Lesson 3: Spending Diary – over to you!



Double class period


Activity One: How I ‘spent’ my day

Activity Two: Reflecting on my day’s spending

Activity Three: My weekly spend

  • Envelopes (one for each student)

Homework Task:


In Lesson One, we looked at our three biggest weekly expenses, but do we really know how much we spend in a week?  A spending diary involves writing down everything you spend money on so that you’ll be able to see exactly where your money is going.  This helps to figure out where savings can be made. In this lesson, students will be facilitated in keeping their own weekly Spending Diary, which will increase their awareness of their spending habits.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Activity One:  How I ‘spent’ my day

1.   Explain to the class that each student is going to keep their own Spending Diary, but first they are going to do some activities to practice diary entries and begin to look at their spending habits.

2.   Distribute Student Worksheet: How I spent my day to each student.

3.   Ask students to write down their own activities/spending for yesterday.  Explain that they do not have to share the amount they have spent.

4.   Ask students to call out examples of what they have written down in the ‘item description’ section. Note their response on the white/blackboard.

5.   Facilitate a whole class discussion to organise these items into agreed categories.

6.   Make particular note of any categories in addition to those listed above.

7.   Display the list of spending categories in a prominent place in the classroom for the duration of the lessons on spending diaries (i.e. Lesson Three – Lesson Four).

Activity Two:  Reflecting on my day’s spending

1.   Distribute Student Worksheet: Spending questions to each student and explain the purpose of this worksheet is to get students to think and reflect on their spending habits.

2.   Read through each of the questions on the worksheet and invite students to indicate if they need any clarification about what is being asked.

3.   Invite students to work alone to complete the worksheet.

4.   Facilitate a whole class discussion using the following questions as prompts:

  • Is it easy or hard to remember everything that you spent yesterday?
  • Do you think that young people plan their spending?  Why/why not?
  • Look at Question 8 on the worksheet – what answer did you give? Why is multiplying spending from one day by seven not equal to weekly spending?
  • Do you think that keeping a spending diary over the period of a week help you to be more aware of your spending habits?

Activity Three:  My weekly spend

1.   Invite students to think back over to the last seven days. What did they spend their money on?  How much money do they think they spent?

2.   Ask students to write the amount of money they think they spent on a piece of paper, place it in an envelope, seal the envelope, write their name on the front and give it to you for safekeeping.

Homework Task

  • Distribute worksheet My Weekly Spending Diary to each student
  • Invite each student to fill in their name and details at the front of their diary
  • Read through the first day to ensure everyone is clear about the terminology and task
  • Explain that at the end of each diary entry there is a different question for them to answer
  • Invite students to complete the spending diary over the course of a seven-day period
  • The steps for reviewing this activity are given in Lesson Four


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