Money Management Lesson Plan

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Use this lesson plan to help your students better understand how to manage money with a fun activity. Students will use a reading activity to build their vocabulary, then partake in a hands-on activity that will put their money management skills to the test.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define key terms related to money management
  • explain how budgeting, saving, and spending money are related
  • demonstrate through role-play their understanding of spending, budgeting, and saving


60-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve one- and two-step word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.


Solve word problems involving dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies, using $ and ¢ symbols appropriately.


Key Vocabulary

  • Saving
  • Budgeting
  • Spending


  • Begin the lesson with a short, whole-class discussion about money. Ask students to volunteer anything they know about what money is and how it works. Write key points from their responses on the board.
  • Next, distribute copies of the lesson Money Management Lesson for Kids.
  • Have students take turns reading a line or two aloud from the 'What Would You Do with $10?' section.
  • Write the words 'Save,' 'Budget,' and 'Spend' on the board.
  • Ask students 'What would you do with $10?' Have students raise their hands for each of the options (save, budget, spend). Write down tally-marks accordingly under each option written on the board.
  • Have students take turns reading a line or two aloud from the 'Saving' section. Are there any students who said they would save the money that want to change their minds? Update the tally marks as needed.
  • Now do the same with the 'Budgeting' and 'Spending' sections, respectively. Again, students may change their votes after reviewing what their choice would really mean for their money.
  • Finish the lesson by asking students to read the Lesson Summary independently and highlight the key terms in one color highlighter and their definitions in a second color highlighter.
  • Take the lesson's quiz as a class, reviewing answers and answering any outstanding questions students may still have about the material.


  • Tell students that they will be participating in a mini-economy game.
  • Divide the class in half. Have of the class will be shopkeepers and the other half customers. Hand out paper play money to the customers and coins to the shopkeepers.
  • Have all of the shopkeepers stand up, walk around the classroom, and choose three pieces of classroom property (things that belong in the classroom and are not owned by any one student). These items will be their 'inventory.' Shopkeepers should keep their inventory semi-hidden so that only a customer working with them knows what they have.
    • Have the shopkeepers and their inventory find places on the perimeter of the classroom. Customers will begin in the beginning of the room.
    • Students with paper money will be customers of the shopkeepers. Shopkeepers will try to sell all of their goods for the best price they can get for them, but customers are allowed to try to 'barter' down the price.
  • On your go, have each customer go to one 'shop.' Give them 2-3 minutes to negotiate and buy what they will.
  • After 2-3 minutes, have customers rotate one 'shop' clockwise. They can now see what this 'shop' has to offer and negotiate prices for anything they want to buy.
  • Once all of the customers have visited all of the 'shops,' have students return to their desks with their prizes and profits, respectively.
  • Discuss as a class the experience.
    • Did all students have the money they needed to buy things they wanted once they got to a new shop?
    • Did anyone realize they didn't have enough money to buy something they wanted?
    • How many students chose to budget their money in the beginning of the game?
    • Do any customers have money left over?
    • Who of the shopkeepers earned the most money?

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