Budgeting for School Supplies Lesson

A lesson for students on budgeting for school supplies, focusing on understanding financial priorities, tracking expenses, and implementing cost-saving strategies.

Students learn the essential steps to budgeting with a focus on school supplies. They begin by identifying their financial starting point, recognizing income sources such as allowances, savings, and part-time jobs. From there, they delve into the significance of categorizing items into must-haves, luxuries, and intermediate essentials. By crafting a comprehensive list of academic-year needs, they master setting financial priorities. Practical strategies like online price comparison, contemplating second-hand choices, and seeking student discounts are emphasized. Emphasis is also placed on the importance of logging each expense and showcasing adaptability during unforeseen financial changes. The lesson concludes with the realization that budgeting transcends school preparation; it’s a lifelong skill that refines over time.


Use this video lesson on the topic of student loan basics. Learn related concepts of:

  • Budgeting Basics
  • Spending Priorities
  • Price Comparison
  • Expense Tracking
  • Financial Prioritization
  • Consumer Decision Making
  • Expense Documentation
  • Resource Allocation
  • Savings Management
  • Price Research
  • Financial Adaptability


5-12th grades. Elementary School. Middle School. High School. College. Adult Education.


45-60 minutes. It may be necessary to adjust the lesson plan and allocate more or less time to certain topics, depending on the needs and interests of the students.


Hand out the worksheet below (see the GET LESSON button near the bottom of the page).

Show students the video and have and have them complete the worksheet.  Review the questions on the worksheet.  A more comprehensive and detailed lesson plan can be accessed below for further instruction and study.

Budgeting for School Supplies

After watching the video, have students tell what the most important things they learned from the video.


Lesson Plan: Budgeting for School Supplies



By the end of this lesson, students will understand the concept of budgeting, prioritize their spending, and make informed financial decisions regarding school supplies.

Materials Needed:

  • The video “Budgeting for School Supplies”.
  • Pens, pencils, and notebooks for each student.
  • Access to the internet for price comparisons (optional).
  • Printed or digital worksheets for tracking expenses.


Initiate a conversation about the importance of budgeting for school supplies. Ask students about their prior experiences purchasing school supplies and how they managed their finances.

Activity 1: Watch the Video

Play the video titled “Budgeting for School Supplies”. After watching the video, give students a few minutes to jot down their initial reactions and any questions they have.

Activity 2: Making the List

Direct students to list out all the supplies they think they’ll need for the upcoming school year. Classify items into three categories: ‘Must-have’, ‘Nice to have’, and ‘Just for swag’. Have a class discussion on why certain items were categorized in specific ways by different students.

Activity 3: Detective Work

Give students 10-15 minutes to use the internet to compare prices for items on their lists. Discuss as a group the best places to buy items based on price, quality, and availability. Highlight the importance of looking for student discounts or buying second-hand where feasible.

Activity 4: Group Collaboration

In groups, students should discuss what they have on their lists and explore opportunities to buy in bulk, share costs, or swap items. Discuss as a class any interesting collaborations or swaps that came up during group discussions.

Activity 5: Tracking Spending

Distribute printed or digital worksheets to students for tracking expenses. Emphasize the importance of noting down every purchase to prevent overspending and to understand their finances.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is the primary purpose of budgeting?
  2. Why is it important to differentiate between ‘must-haves’ and ‘luxuries’?
  3. How can doing research before purchasing help save money?
  4. What strategies can you use if an item ends up being more expensive than anticipated?
  5. How can collaborating with classmates be beneficial when buying school supplies?


Summarize the key concepts discussed in the lesson. Emphasize the life skills students are acquiring through budgeting, such as financial literacy and informed decision-making.


Hand out a quiz based on the video and the lesson to test students’ comprehension of the material (see below).


After a month, ask students to bring in their expense tracking sheets. Discuss as a class what they learned, any surprises they encountered, and how they might adjust their budgeting techniques in the future.

Lesson Resources

Additional Lessons

  • Using the MI Chat to Learn about Budgeting for School Supplies Lesson
    In this lesson, students grasp the importance and techniques of budgeting for school supplies using a video and the “MI chat” chatbot, which fosters deep understanding through critical inquiry and probing questions. Through discussions, interactive sessions, and hands-on budgeting activities, students are equipped to integrate budgeting principles into their daily lives and are assessed via participation, the quality of their budget plans, and reflective essays.

Get Lesson


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