The importance of maths at school cannot be underestimated, it is really one of those subjects where, with excellent marks, applications to tertiary institutions are made easier. This is why it is important to try hard at maths throughout school and ensure that you achieve the best matric results that you possibly can.

And yet, while we are still at school we question the uses of maths in real life. We tend to also wonder: are people who are good at maths more intelligent than others? Fortunately, we know this is not the case and the reasons why some people struggle with maths over others can have nothing to do with their IQ at all.

It’s true that you could be brilliant at music, English, or isiXhosa but be challenged by maths.

Regardless of what happens at school, the uses of maths in real life are numerous and in this article, we will take a look at how it can bring you financial freedom in terms of knowing how to budget, spend and save.

You might only fully appreciate the impact of maths used in daily life once you are an adult, however, the savvy student will take note of this article and skill up to plan ahead.

Unfortunately, some people hate maths long after high school and will even report that they have nightmares about polynomial long division, theorems, and geometry, but did you know it doesn’t have to be this way. By doing the foundational work to understand maths from as young an age as possible, or catching up with a private tutor at any point that you get lost, you set yourself up to do well with real-life maths activities.

The uses of maths in real life are profound and extensive and yet it has earned itself a reputation that is based on several myths. Some people actually think that maths is uncreative, or that it can only be understood by analytical people. In truth, we all fully use both our creative and analytical sides of our brains.

There is no question that maths is used in daily life, but one of the most important uses of maths in real life is to know how to manage your money. Sadly, without this skill, life can get very difficult. So let’s look at the answers to how is maths used in everyday life, as well as what some of those real-life maths activities are that are helpful in bringing peace of mind when it comes to managing finances.

The Importance of Maths and Money Matters

Once you become aware of it, you will begin to see that whether it is at school, work or in sport, maths is used in daily life and there is no getting around it!

This could be managing your budget, saving, or applying for a loan. All of these are actually real-life maths activities that require calculations, estimates, reason, and logical thinking. This is why maths teachers or private maths tutors tend to be remembered in adulthood when uses of maths in real-life pitch up. This is when we either thank ourselves for paying attention and putting in the extra effort, or regret that we allowed ourselves to get lost during our school maths careers and didn’t do anything about it!

Real-Life Maths Activities Require Logic

As mentioned, one of the many uses of maths in real life is that it helps us to reason and think logically. Believe it or not, this actually begins at infancy and never ends. Arithmetic is also an ongoing area of maths used in daily life. Even once we leave our school careers, the need to be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide is a great answer to anyone wanting to know how is math used in everyday life!

When it comes to personal finance, every month you should set a budget that drives your expenditure. This is how you work out how much you need for rent or your bond, your living expenses like food and petrol, insurance, and of course, saving.

The importance of maths is essential when it comes to managing your money because, without it, you could potentially overspend and need to borrow cash at high-interest rates.

Maths Can Even Help Gambling Addicts

There are many powerful ways where maths used in daily life can bring about positive change. For instance, did you know that there is an interesting connection between the application of logical thinking or reasoning, and overcoming gambling addiction?

In a 2012 health survey concluded in the UK, it was found that 60% of adults had engaged in gambling activity over the past 12 months.

With this in mind, two researchers from Italy have been offering maths lessons to chronic gamblers to demonstrate to them the risks that they are taking. The explanation is illuminating and a fantastic example of how the various uses of maths in real life are in fact a powerful tool. The researchers explain that when a gambling addict develops the understanding of probability, it then becomes a way to avoid addiction.

Can you believe that logical thinking, which is one of those underestimated real-life maths activities, is actually recommended as an escape route for gamblers?

How does this work?

By taking maths lessons, the gambler is able to calculate the odds of winning a game. For instance, when they know that they actually stand as much chance to win the lottery as they have in choosing the red football while blindfolded from 600 million white ones, reasoning has a way of kicking in.

So if we consider that using the stats in the UK as an example, about 3 out of 5 people risk their hard-earned money every year to gambling, but when maths used in daily life prevails, it mitigates the risk.

If you are still asking, how is math used in everyday life? The answer is everywhere!

poker chips
Teaching probability to gambling addicts can help them overcome the addiction. - Source: Unsplash

Spending, The Importance of Maths and State of Mind

You might be brilliant at understanding maths, but if you are an impulsive spender, you can undo how maths used in daily life can be a benefit, and risk harming your financial health.  Unfortunately, impulsivity is a psychological issue that has negative consequences for your state of mind.

At the end of the day, if you don’t have a good reason for buying something, there is a problem. If you have what is referred to as ‘buyer’s remorse’ after binge spending, you could be in long term danger of needless habitual spending.

In addition, if at the end of the month you are continuously struggling financially, even though you should be able to apply your maths skills to your budgeting, then there is a problem. The point here is that even maths teachers can have financial problems! The reason for this is that regardless of how much you have the answers to the question, how is math used in everyday life, if you are unaware of the psychology behind spending, it could impact your budget.

In order to reduce this risk, you need to know how to avoid giving in to the temptation offered by advertisers, for instance, and apply logic, which is one of the most valuable real life maths activities we could ever learn!

By maintaining a healthy state of mind with regards to spending, budgeting, and saving, you will be helping yourself to reduce your debt, or maintain a debt-free existence.

All of this depends on applying your maths skills, however, no matter how good those are, it should be noted that if you have a negative mindset with regards to spending, it could put you at risk of falling into financial difficulty.

How to Ensure Healthy Finances in the Long Term

income and expense statement
One way to ensure healthy finances is to budget and spend wisely- Source: Pixabay

There is no doubt, applying your understanding of mathematics as well as retaining a healthy relationship with spending can help you to intelligently manage your finances.

Two of the simplest ways to ensure this in the long term is the following:

  • Live within your means and do not spend money that you don’t have.
  • Invest early to ensure a good pension for retirement age.

Finally, remember that financial freedom comes with education, application of knowledge, and discipline. All of this begins during the foundational years of our school careers and should never be underestimated.

If you are one of those students who have managed to get lost in the classroom setting, remember that this is not a sign of a lack of intelligence. By finding a suitable maths tutor, like those on the Superprof website, you could completely change not only your current maths circumstances but the course of your life!

Remember that maths is used in daily life, forever, so by gaining knowledge early and by taking the importance of maths seriously, you are making an essential long term investment into your future.

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Niki is a content writer from Cape Town, South Africa, who is passionate about words, strategic communication and using words to help create and maintain brand personas. Niki has a PR and marketing background, but her happiest place is when she is bringing a story to life on a page.