Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Natalie, a student:

The question is: Four boys work together, painting houses for the summer.For each house they paint they get 256 pounds. If they work for four months of the summer and their expenses are 152 pounds per a month, how many houses must they paint for each of them to have one thousand pounds at the end of the summer?

Hi Natalie,

Their expenses are 152 pounds a month for 4 months for a total of 4 × 152 = 608 pounds. They want a profit of 1000 pounds each or 4000 pounds in total. Hence they must make 4000 + 608 = 4608 pounds. How many houses must they paint at 256 pounds per hour to make 4608 pounds?


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