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Helping Teens Create a Budget

October’s National Financial Planning Month is a great time to help teens learn the

fundamentals of budget planning. Creating, and living within, a budget is an essential adult

living skill that will allow young adults, especially those with special needs, to be successful in


Try a Free Lesson

“Creating a Budget” from Daily Living Skills’ workbook Paying Bills is a good way to set out the

fundamentals of creating a budget. This free lesson offers the basics in budgeting by laying out

the percentages students should pay for each of the major categories of expense associated

with living independently.

Create Discussions

Financial experts recommend that people spend no more than 30% of their after-tax income on

housing. Yet, according to the Business Insider*, the average American spends 37% of their

income on house—and more, if they’re young or living in urban areas.

Let this information open up a class discussion on ways to mitigate this trend. What can

students do in the short-term to lower their housing costs? Stay at home? Move to a cheaper

area? Live with a roommate? Create a group home arrangement? Or, what can they do to help

in the future? Elect representatives who endorse affordable housing? Write to representatives?

Join city councils?

Doing the Math

Let students see the real-money cost of housing by looking at the classifieds. Find ads for

several houses or apartments in your neighborhood. Use this formula to determine how much

they’d need to earn monthly to afford the housing and stay within the 30% budget.

  1. Cost of housing = 30 x 100

  2. Cross multiply to get: (Cost of housing X 100) = X times 30

  3. Divide the answer of x(30) into the Cost of housing X100

  4. That answer will be the gross income you need to make to afford the house

  5. Compare this income to the average income students might expect to make at a first job.

For More Information

“Creating a Budget” comes from Daily Living Skills’ workbook Paying Bills. Like other books in

the series, it is written on a 3 3rdrd /4th-grade level with light, airy pages and bullet point information

yet is respectful of teens’ humor and sensibilities while meeting Indicator 13 skills and federal

mandates for transition requirements. For more information on the series go to our store or our TPT store.

10_2 Budget WS (1)
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