For Teachers
Introduction Task Steps Activities Evaluation Conclusion

Task 3: Wants and Needs

There are three main areas of spending. The first and most important area is called basic needs. Basic needs are things that people need in order to live. These are things like food, housing, and clothes. There are other costs that people must pay for as well. Things like child care, credit card payments, child support, and alimony are all required costs. People must pay these or else they will get in trouble. Finally, people have wants. Wants are things that people would like to have but do not need in order to survive.

Step 1: As a class, brainstorm the difference between wants and needs. Write your ideas on lists. Your teacher will make three lists on the board or overhead projector. Write the basic needs in the first column, required costs in the second column, and wants in the third column. If you need help coming up with ideas, visit the Estimating Your Expenses site.

Step 2: Print the Wants and Needs page. On your own, list your personal wants and needs. You can use ideas from the class list if you would like.

Step 3: Visit the Planning Process site with a partner or in a small group. Read and discuss the importance of planning and setting goals. Finally, work alone to write down your goals.

Step 4: Continue filling out your personal budget worksheet. Enter the amount of money you spend on basic needs, required costs, and wants in the "Expenses" section.