This is a very thorough and effective Budget Project! Students draw an education level, then calculate net pay, then fill out an excel file with their budget line items, and finally create a 10 slide powerpoint presentation of their budget. It takes about 2 weeks (with block scheduling) and involves computer lab time. Students were 100% engaged and interested - they enjoyed the process of researching a place to live and a car to buy and learned a lot from the process of allocating their income into different categories.
Here are the directions for the students:
You are 22 years old. You will draw a level of education (no HS Diploma, HS Diploma/GED, Associates Degree, or Bachelor’s Degree) and that will determine your income and if you have any school loans. Basically, the budget project has two parts:
1. You will create an Excel Spreadsheet with your budget which you will turn in. This will include all your income and expenses per month. A template will be provided.
2. You will create a powerpoint presentation with a slide for each expense which you will present to the class. A template will be provided.
3. You are not allowed to live at home or for free with friends and family.
This project has over 16 pages of turn-key documents used to make this entire process easy for the teacher. Included in the zip file are:
1. Student handout with rubric
2. Instructional guide for teacher with tips for the classroom
3. Cards for drawing their education level
4. Net Pay worksheet with key
5. An Excel budget template they can use
6. A Powerpoint template they can use
7. An example Excel and Powerpoint to show the class
8. "How Much Can I Afford" handout for rent and car payment
Bonus: Pay Stub worksheet that corresponds to their Net Pay Worksheet
The teacher guide has a thorough day-by-day approach and tips for classroom use.
You can have them pick their level of education if you'd like instead of drawing it from a hat.
Everything has been tested and student/parent/teacher approved! We got a lot of good feedback about this project from everyone involved! Hope you enjoy!
Please share with other teachers in your building. Thank you.
Personal Finance Budget Project
by Shannon Gunn
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License