Activity: Where’s Your Money Going?

This project idea from US News and World Report caught my eye:

Screen shot 2015-01-29 at 11.02.45 AM

Being a data guy, I was thinking of all the various analyses that students could complete with this spending log.  I would encourage students to track this through a spreadsheet (MySpendingLog) which will make it easier to manipulate the data.

What questions would I ask them to answer?

  • Did keeping this log have any impact on your spending during this time period?  How?
  • What categories did you spend most of your money on (e.g., groceries, movies, dining out, etc.)?
  • In looking at where you spend your money, are these items most important to you?  If not, why do you think you spent money on them?
  • What payment method did you use most frequently (e.g., cash, credit card, debit card, etc.)?  What are the pros/cons of paying this way?
  • Any surprises on how you spent your money during this time period?
  • Will this project change anything about how you think about money?