Grade 3-5

You Can BANK on This! (Part 2)

Updated: October 25 2021,
Author: Mickey Ebert

As in the first ‘You Can BANK on This,’ you will learn that banking should not be confusing – it should be INTERESTING! Lesson Two will continue learning with Zing, but this time we will learn all about budgeting – and budgeting means making choices!

Introduction Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

There should be several steps involved in making an informed decision. Young consumers need to learn that each choice has costs and benefits. This lesson gives the students the chance to see how decisions can be made in an organized manner using charts. Given a certain amount of pretend money, the students will use two types of graphic organizers to decide what to buy.

Banking on Our Future is the main web site for these lessons.

Note: The students will have to go through a free sign-up process in order to use the website. Here are the fields that students will be required to fill out: Name, Title, Gender, User Name, Password, Secret Question, How You Heard About the Site, and Why You Picked the Site.

Learning Objectives

  • Analyze a purchase by using a Decision-Making grid.
  • Create a cost-benefit analysis of a decision.
  • Recommend a budget.

Resource List


This lesson is a continuation of the first lesson on banking (Part 1). This lesson deals with budgeting. With budgeting comes the need for decision making. There are plenty of decisions to be made!

Confused manThe first economic term used is economic wants. That term refers to things we want that can be satisfied by consumption of a good or service. Goods are physically tangible items that we can buy. Services are physically intangible things. Education, child care, health care, utilities, etc. are all services.

In the study of economics we find that there is always scarcity. People’s wants for goods and services exceed society’s capacity to produce them.

So, if there is a choice to be made, is there a way to teach kids a method to making wise choices? You bet there is! There are actually several charts and methods used in helping people make good decisions. Two of those charts will be employed in this lesson. One is a PACED Decision-Making grid. This graphic organizer helps the student make a reasoned decision.

There are five main steps in a decision-making grid:

    1. State the PROBLEM or issue.

man thinking

  1. Consider the ALTERNATIVES that could solve the problem.
  2. List the CRITERIA: important things to consider when making the decision.
  3. EVALUATE how well the alternatives match the criteria.
  4. All that is left to do is make the DECISION based on your evaluation!

Click here to see what a PACED decision-making grid looks like: decision making grid

Another useful chart is the cost-benefit analysis chart. This is a simple T-Chart with costs listed on one side and benefits listed on the other. Students will complete a popup activity using a T-chart. Click here to view the activity: T-chart Activity

It is important that the students know that costs are what you give up when you decide to do something, and a benefit is something that satisfies your wants.

Before the lesson you may want to practice using both of these graphic organizers.

coins and calculatorThis lesson also deals with sales taxes. It is very important to have the students realize that there are costs to everything, including the national, state, and local governments. Remind the students that services like schools, parks, law enforcement agencies, libraries, roads, and fire protection are services provided by state and local governments. Ask them to name the benefits provided by those services. Ask them if they know how the government pays for services that it provides. Remind them that taxes help pay for the services our government provides for us.

The accompanying Teacher’s Guide on this web site has multiple math sheets the students may use to practice adding taxes to purchases.


The students learned about decision making using a decision-making grid and also listing costs and benefits on a T-Chart. Their ability to analyze and evaluate those charts gave them tools to make more informed decisions about using money.

Extension Activity


The students’ ability to apply the graphic organizers to their own problems would be the best assessment. Can they come to logical conclusions about what their economic wants are? Can they figure out how to budget for them? This might just lead them to the next lesson on SAVINGS!