The Importance of Financial Literacy

I love teaching Consumer Math. There's something really rewarding about teaching Math that high school seniors can directly apply to their lives now and after high school. My whole focus is teaching my students how to not get ripped off. We start the year with a "Wants vs. Needs" activity, followed by a conversation about banking fees. So many of my students have accounts at banks that charge them fees! It's ridiculous! 

Check yo self
Most recently we learned how to add transactions to a checkbook, and I was super surprised to learn that my seniors didn't automatically know what column - debit or credit - things like paychecks, ATM withdrawals and purchases should go in. This is one of the reasons I love teaching this class so much. I love that I am getting them ready for the real world!

Excel Check Book

After completing a few checkbook activities on paper, I brought my students to the library to make checkbooks in Google Sheets. Last year I did the same activity, only we used Excel. This year I decided to use Google Sheets to make it easier for me to grade. Once my students were finished with their sheets, they shared them with me. I then checked that the formulas were correct by adding a few transaction amounts and seeing if the total changed the correct way. 

Check Book Task Cards

Checkbook Task Cards
If you're looking for an activity to use along with the checkbook you create, here is a checkbook task cards activity. A check register acts as an answer sheet and students can complete the tasks in any order. A simple rubric makes grading super easy. 

Check Book Task Cards

And then there's this I found!
A friend recently sent me some information about a partnership between Donors Choose and PWC Earn Your Future. There is a way to earn $500 for every 2 modules of their free financial literacy curriculum 15 or more students complete. I'm not sure yet of the details (there were a few broken links), but I finally found the page that gave me access to the curriculum units. It looks awesome!  After entering my information, up popped A TON of FREE financial literacy printables and other things. Here is the link if you'd like to check it out: PWC Earn Your Future Curriculum modules

Miss Math Dork's monthly Math is Real Life blog post


  1. I printed off the instructions and after doing everything I decided to change it to look more the actual check book register. When I did this I became confused on how to do the formulas so that everything turns out right. I would include a copy to show you what I did but I don't know how. Can you help me?

  2. Sure! I am obsessed with Excel formulas so I'm glad to help. Can you email me the sheet? I can fix it up for you and send it back:)

  3. how do i put it in an email? sorry it's been awhile since i have done anything like that.

  4. never mind I was able to share it with you by entering in your email address.