Budgeting and Money Management

By Tara Mason on Feb 16, 2017


This budgeting unit is meant to be an ongoing class to help students plan for transition and adult life. A TVI could implement this budgeting unit ongoing with other lessons taking place simultaneously. Students will be working on learning to budget their money and skills around money management, creating a shopping list for weekly breakfast, lunch and dinner, and computing the budget for the weekly shopping list. Students can create a hypothetical shopping list or this unit could be modified to fit with the shopping program being implemented.


  •  notetaker
  •  bold line tactile graph paper
  •  large print
  • EZ Track Financial Record Keeper and Money Handling and Budgeting (APH). The EZ Track comes in large print and braille. 


  • Students will be learning about a money management concept each class
  • Budget work and monthly money using an envelope system 
  • Using a master grocery list to plan for the weekly purchase of staple items
  • Students will be going on a community outing to the bank once each month to deposit and withdraw their budgeting money

Budget Lesson Activity Plan:

  • Mental Math and Consumer Math word problem warm ups!
    • Typical monthly expense word problems.  For example, John will be living in a supported apartment next year with his roommate, Tom. They must pay a total of $500 rent. How much will each person need to pay? They both have jobs and are paid twice a month. Each paycheck is $400 per person. How much extra money will each person have after they pay their rent? What would you estimate John and Tom need for: food, bills, cell phone, entertainment, and gas/bus? 
  • At the table, go over weekly budgeting or money management topic.  Using EZ  Track Financial Record Keeper and Money Handling and Budgeting. Each week bring in a real world item to help your student learn about how to read it. Example items: utility bill, restaurant receipt, grocery receipt, tax form, etc. Make sure to go over how to figure out tax or tip. 
  • Overarching goal (s) for this activity: students will understand and be able to give examples of various money management techniques such as: why we save money, required withholdings from paychecks, different ways we save, forms of budgeting, etc.
  • Once a month, check in about banking: who went to their bank this past week? Do you have your weekly or monthly budgeting money?
  • Use envelopes to divide money into categories: see possible practice budgeting allocation
    • Each month we will be budgeting $60/ $15 a week 
    • In your envelopes: entertainment (3), snacks (3), travel expenses (2), misc. (3), personal items (3)
    • How much do you have?  How much do you need? (goal is $15 minimum each envelope)
    • Students can move towards using an electronic spreadsheet and practice budgeting more money if funds are available. 
  • Count money in each envelope and write amount on back with date

Practice creating Grocery List using master grocery list (teacher created).

This grocery list can be in large print or be an electronic file that can be transferred to a braille note via USB drive/e-mailed to an iPad. 

Students should be responsible for getting grocery shop organized.  Prompting questions:
  1. What do we need for the grocery store?  (bags, lists, money, calculator)
  2. Do we need anything else? 
  3. Do we have our list printed in the format needed for the grocery store? *If student will be shopping with a personal shopper, it is important that he/she has the list and reads from it independently. 

At the Grocery Store:

  1. Students need to have a grocery list with them for the store
  2. Students will go to the information center/customer service at the front to ask for a personal shopper
  3. Shop with a personal shopper and meet at check out
  4. Go through the cart and make sure all our items are accounted for
  5. When checking out have baggers put specific items in different bags to help with organization for home 
  6. Have student practice checking out either couting out money to cashier or using a debit card- ensure independent living skills are being infused at this stage of the lesson. The teacher should gradually prompt or guide less and less until the student is completing the check out independently with the teacher observing.

Collage of budgeting and money management


Total Life Learning by Wendy Bridgeo,‎ Beth Caruso,‎ & Mary Zatta

Cover of Total Life Learning

The Total Life Learning curriculum was developed for students ages 3 to 22 who are blind, visually impaired including those students who have additional disabilities or are deafblind. The focus is on the development of life and career goals that enable student to maximize independence, self-determination, employability, and participation in the community.