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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.

  1. Watch the short video, “How Our Economy Works: All About Earning and Spending Money” found in the INFOhio Digital Video Collection. As you watch, take notes and includes terms that you do not know. (20-30 minutes) 
  2. It is important to remember that every financial choice has consequences. Use the Spending Your Money Wisely T-chart to create a column for “Wants” and a column for “Needs” of items that you might want to purchase. (30-45 minutes)
  3. 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, 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. (1-3 hours)
  1. Use ISearch to locate some background information about budgets. Click on the Advanced Encyclopedias tab to learn more about different types of budgets. Take notes using one of the resources listed under Evaluating Information or the Notetaking Template. (30-45 minutes)
  2. Read this article from Career World about budgeting, “Budgeting Your Future,” to learn more about personal budgets. Use ISearch to help you locate the article. (30-45 minutes)  
  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 Notetaking Template to help you remember key points. 
  4. 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. (30-60 minutes) 
  1. 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 ISearch to research these terms and write a short paragraph to explain them. 
  2. Write a brief essay 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? (30-90 minutes)



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