The Use of Mathematics in Everyday Life

Categories: Math

Math is used in everyday life for scheduling, travel, cooking, shopping, medicine, construction and various other applications. It is also required for computing, meteorology and scientific studies. Math is important for time calculations and scheduling. Knowing how long it takes to complete an activity or travel to a destination helps when planning everyday activities. Recipes for cooking include measurements for ingredients. Math is used for defining the weight or amount of each ingredient. Using math to determine the necessary amount of an ingredient ensures that food has the desired consistency and flavor.

Financial math is an important aspect of shopping. Calculations are performed to determine a budget, or the amount of money available for spending. The prices of goods available for sale from different retailers are often compared to find the best deal. There are a variety of uses for math in the medical field. Calculations such as heart rate and blood pressure are performed when a doctor evaluates the physical health of a person.

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Math is also used to develop formulas and dosages for pharmaceutical medications. Constructing buildings depends on planning the precise measurements of a layout to ensure the best use of space. Construction measurements are also taken to identify the amounts of materials that need to be purchased for a project.

10 Ideas of Using Math in Everyday Life

Telling Time

There is a lot of math concepts you need to understand in order to know how to tell time. You need to know that there are 24 hours in a day, that we split those days into two equal-sized 12-hour halves, that each hour is 60 minutes, and that each minute is 60 seconds.

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We have to have a general understanding of how long a second is. And we have to understand fractions. Yes, fractions. It’s built into our language. When you tell someone it’s a quarter-to four, you’re telling them that a quarter of an hour remains until it becomes four o’clock. In order to understand what that means, you also have to know that a quarter, or one fourth, is the same as 15 minutes 15 is one-fourth of 60, which is the number of minutes in an hour. So a quarter-to or quarter-past an hour is an extremely mathematical sentence that is so commonplace, many people don’t even know they’re doing math when they say it.

Cooking let just say if the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of sugar. You only have a teaspoon, or a soup spoon. The recipe calls for 3/4 cup, but you only have a quarter cup measuring tool and a half cup measuring tool. How much adds up to 3/4? You may know the answer. But that’s because you understand math, fractions, and conversions. Changing teaspoons to tablespoons is one thing, changing pounds to kilograms is another? You’ll rarely need the larger conversions in cooking unless you’re planning on taking a trip to another country. There, you’ll either need to adjust by buying new cooking tools, or you’ll bring your own and hope you know how to convert ounces to grams.

Critical Thinking

This isn’t even technically math. There are no numbers involved. But being able to think critically is a skill that is strengthened by learning math. The more math skills you gain, the more you learn to pay attention to details, question information, rule out unnecessary information, and analyze data. Word problems, even from a young age, require you to be able to recognize which information is useful and which information is irrelevant. The stronger your logic skills become, the more efficient you will be in your everyday life, and the more you will be able to navigate the society we’ve built for ourselves.


How much is this shirt or blouse going to cost once the 40% sale is applied? What about once the 8% tax is added? What if it’s advertised as half-off or 20% off the sale price? Are you going to gather your things, head up to the cashier, and hope for the best? Or would you rather know ahead of time whether you’re able to afford the clothes you’d like without breaking the bank? That takes math knowledge, and at least a basic understanding of how percentages work.


Baseball fans know a lot about statistics, whether they’re considering basic win-loss ratios, batting averages or pitchers' earned run averages. Football fans know about yardage gains and passing stats. And individual athletes, whether runners, bikers, sailors or hikers, often have their own ways of charting their progress, from time to mileage to elevation.

Science and Technology

Science and math are intimately connected, particularly in fields such as chemistry, astronomy and physics. Students who can't master basic arithmetic skills will struggle to read scientific charts and graphs. More complex math, such as geometry, algebra and calculus, can help students solve chemistry problems, understand the movements of the planets and analyze scientific studies. Math is also important in practical sciences, such as engineering and computer science. Students may have to solve equations when writing computer programs and figuring out algorithms. Nursing majors may have great bedside manner. But they also need to know how to precisely calculate dosages to pass their courses.


Can you imagine going to the bank and not having any idea what you need to do or how to manage your finances. This will cause a huge disaster in your life, and you will be bankrupt within hours.


How many square feet of paint do we need for this wall? What’s the difference between a foot and a square foot? What if we only have a yardstick, or a meter stick? What do the two different sides of the measuring tape even mean? Is there enough space in here for the couch we want? These are all questions that come up fairly often when you’re decorating a home or apartment. And they’re questions that you need to be able to answer before you get to the store, or else you’re leaving empty-handed after having an unfortunately awkward conversation with the sales representative who wasn’t able to help you without the dimensions and measurements of the space you’re trying to decorate. It seems fairly simple… if you know how to do math.


Operating a car or motorcycle is ultimately nothing but a series of calculations. How many miles to the destination? How much gas in the car? How many miles per hour am I able to drive? How many miles per gallon does my car get? Oh no, I’ve hit a traffic jam, and now my pace has slowed, am I still going to make it to work on time? All of these questions are extremely easily answered with basic math skills. Otherwise, you’re sitting there hoping that things magically work out. But it’s possible to account for it on your own.

Planning dinner parties How about that inevitable dinner party or cocktail that you have to host. Planning is essential, how many guests are attending, what foods are you serving, the ambience of the place where you want to host it and so many other essentials all requiring multiplication, division and subtraction.

The Use of Polynomials

Polynomials are used in economics to represent cost functions; they are also used to interpret and forecast market trends. Statisticians used mathematical models, which include polynomials, to analyze and interpret data and draw conclusions. In financial planning, polynomials are used to calculate interest rate problems that determine how much money a person accumulates after a given number of years with a specified initial investment. Polynomials are also used in meteorology to create mathematical models to represent weather patterns; these weather patterns are then analyzed to make weather predictions.

Polynomials of small degree have been given specific names. A polynomial of degree zero is a constant polynomial or simply a constant. Polynomials of degree one, two or three are respectively linear polynomials, quadratic polynomials and cubic polynomials. For higher degrees the specific names are not commonly used, although quartic polynomial for degree four and quantic polynomial for degree five are sometimes used. The names for the degrees may be applied to the polynomial or to its terms. For example, in x2 + 2x + 1 the term 2x is a linear term in a quadratic polynomial.

Updated: Nov 01, 2022
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The Use of Mathematics in Everyday Life. (2021, Mar 08). Retrieved from

The Use of Mathematics in Everyday Life essay
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