4 Examples of How Math is Used in Everyday Life

Mar 10, 2019 by

Reading and writing are the foundation of any child’s educational journey. Once they master these concepts, the rest just kind of falls into place. But how practical is math, really? The debate goes on. We have calculators, accountants, financial advisors, and Google to tell us all we need to know when it comes to mathematics. Right? So, do students really need to learn geometry, algebra, and long division? Perhaps these math concepts are more about problem solving than the content itself. There are two schools of thought when it comes to whether or not some mathematical concepts have real world implications. Keep reading to discover 4 examples where basic math skills really are used in everyday life and see if they change your mind.

1. Measuring

Whether you’re hanging a picture or baking a cake, measurements are a fundamental skill in math that everyone needs at one point or another. Basic measurements come into play if you’re furnishing your house or apartment, cutting wood for a project, or planning any type of home renovations. Students need to know how to read a ruler and measuring tape. There are countless scenarios where a quarter of an inch makes a big difference. And ask any baker or cook you know. Mistaking a tablespoon for a teaspoon or confusing cups for ounces might mean the difference between a delicous meal and a disaster in the kitchen. And let’s not forget the importance of converting measurements. These are basic but very useful mathematical concepts.

2. Shopping

Who doesn’t love to shop? Whether it’s online, at the mall, or in the grocery store, basic math concepts help you spot a deal and get the most for your money. Sure, you can whip out your cell phone calculator but it’s much easier (and faster) to make decisions when you understand the basics of percentages, multiplication, and addition. You can easily calculate how much you’ll save between two products, what “25% off” really means, and if you can afford both pairs of shoes when you understand these basic principles. This is one reason a lot of schools bring students to the grocery store. It helps them understand the concept of budgeting (more on that later), how to read price labels, and make real life decisions based on math.

3. Road Trips and Travel

Road trip! While millions of people opt for hopping on a plane to get to their destination, the novelty of road trips isn’t dead yet. Which is where map reading, calcuating distances, mileage, fuel, and miles per hour all come into play. You need to know how long it’ll take you to get from point A to point B and how much fuel and time you’ll need to get there. Understanding how miles per hour compares to the distance your driving is also helpful if you’re traveling with time constraints. But even if you plan to fly, you’ll need to weigh your bags, measure out the liquids in your carry-on, and price shop for the best deal. When it comes to traveling, math is everywhere!

4. Budgeting

This is proably the most basic and important reason for learning math in school. Budgeting your finances is something every young learner should know. From the time they start recieving allowance up until their first job, apartment, or semseter on campus, students should understand the basic principles behind budgeting. This concept ties into understanding the value of a dollar and the benefits of saving. But paying bills is the primary reason everyone should know how to budget and compare income verses expenses. If you’re looking to start a business, a paystub maker will help you calculate payroll, but you still need to understand inventory mark-ups, overhead, taxes, and much more. College students will learn real quick how fast money goes after they calculate student loans (including tuition and room and board), the cost of books, and “fun money”. To avoid debt and poor money management, students should learn how to budget at a very young age, which shouldn’t be too difficult since the basic concepts are simple.

While students may never use their calculus or geometry knowledge in the real world, they’ll always need to know how to calculate percentages, measure, and budget their money. Some of these concepts overlap one another, making them all important in their own way.

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