Steagall – Senior Economics

“Poverty Project” – Helping students overcome and dispel myths regarding poverty in the United States and across the globe.


Budget Project:
Are you ready for the real world?  Complete the steps listed below to see if you are ready to move out and live on your own.  What are you doing NOW to prepare for TOMORROW?  Think about your wants and your needs and get excited – this is your life to live!
Day One:
1.  Choose a Career and Determine Your Income
Use the links listed below to gather information about a career that most interests you and then complete the “Get a Life” worksheet.
Pick one:
I do not know what I want to be when I grow-up.  — find a career here.
I know what I want to be when I grow-up.  — enter your chosen career in the search box.
Get a Life – complete worksheet and print when finished.
Day Two –
2.  Breakdown Your Budget
At the beginning of class, you will randomly select your income card from the teacher. This will represent the annual income you will have for step one of this project. Use this income for the budget activity today.
Open the link to the budgeting spreadsheet to estimate expenses for your proposed budget; use income based on your chosen career from Step 1.  The right side of the page will give you directions for the spreadsheet – do not spend more than you earn and make this as realistic as possible.  Use the average percentages as a guide and just adjust accordingly if you need to stray from the normal amounts.  Nobody can tell you how you have to spend your money (except the government)… but I will not allow you to go into debt.
Working Budget Spreadsheet – save file to your H:// drive, complete spreadsheet and then print when finished.
Day Three –
3.  Find a Home
Assume that you will be living in Arizona – the city is up to you.  You may also choose to select a location which will maximize your opportunity to finding a job in your career path. Utilize the list of websites below to help you find a place to live.  If you cannot afford the apartment of your choice, roommates are always an option (you will need to adjust your spreadsheet so that you only pay your portion).  Print a copy of the apartment page that details the specification for your new home.

Arizona Daily Sun – Locate housing in the Flagstaff area

Craigslist – locate housing in multiple Arizona cities

4.  Find a Car
Part 1 — Congratulations, you have saved a total of $1,000 to put toward a car.  Let’s start shopping for a new or used car (depending on your budget).  You must purchase a car even in you have one or if someone is giving you a car.  Also, now that you have a job, you need reliable transportation –  your car must cost at least $7,500. Print the information page that includes the cost of the car and any fun features.
Part 2 –Compute monthly payments for your car loan and print the calculations page showing 2 options your have in regards to term length.
Use the following information for your calculations:
Loan Amount = cost of the car you want to purchase minus the $1,000 you are using as a down payment (minimum is $7,500)
Interest Rate = 9.0%
Auto Loan Calculator:
 Day Four –
5.  Analyze Your Budget
Is it all falling into place just yet?  Let’s double check a few things and make sure you are ready for the real world.
Analysis of My Budget – complete worksheet and print when finished.
Day Five –
6. Life Happens
Today you will receive an additional “Life” card… follow the directions on the card and re-evaluate your budget. You will need to amend your original worksheet and re-print.
7.  Hand-in all materials to your teacher (1-5 in order):
1.  Get a Life worksheet
2.  Budget Spreadsheet — your packet will not be graded if you are in debt.
3.  Apartment specifics
4.  Car details AND payment calculations
5.  Budget analysis worksheet
6. Updated budget worksheet with adjustments