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If My Life Started Today
A Web Quest for 6th, 7^{th} or 8^{th} Grade (Mathematics) Designed by: Anthony Gillespey 


Introduction
Have you ever wondered what the future holds? The choices you make today are shaping your tomorrow's. You will be exploring your earning potential and creating a budget that might represent your real life. Are you on the right road to in your education to meet the goals you have for your future? Task
Based on your GPA (Grade Point Average) you will be given a yearly salary. Better grades equals better pay. Based on this yearly salary you will calculate your taxes, housing cost, automobile costs, and many other things that go along with living in the real world. So often we do not understand the struggles that our parent's have gone through to keep food on our tables. This web quest has been thoroughly research to reflect the cost of living in today's world. You will research and calculate budgets, learn the limitations of your income, and begin to appreciate the power of good budgeting. Many times you will need to manipulate your budget in order to afford the necessities and luxuries you would like to have. As you cut your budget to fit your salary, you will begin to experience the struggles of real life. As a final product, you will write one essay describing your experience during this web quest.
Process
1) Salary Any time you start to create a budget you need to know what your expenses are each month. You will be given a copy of a budget worksheet to be used throughout the web quest. When you finish your entire worksheet you will make a final copy by typing it on the computer. a) It pays to do well in school! Based on your GPA you will have a salary range per year. Use this chart to determine your potential yearly salary, based upon your GPA then record your data on 1a
Potential Salary Based on Your GPA b) Determine the range of your Monthly Salary by dividing each number in box 1a by 12. You should have 2 numbers. These two numbers become the low and high end of your monthly salary. Example: GPA = 83 Salary Range per Year to $22000 divided by 12 Months = $1833.00 (round to the nearest dollar) Do this again using the high end of your yearly income. Use $27,999 instead of $22,000. Example:
$27999 divided by 12 monthly = 2333.33 c.) Determine the range of your hourly wage by dividing the 2 numbers in box 1a by 52weeks and then 40 hours. These two numbers become the range for your hourly wage. Example: GPA = 82 Salary Range per Year to $22000 divided
by 52 weeks, divided by 40 hours = $10.58 per
hour (DO NOT ROUND
TO THE NEAREST DOLLAR!!! round your answer to the nearest cent). Do this again using the high end of your yearly income. Use $27,999 instead of $22,000. Example: $27999 divided by 52 weeks, divided by 40 hours = $13.46 per hour (round your answer to the nearest cent). d) Now you will determine what type of job you can do based on the amount you are capable of making per year. Each year the United States Government surveys millions of Americans and determine how much different jobs pay per year, per month, or per hour. You will research and choose a career based upon your yearly or hourly wage range. On this web site there is a list of over 2000 jobs along with their Median wage. Web site: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
For each job on the web site their is a Tab called Earnings.
Here they list the Median Income for a group of jobs in that field. You must choose a job that does not exceed the Yearly, Monthly, or Hourly Salary ranges. You may pick a job below your ranges but you MAY NOT go over the higher number in your range. If you can't do the job you would like look at the tab called Related Occupations. This is a group of jobs that are similar to the job you are looking at. Web site: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
2) Taxes Every American must pay taxes and other expenses to help support the running of our government. Next you will find how much money you must pay per month in taxes, social security, and Medicare. a) First you must find out what percent of your income is taxed and deducted per year. The more money you make the more the government taxes. Also, the more you pay in Social Security and Medicare.
Using this Web page find out
what percent of your income is taxed. Don't forget about the 5% of your
income that goes to Social Security and
Medicare. Everyone must pay this. b) Next Subtract your Yearly taxes from your Median Yearly Income (box 1e) record the results in 2b. c) Divide the results in 2b by 12 to determine your monthly salary after taxes, record in 2c. This number is very important, this is the amount of money you have to spend each month!!! You may not go over this amount in any month. Good Luck! You will explore some websites to find a place to live. Whether an apartment or house, you will need to calculate monthly payments. You may not live with someone else and you must live in your own apartment or home. Living in a house or apartment is your choice. Each one has their own expenses. Keep in mind that homes cost more and have other costs associated with them, but you own it. Buying a home should be a goal of yours, but they can be very expensive. Apartments
versus Homes
You may also go to this website and read what other people think of the apartment you are thinking of renting.
