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The Big Budget Project Concludes

Friday 20th July | Comments are off for this post

After a hectic hour-and-a-half this morning, the children completed a year of their Big Budget Project.

Children had already been randomly assigned different jobs with an annual salary range from around £15,000 to £29,000. They then were required to calculate lots of annual contributions: national insurance, pension, student loan, income tax – have I missed anything???

From this, children worked out their annual take-home-pay and then, subsequently, their monthly take-home-pay. Children used the internet to research rental properties, cars, utilities (gas, electric, water), broadband, council tax, TV packages and mobile phone contracts. They were challenged to create a food diary and then budget how much it would cost to buy all the food and drink they would need for a week.

We then simulated a year. Each month though, the children were hit with unexpected financial costs: domestic-product repairs, automobile breakdowns and the such-like. Many children were successful throughout the year and managed to save quite a bit of money. They had no dependants after all! Some children became entwined in debt and at the end of the ‘year’, reflected on where they could save money: cheaper cars, sharing houses, less-expensive food shops, maybe I shouldn’t get that dog after all…

I have been really impressed with the maturity and kindness of children. Lots of the class wanted to donate (not even lend!) money to other children! I hope they remember some of these budgeting skills as they get older. I am sure they will get more opportunities to develop their financial and budgeting skills in high school.

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