# What Things in Everyday Life Require Math?

by Jill Kokemuller

People use math skills every day without realizing it. Many people start off the day with a math question: How many more minutes can I sleep and still make it to work or school on time? You mathematically determine when you need to leave to make the commute, subtract the amount of time it takes for you to get ready to find how many times you can hit the snooze button. The use of math continues the rest of the day, even in mundane activities.

## Cooking

Anyone who has ever followed a recipe has used math. When you measure out the ingredients, you are mixing ratios of each ingredient together to form a dish that has the correct balance for the perfect flavor. If you double or halve the recipe, you use addition, subtraction, multiplication or division of fractions. To determine the amount of food you will need to serve the number of people who are eating, you also need math. You use math to purchase the right number of ingredients to make the meal.

## Finances

Any time you use money you are likely using math. To make change, figure sales tax or determine how many items you can buy based on the the cash in your pocket, you use math. Money math requirements range from basic addition or subtraction when balancing a checkbook, leaving a tip or making a budget, to more complex algebraic formulas used to figure interest for payments, mortgages or loans. When you invest your money, you use math to find the investment that will have the highest return. You use math to find the cheapest car or home loan or the best credit card.

## Home Repair and Landscaping

Geometry and algebra are often used when planning gardens or landscaping. When you buy paint or carpeting, you need to use math to figure out the area the paint or carpeting will cover so you know how much to purchase to cover your walls or floor. Any time you need to hang a picture or fit a new piece of furniture into a room, you use math.