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INFOhio Blizzard Bags - Grades 6-8: Module 2: Income and Budgeting

These modules were developed using a research model involving six dimensions of inquiry: questioning, locating, evaluating, applying, sharing, and reflecting.

Your income and where it goes



It's very exciting to make decisions on how to spend the money when you earn your first paycheck. Learn more about budgeting and making wise spending choices with the activities below.

Activities: Income and Budgeting

Activity 1: Watch the short video, "Budgeting (Live With Less)" found in the INFOhio's IWonder. As you watch, take notes using the Note Taking template about what you learn about creating and using a budget.

  • 10 minutes

Activity 2: It is important to remember that every financial choice has consequences. Refer back to the Spending Your Money Wisely chart. Look at which items you included in the "Needs" column and which items you included in the "Wants" column. 

  • Now choose 3 items from the Spending Your Money Wisely list of wants and needs and investigate the cost of the items. Use newspaper ads, Ebay ads, Internet research, visits to a store that sells the item or even use a phone call to obtain information about the cost of the item.
  • Make a chart comparing the cost of the items from two or more places. Be sure to include at least one big ticket item like a car, television, cell phone, furniture, etc. in your research.
  • Record your research on a blank copy of the Note Taking template. 
  • 1-3 hours

Activity 3: Budgets are an important part of money management. Read the short article “Making a Budget” for an overview on the topic. You can use the Note Taking template to help you remember key points. 

  • Read this article from Career World about budgeting, “Budgeting Your Future,” to learn more about personal budgets. Use the Organize to Take Notes graphic organizer to take notes as you read this article. 
  • Use ISearch to help you locate an additional article about budgets.  Use ISearch to locate some background information about budgets. Try searching using keywords: "personal budget". Select an article and use the Organize to Take Notes graphic organizer to take notes. 
  • Use the information that you found about income (s) in your occupation match to complete the OhioMeansJobs K-12 Budget Calculator. How much will you have to earn to meet the average budget costs in the state of Ohio? If you do not have access to the Internet use the attached Budget Worksheet from Career World to create a monthly budget. 
  • 1-2 hours

Activity 4: When you receive a paycheck, you will notice that there is a difference between gross pay (before taxes) and net pay (take-home pay). In addition to deductions for federal taxes, there may be state and local income taxes deducted. There is also FICA, Social Security and Medicare and possibly 401K.

  • Use How to Decode Your Paycheck from The Mint website to learn more about each of these terms. 
  • Explore World Book Student to learn more about each of these terms.
  • Record your answers on your Note Taking Template.
  • 15-20 minutes 


Activity 5: Apply what you have learned from the articles you read, the videos you watched, and the websites you explored. Select one of the options below, ask your teacher which option they would prefer you complete.

  • Tell a story about a time that you purchased a product on impulse without doing any research or thought beforehand. What were the consequences of the action? Did the decision work out the way that you anticipated? How would you change your decision to become an informed consumer? What kind of questions should you ask yourself before making a decision about a purchase?  Use a web-based storytelling tool like Storyboard That or Shadow Puppet to create your story. (1-2 hours)
  • Create an advertisement about the importance of creating and following a budget. Try to persuade your classmates to create a budget and use it to help them make decisions about how to spend their money, now and in the future. Include evidence from your Note Taking template and your Organize to Take Notes graphic organizer. Create your advertisement using poster board and art supplies, or consider creating your advertisement using a web-based creation tool like Canva. (1-2 hours)