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Profile Budgeting Activity




List of Items

Profile Descriptions


30 minutes


To teach students how to manage their personal budget upon entering college.


Split the class into 4 groups and give each group a profile description and list of items. Read the scenario to the class as the students read along with you.

Scenario: "It is the first week back at school your sophomore year. Based on the descriptions and money in your envelope, decide what you will spend your money on your first week back."

Instruct them that they have to choose items from the list that they want to spend their money on, using only the money they have according to their profile.

After students have chosen their items, ask that they share them with the class and give their reasons for choosing the items they did.

After the last group goes, give the class a problem that they need to overcome. For example, if they say they are spending money to go home, tell them that while driving they were pulled over for speeding and they now have to pay for a $100 speeding ticket. Ask them how this would change their spending.

Other examples:

  • Computer needs repairs- $50
  • Get written up- $25
  • Lost ID- $10
  • Lost cell phone- $100
  • Got robbed- $250 worth of cash, clothes, and books


  • Profile 1- "Just enough"- you life on campus with a car. You have $475
  • Profile 2- "Extra"- you live off campus with a car. You have $950
  • Profile 3- "Middle of the road"- you live on campus without a car. You have $700
  • Profile 4- "Middle of the road"- you live off campus with a car. You have $700
List of items:
Books- $200 School supplies (notesbooks, pens, etc.)- $40
Meal plan- $200 URI gear (t-shirt, sweatshirt, stickers)- $35
Gasoline- $40 Concert tickets- $25
Going to the movies- $10 Eating at a restaurant- $20
Going to a fast food restaurant- $5 Buy a new computer- $600
Donate to charity- $20 Cigarettes- $10
Transportation to go home by car- $60 Transportation to go home by train- $75



  • Why did you choose the items you chose?
  • How did you go about deciding on what to choose?
  • How did your items differ from the items other groups chose?
  • Were there things you wish you could've bought?
  • Profile 4, how did having an obstacle change the way you spent your money? When this obstacle occurred did you have enough money to cover it?
  • Did anyone choose to save all of their money? If so, why did you do this? If not, what would be some benefits of doing this?
  • What does this activity symbolize?


Put monopoly money into envelopes, corresponding to the profile amounts, for the students to use when deciding what to spend the money on.

Untitled Document

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