our everyday life

What Things in Everyday Life Require Math?

by Jill Kokemuller, studioD

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 use math to determine when you need to leave to make the commute, and subtract the amount of time it takes for each activity you must do 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.


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 cook 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.


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 amount of money you have 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 to find the area of the plot of land and figure out how many plants you can put in the space. 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 measure to hang a picture or fit a new piece of furniture into a room you use math.

Basic Tasks

Just as with the snooze button, many daily tasks sneak some math in on you. When you talk on your phone, you calculate how many minutes you have on your plan and how much battery life you've used to find out how long you can talk. When you fill up your car, you find your gas mileage with math and use the mileage to know how far you can go on one tank. Even making a schedule to fit in your TV shows, lunch dates and dentist appointments requires math.

About the Author

Jill Kokemuller has been writing since 2010, with work published in the "Daily Gate City." She spent six years working in a private boarding school, where her focus was English, algebra and geometry. Kokemuller is an authorized substitute teacher and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Iowa.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images