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Budgeting for Discretionary & Non-Discretionary Expenses

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  • Price per Classroom$2.00
  • Grade Levels 7, 8, 9, 10
  • Topics Budgeting
  • Duration 20 Minutes
  • Auto Scored? Yes
  • Teacher Evaluation Needed? No

Activity Description

In this activity, students will delve into the concept of discretionary and non-discretionary budgets through an engaging storyline.

The scenario unfolds as follows: a person who once enjoyed a high-paying job now finds themselves in a new, lower-paying position. Their task is to adapt their previous budget to accommodate this reduced income. As they navigate this financial journey, students will come to realize that some expenses are non-discretionary and cannot be adjusted. Their challenge lies in modifying the discretionary budget to ensure that their total monthly expenses align with their new income. Additionally, a crucial condition to be met is reserving at least 10% of their salary for savings.


This exercise helps students develop budgeting skills and emphasizes the importance of savings in financial planning.

Students will use interactive graphical spinners to choose different categories such as the type of house to rent, dining out choices, commute options, % to be saved for the future, internet plan, and entertainment options.


To find more such budgeting activities take a look at our full-fledged budgeting lab

Learning Objective

Students will gain practical experience in creating a budget plan by categorizing and allocating their income to both non-discretionary and discretionary expenses. They will develop skills in effectively managing their finances.

Teacher Tips

Included with the activity, you can view the tips to clarify student's doubts or to evaluate answers (for a teacher scored worksheet).
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  • Price$2.00
  • Grade Levels 7, 8, 9, 10
  • Topics Budgeting
  • Duration 20 Minutes
  • Auto Scored? Yes
  • Teacher Evaluation Needed? No

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