Repeat after us: It’s never too early to learn how to budget. Set your grade 3-5 students up for future financial success with this “Plans and Goals” lesson and activity sheet. It’s all part of our Adventures in Math resource center!

What’s in the “Plans and Goals” lesson?

This lesson is divided into six parts:

Part 1—Vocabulary/Concept Development: Provide your students with an allowance scenario and some choices, and have them vote on what they would personally choose to do with it.

Part 2—Think About Budgets: Get students to start thinking about a budget in terms of how their school and families spend their money.

Part 3—Want or Need? Write down a list of items and have students categorize them into wants and needs.

Part 4—Spend Wisely: Learn how to tell a good deal from a bad deal.

Part 5—Hands-On Activity: Using strips of colored paper, demonstrate the concept of markups and profits.

Part 6—Profit Parade Activity Sheet: Show what you know with these money math problems!


  • Develop an understanding of personal financial literacy, including budgeting, spending, saving, charitable giving, and profits.
  • Participate in group discussions.
  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  • Communicate mathematical ideas, reasoning, and relationships.
  • Apply mathematics to solve problems arising in everyday life.
  • Solve problems using the four operations with whole numbers and fractions.
  • Use place value understanding and properties of operations to perform multi-digit arithmetic.
  • Solve multi-step word problems.
  • Analyze information, formulate a plan or strategy, determine a solution, justify the solution, and evaluate the problem-solving process and the solution.
  • Represent and interpret data.

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