Making Spending Decisions about Money


In this lesson, students will learn ways to become mindfully deliberate about their spending choices using the DECIDE process. They will use this model to help them with making a decision for a major spending purchase.

Making spending decisions about how to use your money can be difficult. Sometimes you have to sacrifice what you want now for what you really want afterwards. There might be times when you have to put off your wants to focus on your friend or spouse. There’s rarely an ideal solution and usually trade-offs.

Making decisions concerning cash could be even tougher if you don’t have a steady income. Whatever you can do is make the best choice you can with the information you’ve got at the time.

To help with making decisions, we can use the DECIDE model.

Using the DECIDE steps

The DECIDE model is a tool you may use to help with making decisions. Here are the steps for using the model:

D – Define your Goal
The very first thing to do is to define your goal, the decision that has to be made.

E – Establish Your Choices
Next, you need to research your different choices, and establish your criteria.

C – Consider the Options
As you research options, consider the results of each choice.

I – Identify the Pros and Cons
Identify the pros and cons of each of your options. Take care to identify what’s important and valuable for you so you can make a decision that matches your values and will bring you pleasure.

D – Decide
Make your decision. Once you examine your options and weigh them against your values it’s time to create a decision and act.

E – Evaluate the Results
Evaluate the results of your decision. Reflect on the results of your decision-making process.


Have students use the worksheet to complete the DECIDE steps regarding a spending decision about a significant purchase they’re considering in the future. This might be a decision for the student or the student’s family.

Some possible topics for students decisions might be deciding courses, picking out a summer job, dealing with relationships, picking participation in school or community activities, buying a new cell phone.

For a family decision, speak to all pupils individually to be certain they’ve identified a legitimate household decision. Some examples might be, moving, large purchase such as a house or car, deciding how to spend the holiday, etc.


7-12, Young adults


  • The DECIDE model for decision making
  • Making spending decisions
  • Personal finance


Students will:

  • Understand what influences spending decisions.
  • Learn to use the DECIDE model.
  • Identify ways to improve their spending decisions and behavior.
  • Identify sensible vs. unwise spending
  • Prioritize spending decisions


20-30 minutes.

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