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?
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
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.
Things to remember
This is your project and
all work must be done by you.
If you must have the help
of your instructor or another student they will be charging you $50.00 per month
from you budget for 6 months, each time they help you.
Any errors in your budget
will cost you $50.00 a month from your budget.
You must have a balanced
budget. You can not spend more than you
You must live in Corpus Christi and you must live
alone. Your home and any purchases must be made in Corpus Christi.
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
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
by 12 Months =
(round to the nearest dollar)
again using the high end of your yearly income. Use $27,999 instead of
$27999 divided by 12 monthly = 2333.33
(round to the nearest dollar)
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.
GPA = 82 Salary Range per Year to
by 52 weeks, divided by 40 hours = $10.58 per
(DO NOT ROUND
TO THE NEAREST DOLLAR!!! round your answer to the nearest cent).
again using the high end of your yearly income. Use $27,999 instead of
$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
For each job on the web site their is a Tab called Earnings.
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.
you have found the job you would like to do, record the Median Yearly Income
for the job of your choosing in box ,
based on the information from the earnings tab for that job. If the
website does not list the median income for the job you chose you may not use
f) Next find the Actual Monthly Wage by dividing
the median yearly income by 12.
g) Record your actual hourly wage by
dividing the Median yearly Income by 52 and then by 40.
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
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.
Website: Taxes, Social Security, and Medicare Page
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
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
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.
More Expensive Utilities
You rent it, but never own it.
You own it.
Don't pay property taxes or insurance.
You pay property taxes and insurance.
If something breaks someone fixes it.
If something breaks you fix it.
Can be loud.
may also go to this website and read what other people think of the apartment
you are thinking of renting.
are one of the best investments you will ever make. They are much
more expensive but you are buying it. In order to buy a home you must get a
mortgage. A bank lends you the money to buy the home and you pay them back
with interest. Unless you make more than $40,000 you should probably
not spend more than $100,000 for the cost of a house.
you find an apartment you like you may want to go to this website: Apartment
Ratings.com. At this website people can leave their opinions about the
you rent an apartment you must find 1) the price per month. 2) What
utilities are paid. If the website about the
apartments says nothing about free utilities you must pay them
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
b) Property Taxes Per
Year: Property Taxes Per Month:
c) For apartments:
If you want apartment insurance it will cost you $20.00 per month or $240.00
a year. Record your results in 3c.
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) Add the Mortgage ,
Monthly Taxes, and Monthly Insurance together. This is the total
expenses of your house or apartment per month. Record your results in 3d
Research web sites ( Autotrader.comCars.com)
to find a vehicle. Do you want a car, motorcycle, or do you want to
ride the bus? You will need to determine what kind of vehicle you will
purchase (if your income allows you to do so) and calculate monthly payments
along with insurance and gas. When searching for a vehicle you must
purchase it within 300 miles of Corpus Christi. You may not buy a car
from someone living in California or some other place far away.
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.
Record the model and type of vehicle along with the cost in box 4a
a) Vehicle Model: Type:
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 :
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
must pay interest on a vehicle that you are buying. New and used vehicles
have different interest rates.
New Cars 7% Interest over 5 years
Used Cars 7.5% Interest over 3 years
the total cost of the car box 4b and use the information above to calculate
the monthly cost of your car.
this in the highlighted box 4cMonthly
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.
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.
a) Electric: Gas and Water:
the total monthly cost for each utility and put the total in box 5b. This is your
total monthly utilities cost.
b) Total Monthly
6) Living Expenses a) Now determine your other expenses: food, cell phones,
pagers, health insurance, clothing, entertainment, savings accounts, and
miscellaneous items. Certain parts of this section have minimum amounts
you can spend on them.
Things to Remember.
You must spend at least a minimum amount in Food,
Clothing, Entertainment, and Miscellaneous Items.
Miscellaneous Items include toiletries, cleaning
supplies, and household supplies
You do not have to have Health Insurance, but think
about the video and the problems they had. Co-pay is the amount you
have to pay extra for visiting the doctors
Emergency Funds are always good to have when you need a
little extra money for something, but you don't have to have one.
You must have a home phone, a cell phone, or
Any other things you may want for your home, such as a
pet, plasma screen TVs or any thing else would go
into this section.
Minimum amounts to spend.
Just a home phone.
Cell phone without home phone
Both home and Cell phone. ($50.00 each)
Basic Health Insurance with co-pay of $25.00
Good Health Insurance without co-pay
Car repairs/ maintenance
b) Now add the totals in box a) together and
record your total in box b)
this is your Total Monthly Living Expenses.
You now must find the total amount
of your expenses per month.
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
a) Total Monthly Earnings:
b) Add the totals of boxes 3d, 4f, 5b,
and 6b together. Record in box
b) Total Monthly Expenses:
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
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
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.
First have your teacher look over your
work. Then type in all your information on this formMonthly 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
After working on this project, you probably found that life in general,
is pretty expensive. What lessons did you learn from this project? How
can these lessons help you better be prepared for your future? Does college
sound more appealing to you today than it did before you worked on this
project? Does getting good grades in school seem
more important now? Write a 1 page essay describing this experience.
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?