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CNN Student News Learning Activity: Tracking Your Income

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  • Students will monitor their income and expenses
  • Students will consider the importance of setting up personal budgets
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(CNN Student News) -- Students will learn about the importance of monitoring their money and setting up personal budgets.


Point out that some people don't know where to start when it comes to creating a budget or personal financial plan because they don't keep track of their income and expenses. Instruct each student to keep a two-week "money diary" of his or her income (generated from jobs, allowances, etc.) and expenses (for essential and non-essential items). Direct students to list their income and expenses on a daily basis. Then, at the end of the two-week period, have them add up their total income and expenses. After students share their experiences, ask:

  1. Did your expenses outweigh your income?
  2. Were any of your expenses frivolous?
  3. Is there a portion of your income that could be set aside for savings or investment?

Have students discuss what they learned by monitoring their money, and how they think that this experience could benefit them when setting up a budget or financial plan later in life.

Correlated Standards


Standard 11: Role of Money

Level IV [Grade: 9-12]

Money makes it easier to trade, borrow, save, invest, and compare the value of goods and services. Related concepts: Exchange, Money Management, Money Supply, Currency, Definition of Money, Money, Characteristics of Money, Functions of Money

The Economics America National Standards ( ) are published by the National Council on Economic Education ( ).

Social Studies

Standard VII: Production, Distribution and Consumption: Students will learn about how people organize for the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

The Curriculum Standards for Social Studies ( are published by the National Council for Social Studies (


budget, income, expenses

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