9 Unexpected Ways You'll Need Maths in Real Life
Wondering how maths will pop up in your daily tasks? Here are the many unexpected ways you’ll need to use maths in real life.
Updated 29 May 2019
If the thought of long division and algebra fills you with dread, you may be relieved to leave school or college with the hopes of never having to solve a mathematical problem ever again. Not so fast, buster! No matter what career you pursue, you’ll need to use maths in your everyday life.
Wondering how your knowledge of maths could possibly come in handy? Here are the many unexpected ways you’ll need to use maths in real life.
#1. Planning dinner parties
Wondering how maths comes into the equation when you're planning a dinner or birthday party? After all, it can't be that hard to throw a big bash.
Here's where you'll need maths: When calculating how much food you need to ensure each guest gets fed, measuring ingredients if you’re cooking the food, dividing the number of items to be placed in goodie bags, picking the ideal venue based on the total number of votes each potential dinner party venue got... and the list goes on!
#2. Stress-free travels
From purchasing flight tickets and dividing the amount payable between each person if you’re travelling in a group, to estimating the petrol needed for your rented car, maths is part and parcel of travelling. If you're in charge of the itinerary, you'll also have to allocate blocks of time for each stop and activity to make sure you tick all the dream venues.
Should you be the one responsible for calculating each person's share of the bill after a huge group dinner, your skills with the calculator as well as a good grasp of addition, subtraction and division will come in handy.
#3. Tracking fitness progress
Even if you don't use new-fangled fitness apps that count every last calorie you burn while working out, you're still using maths when you calculate how many laps you can run in a period of 30 minutes.
Also, the first step to finding out how fit you are requires calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI) and perhaps your body fat percentage, so that's some maths over there!
#4. Efficient grocery shopping
You're grocery shopping after a long day of lectures. You're hungry, feeling snappy and can't wait to go home and make yourself a hot meal. However, punching in the prices of your grocery items on the calculator app is tiresome and you wish you could just do the maths in your head. Bingo, you can.
From calculating the price per unit of an item to weighing produce and figuring out the final amount after discounts, satisfactory maths skills will greatly aid your grocery shopping sessions.
#5. Sprucing up your home
Whether you’re planning to refresh your home with a coat of fresh paint or if you’re launching an all-out revamp of your house, maths will play an important part in your transformation plans.
For example, if you want to paint your room or retile your bathroom floor, you’ll need to calculate your wall/floor area to determine how much paint you should buy or how many tiles you need. To do this, you’ll need to use the basic geometry formula (Area = Length x Width).
#6. In the office
So you think you don't need maths when you graduate and enter the working world? Newsflash: Even the simplest jobs require an understanding of basic maths.
Let's say you're asked to print notes for your company's weekly meeting. You'll need to estimate the time you'll be done (if you know 1 set takes 3 minutes to print and you need 50 sets) so you can know when to start your task and complete it on time. Oh yes, you'll definitely need numbers on the brain for tasks like these.
#7. Saving for your future
Helping you with money management is another way maths can help you out in life. Without strong maths skills to help you understand concepts such as compound interest and budgeting, you'd probably have frittered away your money on unnecessary things instead of saving a portion of your cash.
#8. Sports and activities
From helping you score in basketball to enabling you to win many pool games, your knowledge of maths will prove to be useful when you’re engaging in sports or other fun activities.
That’s right! Mastering the knowledge of angles and physics can make you a pro at pool and help you in sports such as basketball or badminton. Basketball actually requires many geometric concepts — players need to throw the ball at a certain angle using the right force to make a shot.
#9. Getting your laundry done
Ah, most probably the most important skill to have in your bid to save water, time, electricity and your sanity. No one likes doing the laundry, so make washing clothes easier by using maths to calculate how much water and detergent to use, and then determine when it's best to do it and for how long so you can save electricity. Brilliant!
Now that you know there’s no escape from maths, you’ll have to face the music and make friends with numbers. But don’t be crestfallen! These unexpected ways you’ll need maths require relatively simple solutions and only serve to make your life easier.