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«STEP 2: What do you do? What do you want to be when you grow up? STEP 3: How many children do you have? You will roll the dice to decide. You will ...»

They Grow up so Fast: A project on budgeting

The objective of this project is for you to set up a budget that would allow you to live the type

of life you would like, as well as to understand what skills and/or education you need to get

there. This will include finding a house, finding a car, developing a budget, and finding a career

that would match your income needs. You will be assigned a spouse and the two of you will

complete this project together.



  STEP 1: First let me congratulate you. I am so happy to hear that you are married and you have children.


STEP 2: What do you do? What do you want to be when you grow up?

STEP 3: How many children do you have? You will roll the dice to decide. You will roll 1 die to figure out how many children you have. The number you roll will determine the amount of kids you have. At most you can have 5 (a roll of six will be switched to 5 kids).

STEP 4: How old are your kids? Roll the dice again. This time you will roll two dice and add the sum of the two dice together. That is the age of one of your children. Roll the two dice again and follow the same procedure.


STEP 1: What are you going to do? What do you want be when you grow up? You have already picked an occupation. Click on the following website: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcst.htm       STEP 2: Click on the state you are going to live in.

  STEP 3: Click on the Major Occupational Group that interests you, or scroll down to the job you like. Make sure you keep track of the “Occupational Code” (you will need the info later) and click on the job that you want.          At the top, read the job description to see if it is what you’d like to do.

  STEP 4: Click on the link, “Industry Profile for this Occupation.”      STEP 5: Click on the link: “Create Customized Tables,” at the top.

    STEP 6: Choose the “One occupation for multiple geographical areas” option   STEP 7: Find your job on the list. Use the occupational code to help find your job. (They are in number order.) Click on it. Click continue.    STEP 8: Under geographical type, click “State.”    STEP 9: Select the state you plan on living in.  STEP 10: Click on the “Annual mean wage.” Click next.      STEP 11: Screen capture the information. It should look like this.

        STEP 12: Does your spouse work or are they going to stay home with the kids? If your spouse is going to work, then find the Annual mean salary for their job and screen capture the image as well.


There are only two things certain in life: death and taxes. How much money are you actually going to take home a month?

–  –  –

          STEP 12: Enter your monthly gross pay (under wages) on your excel spread sheet (for you and your wife).

Also enter your federal withholding, social security, Medicare, state taxes and SDI. If both you and your spouse work, add these numbers up.     Roof Over your Head  Welcome to possibly the most expensive purchase of your life. 

–  –  –

If you are buying a new car, go to step 2A.  If you are buying a used car, skip to step 2B.    STEP 2A (NEW CAR): Once you find your car, you have to figure out what the cost is going to be. For new cars, they will provide you with the MSRP price; that stands for: Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price.

That cost can be haggled (talked) down. In order to talk down the cost of your car, you have to do your homework.     

1. Go to www.Edmunds.com

2. Click on the “Make” of the car that you found an advertisement for (at the top of the website) 

–  –  –

7. Click on the same features you choose when you got your advertisement 

8. Screen capture the “True Market Value”. This is “What others are paying” and is the amount you haggled the price down to with the dealer. 

–  –  –



7. This will give you the “True Market Value” for your used car. Screen Capture the Pricing details.          STEP 3: Do you currently have a car? If so, how much is it worth? Are you willing to trade it in or sell it, in order to have a lower cost on the car? Follow the same directions for “STEP 2B (USED CAR)” to figure out how much to sell it for. You can trade it in, or sell it yourself (Private Party). If you sell it yourself you will have to describe in your paper how you will advertise your car and eventually sell it. Screen Capture the Pricing Report    STEP 4: Do you have money saved up? Well, luckily you took personal finance while at PAA and you know the importance of saving money and are able to put a $5000 down payment on your car on top of any trade in/private sale you may have.    STEP 5: What is your monthly payment going to cost? Go to   http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/auto/auto-loan-calculator.aspx.

  STEP 6: You are NOT using this auto loan calculator. Scroll down the page and click on “60 Month” in the “compare auto loan rates” box for either a new or used car (depending on what you are buying). Put in the zip code of your new home and make sure 60 month new or used is clicked (depending on the type of car you are buying). Luckily you took Economics at CHS and you have great credit so you can use the lowest interest rate. (Screen capture the bank rates) 

–  –  –

  STEP 8: How expensive is this car going to be? Go to http://www.onlineloancalculator.org/. The “Loan Amount” is the “TMV what others are paying” price. Enter the full price of the car, down payment ($5000), Trade in Amount (If applicable), Interest Rate, Loan Term of 5 years, and sales tax for your state.

Click calculate.    STEP 9: Screen capture ”Your Loan Information”, “Loan Summary” and “Yearly Amortization Schedule”   

–  –  –

          Bills! Bills! Bills!  Don’t forget there are a lot more bills. What do you pay in utilities? Water? Gas? Electricity? Car insurance? Do you have an internet/phone/cable package? How much are you spending on food a month?

It might not be a bad idea to start collecting coupons. How many times are you planning on dining out?

That can get very expensive.

  STEP 1: Ask your parents to give you some estimated costs of what they pay on certain bills. You will add these to your monthly budget excel spread sheet. If your parents pay these bills annually, divide by 12 to figure out the monthly payment.

STEP 2: Make a list of the different providers you used for the different services (i.e. Verizon or AT&T, etc.)   STEP 3: Plan a month’s menu and create a monthly grocery shopping list with prices to cover all your meals for the month. You may eat out, but must budget for this, if you choose to eat out. Don’t forget tips.

STEP 4: Complete the household items budget for items you will need for your new house.

STEP 5: Complete the insurance quote activity to determine the cost of your automobile insurance.

Keeping Track of it All STEP 1: As you have budgeted your life (and completed this project) you have been filling in an excel spreadsheet with all of the data you have collected to figure out your monthly budget. If you have any annual (yearly) prices make sure that you divide the total by 12 to figure out the monthly cost. You must have at least some money left for savings - if not you have to make some lifestyle changes (i.e. get a new house or car). Also, you cannot have negative money. If you do, you need to go back and make some changes.   Bringing it all together  Be prepared to discuss your budget, in detail, with the class.

With your partner, turn in all of your worksheets, the excel spreadsheet you created along with each of the pieces of your budget.

In addition, each of you, in at least two pages typed, double spaced, explain your choices, and explain your life. Be sure that your explanation is broken into paragraphs and includes the conventional standards of written English.   ● What was the hardest decision that you had to make?

● What motivated your decisions?

● What surprised you most about planning your budget?

● How might different variables have changed your decisions?

● How much money did you have left at the end of the year?

● What expenses has this project not taken into account?

● What would you do with the extra savings you have?

● Did you and your partner disagree over any areas? How did you resolve disagreements?

● Prove to me that this was well researched, well thought out and responsible.

● Please also include a few sentences on what you have learned from this project.     

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