As I sat through every single math class in my life, I thought when will I ever use this garbage in my life? Seriously, when will I ever need to use the quadratic equation or calculus formulas? Will geometry ever find a place in my life? And let’s not even get started on fractions and long division. What am I ever supposed to use those “skills” for? If I ever need to use math, I will just use a calculator. That is all I need, right?
The older I have gotten, the more and more I find that I use math. Now, in my chosen career and hobbies I will never use long division or calculus, but I frequently use basic math skills to manage day to day life. You too will use math throughout your life. Don’t believe me? Here are a few day to day activities that require a basic math understanding.
- Sewing. Even as a novice seamstress, I find that I use math calculations every single time I sew. First, you have to determine how much fabric you need (often measured in mixed fractions). Then you will use math to adjust the pattern to fit your size and specifications. If you become more advanced and start to make your own patterns, using math is inevitable. For even a simple pattern for a bag, I used a protractor (and fraction equations galore) to make it work. Without those math skills, you would be better off buying your clothes from the start.
- Calculating a tip. If you want to properly recognize a waiter/valet, etc. math is the best way to figure out what is fair. A fair tip is anywhere between 15 to 20 %. Calculating simple percentages is easy to do in your head if you have passed high school math. But most bills are not simple numbers. Instead of an even number, you have decimals. Can you calculate a percentage with decimals without using a calculator? Yes, friends, without math class you will be a hopelessly poor tipper. Being able to understand percentage calculations can also help you when you are figuring out discounts (25% off the lowest marked price!) without asking a sales associate. Look at how smart you are.
- Cooking. Cooking in my kitchen has not only improved my math skills, but made me a believer in paying attention in math class. One of the biggest things is calculating measurements. If you follow a recipe along perfectly, there should be no problem. But if you are doubling or halving a recipe, you better get your math cap on. What is 3/4 cup doubled? How about halved? Without your math skills, your recipe would turn into a culinary disaster. With those skills, you can tweak any recipe to fit your desired specifications.
- Budgeting. Handling money requires a simple understanding of math, especially when calculating change. Managing your money, more specifically your budget, requires simple grasp to manage well. You will frequently use addition and subtraction, as well as percentages. These basic skills will help you be better with your money.