeting Worksheets

Kindergarten Budgeting Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Budgeting to Kindergarten Students

  • Keep it fun.
  • Focus on money denominations and values.
  • Introduce wants and needs early.

For more resources on other topics, check out our Kindergarten Money Lesson Plans Center.

1st Grade

Learning Objectives

Students in this grade work on sorting and analyzing their decision-making. They should:

  • Give examples of differences in people’s preferences that can influence their spending on goods and services.
  • Analyze how people differ in their values and attitudes about spending money.

1st Grade Budgeting Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 1st Grade – Resources: Students read a story about a child who fails to budget his money wisely and spends it all quickly. They learn how important it is to create a plan using available resources and how each person has unique needs.

1st Grade Budgeting Worksheets

1st Grade Budgeting Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Budgeting to 1st Graders

  • Hands-on.
  • Start having them explain reasoning in more depth.
  • Hammer denominations home still.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 1st Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

2nd Grade

Learning Objectives

2nd-graders can differentiate between wants and needs, and start to see how resources are limited. They should be able to:

  • Provide examples of financial choices that have opportunity costs.

2nd Grade Budgeting Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 2nd Grade – Opportunity Cost: Your 2nd-graders learn about opportunity cost, saving, spending, and creating budgets. They read an exciting story with critical messages and complete partner activities, and get rewards for making specific choices.

2nd Grade Budgeting Worksheets

2nd Grade Budgeting Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Budgeting to 2nd Graders

  • Continue money values.
  • Connect to student wants and needs, stressing the importance of budgets.
  • Relay the idea of the joy of saving and having money left over.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 2nd Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

3rd Grade

Learning Objectives

Kids understand the importance of budgeting and being in control of their resources. They should be able to:

  • Explain how peer pressure can affect purchasing decisions.

3rd Grade Budgeting Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 3rd Grade – Incentives: Your kids will love the readings in this lesson, as they deliver powerful financial morals, including budgeting tips, through interesting language and illustrations. They also participate in role-playing activities with play money to see how spending and budgeting work.

3rd Grade Budgeting Worksheets

3rd Grade Budgeting Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Budgeting to 3rd Graders

  • Focus on goods and services.
  • Start the process of tracking spending.
  • Use play money frequently.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 3rd Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

4th Grade

Learning Objectives

4th-graders can use multiplication and more advanced money math to manage budgets. They should be able to:

  • Give examples of differences in people’s preferences that can influence their spending on goods and services.
  • Provide examples of financial choices that have opportunity costs.

4th Grade Budgeting Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 4th Grade – Spending: Kids learn budgeting concepts, with additional instruction on how to exchange money (credit cards, debit cards, writing checks, etc.). They deepen their understanding of the difference between wants and needs and how they fit into budgets.

4th Grade Budgeting Worksheets

4th Grade Budgeting Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Budgeting to 4th Graders

  • You can increase the rigor quite a bit this year in vocabulary and math tasks.
  • Work more with counting out budgeted amounts.
  • Keep activities short and varied.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 4th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

5th Grade

Learning Objectives

5th-grade students can apply their knowledge to create hypothetical budgets. They should be able to:

  • Create a budget that includes expenses and savings out of a given amount of income.

5th Grade Budgeting Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 5th Grade – Budgets: Your students see that budgeting is a skill they can master with practice and research. They read an informational yet fun story about spending and saving smartly, and complete budgeting activities while working with a partner and independently.

5th Grade Budgeting Worksheets

5th Grade Budgeting Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Budgeting to 5th Graders

  • Customize money problems to their interests.
  • Remind them they will soon be in middle school and a much bigger “pond.”
  • Encourage collaboration and group work.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 5th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

6th Grade

Learning Objectives

6th-graders begin to personalize budgeting, so they can start researching possible career paths and related income. They should be able to:

  • Assess personal skills and interests and match them to various career options.

6th Grade Budgeting Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 6th Grade – Shortage: 6th-graders read various texts to see how specialization, earning income, and knowing how to manage their money and budget are connected. They play an online game to reinforce their learning and complete personal reflections about ways they can specialize.

6th Grade Budgeting Worksheets

6th Grade Budgeting Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Budgeting to 6th Graders

  • Keep money topics applicable to young students.
  • Focus on shopping, stores, and finding deals to fit their budgets.
  • Use digital resources frequently.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 6th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

7th Grade

Learning Objectives

7th-graders are in full swing for career and college planning, and budgeting skills come in handy. They should be able to:

  • Identify personal goals for spending and saving.
  • Create a budget that includes expenses and savings out of a given amount of income.

7th Grade Budgeting Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 7th Grade – Personal Finance: Your students will complete graphic organizers, watch videos, and read rich texts to gain information about setting goals, basing budgets on income, and allocating money for spending and saving. They create online presentations to summarize their learnings and present them to the class.

