PrintDownload Setting Goals

Personal Finance Big Ideas taught in this task:


  1. Seth wants to buy a new skateboard that costs $169. He has $88 in the bank. If he earns $7.25 an hour pulling weeds, how many hours will Seth have to work to earn the rest of the money needed to buy the skateboard?
  2. Seth wants to buy a helmet as well. A new helmet costs $46.50. Seth thinks he can work 6 hours on Saturday to earn enough money to buy the helmet. Is he correct?
  3. Seth’s third goal is to join some friends on a trip to see a skateboarding show. The cost of the trip is about $350. How many hours will Seth need to work to afford the trip?


The purpose of this task is for students to solve problems involving division of decimals in the real-world context of setting financial goals. The focus of the task is on modeling and understanding the concept of setting financial goals, so fluency with the computations will allow them to focus on other aspects of the task. This task is also good preparation for the study of ratios and proportional relationships in 6th and 7th grade and their lead-in to linear functions in 8th grade.

This task is part of a set collaboratively developed by Money as You Learn, an initiative inspired by recommendations of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, and Illustrative Mathematics. Integrating essential financial literacy concepts into the teaching of the Common Core State Standards can strengthen teaching of the Common Core and expose students to knowledge and skills they need to become financially capable young adults. A mapping of essential personal finance concepts and skills against the Common Core State Standards as well as additional tasks and texts will be available at This task and additional personal finance-related mathematics tasks are available at and are tagged “financial literacy.”


  1. A. 167 – 88 = 79, so Seth needs to make $79. Since


    Seth will have to work about 11 hours to make enough money to buy the skateboard.

  2. No, Seth is not correct. 6 x 7.25 = 43.5 which is not enough to buy the helmet; he needs $3 more which will require a bit less than a half an hour more work.
  3. Since 350÷7.25≈48.3 Seth will have to work about 50 hours.