Debt dilemmas

An activity to explore money management and negative numbers. Be prepared to signpost students if need be.

The activity starts with discussing who is most likely to get into debt and then by recognising that anyone can if they don’t have good money skills.

Then students use *place value dice (hundreds, tens and units) to fill in their budget sheets. If you don’t have such dice you could prepare the sheets by writing in amounts to differentiate for each student.
The sections of the bills highlighted in yellow are the parts to fill in. Not all sections of the bill on each sheet need to be complete. The idea is to represent a range of circumstances.

Next, students need to discuss where they could make savings. Get them to identify which bills they can change and which ones they cannot. These are their priority bills.

Finally, they compare each other’s sheets to see who got the cheapest deal for each item. They can then recalculate their expenditure with these figures and see who made the biggest saving. This can feed into a discussion about shopping around. The budget sheets are based on official sheets used by debt help charities.

Fully mapped to the Functional Maths criteria.

*Place value dice are available widely. Just search for them on Google, Amazon, etc.

Physical format
4 screen PPT, 8 differentiated budget sheets, 1 discussion sheet (with mapping)
Level