Lesson 9: Future needs and wants



  • Single class period


Activity One: Life events timeline

Useful Links:


No matter who you are, life will throw both expected and unexpected events and circumstances your way.  In this lesson, students will be asked to list the ‘big’ life events that they may face in the future and review their needs and wants in light of these events.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Activity One:  Life events timeline

1.   Tell the class that they are going to consider their futures, to think about the ‘big’ events that are likely to happen to them as they grow older, and they are going to discuss what these events mean in terms of their needs and wants.

2.   Divide the class into small groups.

3.   Distribute one copy of Student Worksheet: Life events timeline to each group.

4.   Explain that each group should brainstorm the many things that can happen as people grow older.  They should place these events in the age bracket that they think they are most likely to happen.  They can use either text or images to depict life events.

5.   Display the timeline on the whiteboard/projector.

6.   Take feedback from a sample of groups, noting their responses under the appropriate age brackets on the whiteboard/ projector.

7.   Ask each group to consider the following question in light of the timeline they have just created:

Do needs and wants stay the same throughout our lives?

8.   Take feedback from a sample of groups, noting responses on the whiteboard.

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

  • What, if any, are the financial (money) impacts of these events, i.e. would you need more or less money to be able to cope with these events?  For example, you planned on buying your first car you would need more money.
  • What, if any, are the financial consequences of these events, i.e. what would you have to or be able to do in terms of your money as a result of these events?  For example, if you planned on buying your first car you would either need to save money and/or try to get a loan, either from someone you know or from a financial institution.

10.  Conclude by explaining that because responsibilities change, needs and wants change over the course of a lifetime.  People should take some time every now and then to think about what it is that they really need/want for that time in their life and respond accordingly.

Homework Task

Invite students to go online www.ccpc.ie/consumers and follow the links as follows:

  • Money
  • Budgeting
  • Life stages

Students should choose one life stage, read the various steps and answer the following questions:

  • What did you learn about this life stage?
  • What are the two most important things to do during this life stage?
  • What was the best advice you came across in terms of saving money during this life stage?

The steps for reviewing this homework task are given at the start of Lesson Ten.


Haven’t found what you're looking for?