Math in Real Life: Planning a Christmas Budget

Christmas is coming up soon, and one real life math skill that children need to learn is the ability to budget their money wisely. You can combine both of these by helping your child plan out a Christmas budget for the gifts they need to buy.

Planning a Christmas Budget

Start by having your child list the different people they need to buy gifts for. They may want to include grandparents, siblings, and even a friend or two from school. You can give them ideas of people to write down but don’t discourage them from making a long list. Remember this is a learning experience so even if they have to cross names off the list later, they will be learning from the process. Next give them a set amount of money that they can spend in all. Be reasonable with this figure. Don’t tell them they have $300 to spend if you can’t afford to give them $300. Part of this real life math project is learning to work with the money you have.

Dividing up a Christmas Budget

For the next step, your child will need to decide how much money they are going to spend on each gift. Let them write down different amounts for each person on their list. Encourage them to subtract the amounts they write down from their total Christmas budget so that they don’t go over the amount they have to spend. Explain to them that if they run out of money, they will have to either change the amounts they are spending or remove people from the list.

Shopping for Gifts

Finally let your child use the internet or store flyers to choose actual gifts for each person on their list. Remind your child to be thoughtful of the person they are shopping for but also to not go over their Christmas budget amounts. If you have the money, you could even take your child to stores and let them actually purchase, wrap, and give the gifts that they have chosen.

This is a fun and practical way to let your child practice working with money. Not only will they be learning an important life skill, but they will be having fun in the process. Do you let your children plan out a Christmas budget every year?

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