SubjectNSW Commerce YearStage 5 Curriculum Time90

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In this activity students learn that budgeting is an important financial planning tool. They learn the steps involved in developing a budget and practise by developing their own budget, and/or a budget for a hypothetical scenario.

In relation to the taxation system, this learning provides a foundation for students to understand how taxpayers’ money in spent in the annual federal Budget

Australian Curriculum or Syllabus

This activity contributes to the following outcomes.

A student:

  • applies consumer, financial, economic, business, legal, political and employment concepts and terminology in a variety of contexts COM5-1
  • evaluates options for solving problems and issues COM5-5
  • develops and implements plans designed to achieve goals COM5-6
  • explains information using a variety of forms COM5-8
  • works independently and collaboratively to meet individual and collective goals within specified timeframes COM5-9.

Related Stage 4 outcomes: COM4-1, COM4-5, COM4-6, COM4-8, COM4-9

Related Life Skills outcomes: COMLS-1, COMLS-7, COMLS-12, COMLS-13

Content descriptions

Core 1: Consumer and financial decisions

Financial management


  • investigate the consequences of poor financial management, including impact on wellbeing of the individual and families
  • investigate tools and strategies for effective financial management, including budgets, e.g. using digital technologies to develop a financial plan.

Option 7: Towards independence

Managing finances


  • explain the responsible management of finances when living independently, including: (ACHEK018) strategies to minimise financial problems, e.g. budgeting, saving, monitoring spending, superannuation

Student learning resources

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Case study

Become a spending detective


Creating a budget

How to

Developing a budget


Interactive budget

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Suggested activity sequence

This sequence is intended as a framework to be modified and adapted by teachers to suit the needs of a class group.

  1. As a class read the case study.
  2. Pairs of students complete the case study questions.
  3. Invite the class to discuss and decide on definitions for the following terms:
    • required expenses
    • discretionary expenses
    • paying yourself first
    • budget shortfall
    • budget surplus
    • balanced budget
  4. Write these definitions on the board, and if desired, ask students to write them in their books.
  5. Think-pair-share: What are the consequences of poor financial management, including impact on wellbeing of the individual and families.
  6. Students write a short summary of the consequences of poor financial management.
  7. Ask students if they have developed a budget before and for what purpose.
  8. As a class, read through the how-to-sheet, inviting clarifying questions as required.
  9. Students complete the worksheet (note: students may choose either or both options to practise their budgeting skills). Students will need to access the Interactive budget templates to complete the activity.
  10. Discuss why budgeting might be important for other economic participants, such as businesses and governments.