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  • Subject Area

    • Other Subjects: Social Studies: American Gov't/Civics

  • Author

    National Council of the Social Studies

  • Level

    6-8
    9-12

  • Activity Time

    50 Minutes

  • Device
    • TI-83 Plus Family
    • TI-84 Plus
    • TI-84 Plus Silver Edition
  • Software

    TI Connect™

  • Accessories

    TI Connectivity Cable
    TI Keyboard
    Unit-to-Unit link cables

  • Other Materials
    This is Activity 1 of 3 for Personal Finance and Budget. See the other Activities: Activity 2: Personal Budget, and Activity 3: Assessing Personal Finance.
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NCSS: Calculating the Cost of Living

Published on 07/19/2006

Activity Overview

Students investigate the concept of unlimited wants and limited resources using real world data. They will calculate appropriate data from the classified section of a daily newspaper in a worksheet and consider the meaning of the collected data.

Before the Activity

See the attached Activity PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity.

Print the appropriate pages from the Activity for your class.

Secure sufficient copies of the newspaper's classified section and the various Student Data Sheets: Background Information, Vocabulary, Calculating the Cost of Living Instruction Sheet (optional), and Calculating the Cost of Living — Data Collection. Distribute these materials to each student or group of students.

During the Activity

  • Distribute the appropriate pages from the Activity to your class
  • Follow the procedures outlined in the Activity


  • Students will:
  • Determine monthly gross and net income from various jobs.
  • Calculate the cost of a home at various mortgage rates.
  • Calculate the cost of car payments over various time periods.
  • Create a personal budget after evaluating data.
  • Validate comprehension of personal finance and budgets.
  • After the Activity

    Lead a class discussion using the Debriefing Guide for Activity 1. Inform students that the next activity requires the use of their Calculating the Cost of Living — Data Collection worksheet.