Inside: Top budgeting project for high school students to help them learn how to handle money.
Money, it’s one of the world’s dirtiest topics, but I don’t think it should be. Money makes the world go around, even if we don’t want to admit it. It gives you the ability to put a roof over your head, put food in your belly, and achieve your desires. Whether it be a vacation or a new car, money helps you get there.
But money can be a very tricky thing to learn how to handle and considering it is so prevalent in our lives, it’s essential that we learn how to properly budget ourselves from a young age.
So today, I am going to go over the number one budgeting project for High School Students. This project will leave them with a deep understanding of how money works while giving them the tools to budget it out wisely.
The Benefits of Budgeting
Although some of these might feel obvious, it is still good to have an understanding of the benefits that come with budgeting. I understand that it can be hard when you are sticking to a set budget. It feels strict and limiting, but is so much good that can come out of it, and focusing on the good, it makes the whole process easier.
The first and probably the biggest benefit is the stability that budgeting brings. You will know how much money you have coming in, what amount will go to bills, what amount you should save, and how much you get to keep for yourself.
By doing this, you are setting a strong foundation for your well-being. When you know exactly how much money you should and shouldn’t be spending, you are less likely to overspend, and you are able to live in a less stressful environment. You always know that you’ll have enough for rent and other living expenses, and you will never be left hungry.
Building a Savings
Building savings is actually much easier than it sounds; it just takes a little math and determination. Money is a very tempting thing. You could spend it all on things you don’t need, like going out for sushi and candles. Just me? Cool. Or you could save it for the things you do need and put a little extra away on the side for emergencies or for a rainy day.
This rainy-day fun can obviously come in handy during times of hardship, but it can also help you during times when you have a desire that money can meet, like a new pair of shoes or even a bed.
By saving, you are giving yourself a safety net. It’s the proverbial “break glass in case of emergency” that comes in more helpful than you could imagine. Future you thanks you!
Best Budgeting Project for High School Students
Though there are many budgeting projects out there, I feel that this one is all-encompassing, and it teaches the students how to budget in a way that is hands-on. It’s a technique they will be able to use in their daily life, both now and in the future when they have more bills. So let’s get started.
Students will be given a hypothetical “monthly budget” along with a list of bills and expenses. These bills and expenses will be things that they will have to deal with in the future. The goal of this exercise is to have the students budget out their month so that all of their bills are paid, they have a little for savings, and a little for themselves.
I will walk you through the numbers, as well as give you a blank printable sheet that the students can work with.
This planner is a great tool that the students can use for this project now and in the future. They have so many different ones that have many different attributes, but for the sake of this project, I chose a simple one.
This is what they will use to figure in their monthly budget. There are different sections for bills, debt, expenses, and more. Take a look at this; you may be wondering why you haven’t used one sooner. They really are a lifesaver, and your students will learn that soon enough.
For this section, you can either give the whole class(or your teen if you are a parent exercising this project from home) one budget, or you can make it more challenging by giving students different budgets and bills. For the sake of this demonstration, I’ll pick one budget amount to work with.
The budget we will be working with is $2,000 a month. This may not feel like a whole lot, but I think it is more than enough for a teen to be able to budget fake bills.
For this section, you can mix and match which ones you want them to work with. You can choose all or just some. Take a look at the list below to see.
- Rent: 550
- Electric: 50
- Internet: 45
- Phone Bill: 100
- Gas: 200
- Car Payment: 300
- Groceries: 300
- Entertainment: 50
- House Supplies: 50
There are a few ways that you can go about this project. You can keep it simple and give them all the amounts and have them plug it into the worksheet so that they see how it works; then, you can have them use it to budget their own finances at the moment, even if it’s just an allowance.
Or, you can challenge them to look up what rent prices are in their range, how much internet is, and so on until they fill in the blanks themselves. I prefer this one because most students are shocked to see how expensive things really are and how fast it adds up.
They need to put money away into savings when they can and have a little spending money for themself along with their bills budget. By the end of this project, the students will have a new understanding of money and how to budget. This will come in very handy when they eventually move out and start going to college.
Budgeting Project for High School Students: Conclusion
There you go, it is pretty straightforward, but it is one of the most effective budgeting projects for high school students that you will ever come across. It teaches them the value of money, and it gives them a tool that they can use even when they are out of high school.
Knowing how to handle money is a very important part of growing up and learning how to be an adult. I have known people who went off to college only to have to come back home to their parents because they didn’t know how to properly budget and would often run out of money for food and essentials. Don’t let this be you!
It can actually be a lot of fun once you get the hang of it. Seeing your savings account grow and grow because almost addicting! If you enjoyed this, why not check out some of our other helpful tips for high schoolers?