Final Project

Semester Final Project

April 26, 2011 by Rob | Edit

Personal Budget Project

Due Date: May 12 , Blue Days, May 13, Green Days,  2016


Students will prepare a personal budget that summarizes typical monthly expenses for a single person, living alone and newly entering the job market. The project will take place over several weeks and will involve work to be done both at school and at home.  The following is a brief summary of the steps involved in completing the project. More detailed instructions will be given in class. Attendance is important to the completion of this project.

The total project is worth 20% of the semester grade and will be evaluated using the Personal Budget Project Rubric

  1. Click here for specific career-summary-instructions.
    1. Research your chosen career and complete a Career Summary. Questions 2-4 should be answered by researching your chosen career in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Questions 5-7 should be answered by researching colleges or training programs.  
    2.  Look up starting salary. Use Denver Area Wage Report. Click on six-digit code next to your career and print the first page to get salary range and starting salary (25% percentile). Use the information to fill in questions 9-10 of the Career Summary.
  2. Complete a  Tax Worksheet that summarizes income, Social Security and Medicare taxes. The worksheet also calculates gross monthly income and total monthly taxes.
    1. Complete a Form 1040EZ  tax form to compute annual federal income tax.   Use Tax Table to find the tax you owe.
    2. Click her for a copy of Colorado State Income tax Form 104   Use Form 104 Instructions to find the tax you owe.
  3. Click here for Budget Project InstructionsClick here to see recommended budget percentages.
    1. Select an automobile from Use and calculate a monthly payment to finance it for 1 to 5 years with a 10% down payment. Print your final section and loan payment information and include it in your portfolio.  Click here to determine the sales tax on a car in Denver.
    2. Get a quote online for automobile insurance on the car you selected. Use The General.  Print your final quote ant include it in your portfolio
      1. Select Auto and enter your Zip Code
      2. Complete the General Information section by filling in the information requested.  You will be renting an apartment so indicate that you rent when asked.
      3. Fill in Driver information.
      4. Fill in your vehicle information.
      5. Make adjustments to your deductible and coverage then click on Quote Details.
      6. Print the Quote Details and include it in your portfolio. Record the monthly cost of you auto insurance on your Budget Worksheet.
    3. Select an apartment from an on-line listing that fits within your monthly budget. Be sure to check on utilities.  Click here for Apartments for Rent to find listings. Print the listing for your selected apartment and indicate if you will have one or more roommates.  Include this listing in your portfolio.
    4. Get a quote online for renter’s insurance to cover the value of personal assets. Use American Family Insurance to obtain a renters insurance quote.  Print your final quote and circle the policy you have selected and include it in your portfolio.
    5. Estimate monthly health insurance at  Print your selection and circle the policy that you have selected to include in your portfolio.
  4. Get an estimate of monthly utilities not included in rent (water, gas, electricity). Use Estimate my utilities to get an estimate. Print your estimate and include it in your portfolio.
  5. Use this website Denver, CO to estimate:
    1. Estimate monthly car maintenance. Include gasoline, oil changes, etc.  Document your sources of information in your portfolio.
    2. Select a phone plan (either cellular or through Qwest) and document your selection in your portfolio
    3. Estimate monthly food expenses. Include restaurant expenses.  Document how you arrived at your estimate.
    4. Estimate annual clothing expenses and divide by 12 to get monthly figure.
    5. Decide if you will have a cable TV plan or not; document and explain your choice.
    6. Estimate recreation expense and explain what forms of recreation are included and how you arrived at your cost estimates.
    7. Estimate miscellaneous/personal expense and explain what they are.
  6. Complete Personal Budget Worksheet. Make sure that Total Monthly Expenses are less than Net Monthly Income and that there is at least a 10% savings rate. Adjust estimates if necessary to obtain a “balanced” budget.
  7. Calculate your monthly savings. Subtract total monthly expenses from total monthly income.
  8. Draw an “unexpected event” from envelope. Adjust budget to accommodate change in circumstances.  Assume that you hve 6 months of savings to help pay for the unexpected event.
  9. Complete Budget Think Sheet.
  10. Assembly of Project:
    1. Place rubric on top of project.
    2. The Career Summary with documentation
    3. Tax Worksheet/1040EZ/Form 104
    4. Personal Budget Worksheet
    5. Budget Think Sheet
    6. The remaining pages of the project are documentation that explain where the numbers came from for the budget. These pages should follow the order of the Personal Budget Worksheet. Place the letter that corresponds to the Personal Budget line item in the upper right corner of each page of documentation. For example, Health Insurance should have the letter “A” on the page with your Health Insurance selection circled,   the advertisement that lists the apartment rent (and whether utilities are included) should have the letter “B” in the upper right hand corner of the page, etc. Make sure to highlight the appropriate information on the advertisement (rent, statement about utilities, etc.).  Documentation must be provided for each line item included in the budget. Hand-written documentation is accepted for some items like food and car maintenance estimates, but is generally discouraged.  A better grade is earned for documentation that reflects the student’s effort to research and obtain objective estimates of expenses.
  11. Due to the time constraints at the end of the semester, LATE PROJECTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. PROJECTS MUST BE TURNED BY THE END OF THE CLASS ON THE DATE DUE.