Mathematics, a subject and concept often associated with dread and confusion for many, is an integral part of our daily lives.

Beyond the confines of the classroom, where it may seem abstract and distant, maths is a powerful tool that influences our decision-making, aids in problem-solving, and enriches our understanding of the world.

Let’s explore the many ways we unconsciously use maths every day, and how improving numeracy skills can have a transformative impact on our lives.

1. Calculate Your Daily Budget: Managing Household Finances

A woman sits by a table working out her household bills

From monthly bills to planning the perfect holiday, managing your finances requires a solid grasp of maths therefore making it a vital life skill. Budgeting involves calculating income, expenses, and making informed decisions about savings and expenditures.

Every purchase has a cost beyond its price tag. Understanding unit costs—whether per kilogram, per litre, or per unit—enables you to make informed choices. Maths skills come to the fore when you are comparing products, ensuring that value for money is maximised, and unnecessary expenses are minimised.

Knowing how to navigate percentages is crucial for understanding interest rates, credit cards, loans, or savings accounts ensuring you make wise financial choices.

Want to make sure you can afford that new t-shirt, dress or gift for the kids? You better get your budgets in order!


Looking to improve your maths skills? Sign up to a Multiply course today:


2. Cooking: Turning Recipes into Mathematical Masterpieces

Cooking is an art, but it’s also a science that relies on precise measurements and calculations. Whether you’re adjusting recipe quantities, converting measurements, or mastering ratios, maths is the secret ingredient that ensures your culinary creations are a success.Baking, often considered an exact science, showcases how a good understanding of maths is crucial for achieving the perfect cake. Whether it’s multiplication for scaling up a recipe or understanding ratios for the perfect blend of flavours, cooking provides a hands-on (and hopefully tasty) maths lesson!


Bonus tip: Introduce children to basic maths through cooking, helping to foster an early appreciation for the subject.


3. Bargain Hunting: Shopping Savvy with Maths

woman checks receipt after buying groceries in a supermarket

Every trip to the shops is a maths lesson in disguise.

Comparing products goes beyond looking at sticker prices; understanding unit prices is key to making informed choices. Maths comes into play when evaluating the cost per unit, be it per kilo, per piece, or per serving. This skill enables consumers to identify the best value for their money. Good mental arithmetic will also allow you to keep a running total of the final bill so that you ensure that you stick to your budget and become a savvy shopper.

At the heart of bargain hunting lies the ability to calculate percentage discounts. Whether it’s a seasonal sale or a clearance event, understanding the extent of price reductions enables consumers to gauge the actual cost savings. Basic mathematical operations, particularly percentages, are important in understanding the value of discounts. Is that 2-for-1 deal really a bargain? Master maths and you’ll be able to tell right away!


4. Hobbies and Recreation: Hidden Maths in our Favourite Pastimes

A coach explains tactics to his football team

Sports enthusiasts use maths to keep track of scores, analyse statistics, and make strategic decisions. Probability and logical reasoning come into play, ensuring that every move on the field is backed by mathematical precision. Looking to back up your favourite player when chatting to a mate? Boost your number know how and support your argument with stats!

For those with a flair for creativity, sewing and crafting involve maths at its core. Often more associated with artistic flair and creative expression, maths seamlessly intertwines with the beauty of design. Measurements, counting rows, and pattern-making – all requiring a keen understanding of maths and help take the raw materials used into works of art.

If the gym is where you feel at home, mathematics is crucial for achieving your fitness goals. Whether you’re looking to lose weight or build muscle, tracking fitness progress involves more than just reps and sets. Maths comes into play when calculating calories burned, tracking steps, and planning balanced meals for a healthier lifestyle.

The green thumbs of gardeners need a mathematical touch too. From calculating soil quantities and the amount of water needed through to planning garden layouts using geometry, maths ensures that your garden flourishes and is the envy of all your neighbours!

Always seeing your favourite content creators on your Instagram feed? This is because of a complex algorithm that learns your favourite content and delivers it to the top of your feeds – thank you maths! More of a gamer than a social media addict? Video game engineering relies heavily on coding and computing, both deeply rooted in mathematical concepts. Without maths, your favourite games simply wouldn’t exist.


5. Travel: Navigating the World with Mathematical Precision

Planning a holiday involves more than picking a destination; beneath the surface of wanderlust and spontaneity lies mathematical calculations that ensure our journeys are seamless.

Maths comes into play when determining the most efficient route, whether opting for the shortest distance or the quickest travel time. This involves the application of basic mathematical operations such as addition and subtraction to gauge travel durations accurately.

Maths also guides decisions on the most cost-effective mode of transportation, whether it be by plane, train, or car. Calculating expenses, comparing ticket prices, and evaluating the overall budget become mathematical considerations that influence travel choices.

Venturing abroad? Dealing with the local currency can be tricky, navigating exchange rates and converting pounds into the local currency can give you a clearer picture of how your holiday budget is coping with the costs!


6. Time Management: Juggling Priorities and the Clock with Mathematical Precision

Time is a valuable resource, and effective time management is not merely about glancing at the clock every now and again but involves a deep understanding of mathematical concepts to ensure that every moment is spent wisely and purposefully.

At work you may be faced with a list of tasks as long as your arm that all need to be done during your shift, effective time management is therefore crucial so that you can prioritise activities based on importance and urgency – and hopefully avoid a telling off by the boss!

Back home and contemplating dinner, you’ll need to ensure you calculate cooking times and manage your timings effectively so your food doesn’t burn in the oven!


7. DIY: Constructing Creativity with Mathematics

A man measures a piece of wood whilst doing DIY

Whether you’re renovating your home or planning a DIY project, maths plays a pivotal role. When planning a DIY project, knowing exactly how much material to purchase is crucial. Whether it’s wood for building shelves or tiles for a flooring project, mathematical skills come into play when estimating quantities. This involves geometry, measurements, and ratios to ensure that the right amount of materials is procured without excess or shortage.

Looking to buy a new sofa or kitchen table? Your geometry skills will be tested to make sure of the perfect fit – there’s no point buying that stylish sofa if it won’t fit in the space you have for it!


Empowering Lives Through Numeracy

As we unravel the ways maths shapes our daily lives, it’s clear that numeracy is not just a skill for the classroom – it’s a tool for life. Embracing numeracy not only opens doors to personal growth but also empowers you to navigate the complexities of our modern world with confidence.

Are you looking to improve your numeracy skills so that you can navigate your lives that little bit easier? The Multiply numeracy skills programme is your answer. At Equal, we are proud to be a partner for this groundbreaking government-funded initiative which provides free numeracy courses to individuals aged 19 and over who lack a maths GCSE at grade C or equivalent within many Local Authorities in Wales.

Our network of expert tutors are dedicated to helping you overcome maths anxiety and to fostering a thriving and friendly learning environment where you’ll gain the skills you need to master the use of maths. So, the next time someone questions the relevance of maths in everyday life, you can be the one to remind them of the countless ways it enriches our experiences!