7th Grade Budgeting Worksheets

7th Grade Budgeting Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Budgeting to 7th Graders

  • Allow a variety of assessments, as some students express themselves and demonstrate knowledge differently now.
  • Use a lot of team-building.
  • Keep the environment positive.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 7th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

8th Grade

Learning Objectives

Students at this level can compute higher-level math and balance more complex budgets. They should be able to:

  • Explain why people with identical incomes make different choices for spending, saving, and managing money.
  • Create a budget that includes expenses and savings out of a given amount of income.
  • Discuss the budgeting challenges faced by people living on minimum wage.

8th Grade Budgeting Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 8th Grade – Spending: Students learn all about budgets, creating a personal version they can start working on as they plan for the future. They see how advertising works and how to avoid falling into the pitfalls of overspending by making wise choices.

8th Grade Budgeting Worksheets

8th Grade Budgeting Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Budgeting to 8th Graders

  • Encourage them as they transition to high school.
  • Keep advice and topics practical and to the point.
  • Focus on research and presentation skills.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 8th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

9th Grade

Learning Objectives

9th-graders continue to get more detailed in their budgets and account for all expenses. They should be able to:

  • Develop a budget to allocate current income to necessary and desired spending, including estimates for both fixed and variable expenses.

9th Grade Budgeting Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 9th Grade – Budgeting: You will teach your students how to budget explicitly, walking them through an infographic on how to build a budget and then having them complete their own. They complete worksheets and create presentations to synthesize their understanding.

9th Grade Budgeting Worksheets

9th Grade Budgeting Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Budgeting to 9th Graders

  • Allow students to make mistakes.
  • Encourage group work and cooperation, linking the idea to the business world and the importance of teamwork.
  • Apply real-life criteria to their budgets that they will face soon, like car payments and spending on college.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 9th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

10th Grade

Learning Objectives

Students break down real-life examples of why budgets are so essential. They should be able to:

  • Analyze the cost and features of three competing products or services.
  • Explain methods for adjusting a budget for unexpected expenses or emergencies.

10th Grade Budgeting Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 10th Grade – Foundations of Economics: Students look closely at how decisions are made, analyzing their habits and triggers. They see how the government affects their income and how they need to adjust budgets based on government program benefits and taxes.
  • KMLP 10th Grade – Microeconomics: You show them how budgets change due to multiple factors, including taking advantage of incentives and sales. They will learn about sneaky tactics that can impact their budgets and how to avoid them.

10th Grade Budgeting Worksheets

10th Grade Budgeting Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Budgeting to 10th Graders

  • Keep lessons specific to their precise ages (almost ready for driver’s licenses, first formal dances, preparing for college testing, etc.)
  • Begin focusing on career incomes, benefits, and perks, and how those factor into budgets.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 10th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

11th Grade

Learning Objectives

Students should create personal working budgets in this grade. They should be able to:

  • Develop a system for keeping track of spending, saving, and investing.

11th Grade Budgeting Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 11th Grade – Global Economic Systems: 11th-graders will understand how their decision-making processes work and how they can create or follow systems to track their budgets. They make online presentations to further their comprehension of the topic.

11th Grade Budgeting Worksheets

11th Grade Budgeting Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Budgeting to 11th Graders

  • Give students explicit budgeting guidance, reminding them there are always unexpected costs.
  • Link their findings to applicable aspects, like the cost of college, any income they receive now, and taxes.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 11th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

12th Grade

Learning Objectives

12th-graders should use authentic, current data about income and expenses in their city to develop budgets. They should be able to:

  • Develop a budget to allocate current income to necessary and desired spending, including estimates for both fixed and variable expenses.
  • Explain methods for adjusting a budget for unexpected expenses or emergencies.

12th Grade Budgeting Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 12th Grade – Spending: Your students will get more detailed and practical in this lesson, seeing how specific expenses like rents or housing costs affect budgets. They continue analyzing their decisions and see how social media influences their spending.

12th Grade Budgeting Worksheets

12th Grade Budgeting Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Budgeting to 12th Graders

  • Make lessons and activities as practical as possible – they’re knocking on the door of adulthood.
  • Give ample time for personal finance questions and concerns.
  • Give individual attention as much as possible to ensure personal budget readiness.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 12th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

About the Author

Peter Brown

Peter Brown is a National Board Certified teacher with over two decades of experience in the classroom. He loves working with students of all ages in many subjects, but particularly in practical areas like money education, to help kids achieve their goals. When he is not teaching or writing about financial literacy, you can find him surfing, hiking, skiing, or traveling to new places.

Last updated on: July 28, 2022