Record the monthly rent or monthly mortgage amount the first box, the type is either house or the type of apartment Studio, Flat, or Town home, and #rooms is the number of bedrooms in the home. Record all 3 results in box 3a a) Rent/Mortgage: Type: # Rooms: b) Skip this step if renting an apartment. If you buy a home you must determine the yearly property taxes, apartments do not have taxes. Take the price of the home and find 3% of the total value of the home. Remember turn 3% into a decimal and multiply by the total cost of the home. This is your yearly property taxes. Divide this number by 12 to find your monthly property taxes. Record both results in 3b
b) Property Taxes Per
Year: Property Taxes Per Month: If you want apartment insurance it will cost you $20.00 per month or $240.00 a year. Record your results in 3c. For homes: You must also have home owners insurance which is 1% of the value of the home. Find 1% of the total value of the home. Next divide that by 12 to determine the monthly insurance payment. Record your results in 3c.
c) Yearly Home Insurance: Monthly Home Insurance:
d) Total Monthly Home Cost:
Research web sites ( Autotrader.com Cars.com) If you can not afford your own vehicle you may use the bus by buying a bus card for $40.00 dollars per month. Add this cost of a bus card to the box labeled other:_______ in box 6a.
a) To find a vehicle, use these web sites Record the model and type of vehicle along with the cost in box 4a
a) Vehicle Model: Type:
Cost:
b) Just like everything else in the world you must pay tax on a car purchase. To find the taxes for the vehicle find 8.25% of the cost of the vehicle in box 4a. Remember 8.25% as a decimal x the cost of the car. Record this number in box 4b. Next add the Cost of the vehicle to the tax. Record this in the second box in 4b. This is the total cost of the vehicle.
b) Taxes on Vehicle :
Total Cost:
c)
Just like homes you must borrow money from a bank to buy a vehicle. New
cars and used cars have different rates and number years. Use the Car Payment Calculator to figure out the car payment for
your vehicle. You
must pay interest on a vehicle that you are buying. New and used vehicles
have different interest rates. Take the total cost of the car box 4b and use the information above to calculate the monthly cost of your car.
Record
this in the highlighted box 4c Monthly
Car Payment c) Yearly Car Payment
Interest Rate: Monthly Car Payment:
d) and e) Next you must determine how much gas and how much insurance costs for your vehicle. Based on the size of the vehicle use the chart to record your information for box d) and e). If you do not know how many cylinders the vehicle has please ask your teacher or read the description of the vehicle on the website. Website : Gas and Car Insurance Chart d) Gas for Vehicle:
e) Car Insurance:
f) Now add the total in the 3 yellow highlighted boxes this is your total monthly vehicle expenses. Record this amount in box 4f. 4. Vehicle Costs a) Vehicle Model:
Type: Cost: b) Taxes on Vehicle :
Total Cost: c) Yearly Car Payment Interest Rate:
Monthly Car Payment: d) Gas for Vehicle: e) Car
Insurance: f) Total Monthly
Vehicle Cost:
5) Utilities a) You will need to budget money for your utilities. Some places come with free utilities. You need to read the description of the apartment carefully. While others you have to pay them yourself. Keep in mind different size homes cost different amount to heat, cool, etc. Remember this when choosing your home. Website: Utilities Chart
a) Electric: Gas and Water:
Cable:
Telephone:Internet:
b) Next add the total monthly cost for each utility and put the total in box 5b. This is your total monthly utilities cost.
b) Total Monthly
Utilities Cost:
6) Living Expenses
b) Now add the totals in box a) together and record your total in box b) this is your Total Monthly Living Expenses.
b) Total Monthly Living
Expenses: The most important step a) Record once again the total from box 2c (Monthly Salary after Taxes) , so that you can easily reference it during this last section. Remember this is the total amount of money you have to spend each month on all your bills. You can not go over this amount per month. a) Total Monthly Earnings: b) Add the totals of boxes 3d, 4f, 5b, and 6b together. Record in box 7b.
b) Total Monthly Expenses: If you make any money from being an accountant for someone else list that income in 7b. This is extra money you have each month for being someone else's accountant.
This is your total monthly expenses. Was this total less than your Monthly Salary after taxes? If so you have some money left over. If it's more than your monthly total you must go back and adjust your monthly expenses to fit your salary. Maybe you can't afford a home, a car, or your cell phone. c) Any money left over should be put into your savings account box 7c and used for any emergencies of life, such as car repairs, doctors visits, or psychiatric counseling. It is always recommended to save about 20% to 30% of your income each month, but the choice is up to you. c) Savings Amount Per Month: First have your teacher look over your work. Then type in all your information on this form Monthly Expenses Worksheet. Make sure to include your typed name on the sheet raise your hand to show your teacher. Then print two copies, one for you and one for your instructor. Next write a 1 pg. typed essay on this prompt. Use this page to type your essay (Essay Page) Do not change the font or the line spacing. Prompt:
Extra Credit (1 pg. Typed Essay) After using the Job web site I want you to compare and contrast the job you picked in the project to the job you want to have when you graduate college. How much education do you need for each? What would you do at each job? Do both jobs sound fun to you? How much money do you make at each job? What steps do you have to take in order to have your dream job in the future? How much college do you need for each job? 

