Money Math Lessons for Life
Mary C. Suiter and Sarapage McCorkle
Money Math: Lessons for Life is a fourlesson curriculum supplement for middle school math classes, teaching grade 79 math concepts using reallife examples from personal finance. The 86page book is a teacher's guide with lesson plans, reproducible activity pages, and teaching tips.
Personal Finance Concepts
Interest, interest rate, compounding, wealth, saving, savings,
inflation, purchasing power
Lesson Description
Students learn how saving helps people become wealthy. They develop “rules to become a millionaire” as they work through a series of exercises, learning that it is important to: (1) save early and often, (2) save as much as possible, (3) earn compound interest, (4) try to earn a high interest rate, (5) leave deposits and interest earned in the account as long as possible, and (6) choose accounts for which interest is compounded often. This lesson assumes that students have worked with percents and decimal equivalents.
Objectives
Students will be able to:
 Define saving, incentive, interest, and opportunity cost.
 Solve problems using interest rate, fractions, decimals, and percentages.
 Calculate compound interest.
 Explain the benefits of compound interest.
 Explain the opportunity cost of saving.
 Describe a savings bond investment.
Personal Finance Concepts
Tradeoffs, budget constraint, expenses
Lesson Description
Students hear a story about Tom, a middleschool student who
wants to redecorate his bedroom. They measure the classroom wall
dimensions, draw a scale model, and incorporate measurements for
windows and doors to determine the area that could be covered by
wallpaper. Students then hear more about Tom's redecorating
adventure, learning about expenses, budget constraints, and tradeoffs.
For assessment, students measure their rooms at home. This
lesson requires that students know how to measure, or a review may
be necessary before teaching.
Objectives
Students will be able to:
 Measure in feet and calculate square feet.
 Define area.
 Calculate the area of squares and rectangles.
 Define trade offs, budget constraint, and expenses.
 Identify trade offs.
Personal Finance Concepts
Income, saving, taxes, gross income, net income
Lesson Description
Students examine careers and reflect on how workers use math in
their occupations. They study selected occupations, learning about
the work skills (human capital) that different workers possess and
salaries that those workers earn. Next, students learn about how
taxes are paid on income that people earn and how income tax is
calculated. They learn how the progressive federal income tax is
based on the abilitytopay principle.
Objectives
Students will be able to:
 Describe examples of human capital.
 Explain the link between human capital and income earning
potential and provide examples.
 Define and provide examples of human and capital resources.
 Define and provide examples of income, saving, taxes, gross
income, and net income.
 Define and provide examples of abilitytopay and progressive
tax.
 Calculate tax rates (percents) and the dollar amount of taxes.
 Read and understand tax tables.
Personal Finance Concepts
Budget, gross and net income, payroll taxes, fixed expenses,
variable expenses, periodic expenses
Lesson Description
Students develop a budget for a college student using a spreadsheet.
They examine the student’s fixed, variable, and periodic expenses
and revise to adjust for cash flow problems that appear on the first
spreadsheet. Note: Instructions for using a spreadsheet are based
on Microsoft Excel® but generally apply to other spreadsheet
software. This lesson is designed to increase student awareness and
appreciation of the efficiency of using computer technology in math
applications. The use of a computer lab is recommended. If the
lesson is taught with a few computers, increase the time required
indicated below.
Objectives
Students will be able to:
 Develop, analyze and revise a budget.
 Define and give examples of fixed expenses.
 Define and give examples of variable expenses.
 Explain how periodic expenses affect the budgeting process.
 Explain and give an example of a budget surplus and a budget
deficit.
 Create a spreadsheet for a budget.
Kids' Money > Teachers > 9th Grade > Lesson Plans

