Highlighted Problem: Account Balances

Currently Tarak has $1100 in his checking account, while Nicholas has $990 in his. Every Friday afternoon Tarak withdraws $25. At the same time Nicholas withdraws $22 knowing that he can’t spend as much as Tarak. The bank charges an account $3 a week whenever the account balance goes below $250.

This is a nice pre-algebra problem that has the key concepts of monitoring account balances and maintaining a minimum balance, and linear relationships. Students can model this situation by making a chart or a table to look at the balances over time and identify patterns, they can create an algebraic representation that represents a linear relationship or they might do some combination of the above. Exploring this problem will help students think about how bank accounts work, the importance of monitoring one’s balance and fees that can be associated with certain types of accounts. A nice extension of this activity might include looking at brochures from local banks to learn more about checking, savings and other types of accounts.

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