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Anyone who has ever received incorrect change knows just how important math is when managing money. Calculators and cash registers are great tools, but they are only as useful as the numbers that are fed into them. Being able to quickly make changes in one's head can not only save students money, but it can also help them develop math skills that will help them for a lifetime.
When money first started being used, every coin was made from precious metal. The metal had a value based on the economy of an area and how easily that metal was found. Copper was more abundant than silver, so the penny was cheaper than the quarter, but over time, the buying power of the coins became less tied to any single metal or substance. Once this happened, coins no longer had to be made out of precious metal, which is why nickels are now made out of nickel-coated copper, for instance. For a time, paper dollars could be traded in for precious metals at a bank. One of the most important things money can do is be saved. Compound interest is an incredible tool, and even small savings can become large and helpful given enough time.
Skip counting is a technique that helps teach people how to multiply and divide. You can skip count by any number, but the most commonly seen are 10 and 2. To skip count, you just keep adding the number you're counting by to the last number: For example, skip counting by 2 from 0 gives you 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, etc.
Addition and subtraction are some of the most basic math skills, and they form the foundation on which other, more advanced skills rely, from multiplication and division to exponents. If you learn these two functions, you can eventually learn any other form of math. These skills are essential to a lot of day-to-day activities, and they can be fun to learn as well.
Multiplication and division are very fast forms of addition and subtraction. For instance, 5 x 5 is the same as 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5, but it's a lot quicker to write 5 x 5. Rather than having to add up or count out stacks of things, multiplication allows people to get solutions faster. Division is the opposite of multiplication: While multiplication adds groups of numbers, division splits a larger number into smaller groups.
Problem-solving is a workout for your brain. Looking at different problems and finding solutions to them helps active minds make new connections. This promotes learning and helps to slow down the negative effects of age on cognitive ability. Having fun while working out the brain makes it even easier and more fun.
Shopping and spending can be fun, but it's not so fun when the money runs out. One of the most important uses of math is helping to budget money. Everyone has living expenses, and some of these are fixed costs, while others will change. Some expenses are necessities, and others are useful but not essential. Being able to create a budget that takes into account all living expenses allows people to build up their savings, make investments, and plan for their future. Creating and sticking to a budget is one of the best ways to build wealth and become financially independent. Saving now can ensure a healthy financial future.
While the above math and money resources mentioned are free, you can also find and advance your money and math skills online in an ongoing and structured way through various educational portals. Udemy is a massive open online course provider with instructor-submitted content from over 50,000 instructors around the world in over 60 languages. Frequently you can find Udemy promo codes to reduce the cost of educational videos down to around $10 to $12. Another resource is Skillshare, which is an online learning community with educational videos. You start for free and can get a 10% off annual Premium membership discount using our Skillshare coupon. Finally, when it comes to actual schooling and homework, one online resource is Chegg, which provides both digital and physical textbook rentals as well as online tutoring and other services for students. Often you can find various Chegg coupons on our site allowing you to save money on the cost of textbooks or shipping charges. Chegg states everything is “figureoutable” which is a perfect slogan!
Let us know if you have any other recommendations for math and money resources as we actively update this page when we come across new ones.