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In this lesson, students develop a Family Budget using a Spreadsheet


Computers & Internet, Other  


8, 9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Family Budget
By – Jodee Heimdal
Primary Subject – Computers / Internet
Secondary Subjects – Other
Grade Level – 8-12
I am currently using this project in my 8th grade business computers and information systems. The kids are having a blast… and so am I!!! :-)


Please read the following scenario:
You are currently living in (identify a major city)
You are:           Married          Divorced
You have girls, ages      &      ; and            boys, ages      &            .
You must name your spouse and children in the blanks below:


Child #1:            Child #2:            Child #3:                                         

You are responsible for creating a monthly budget for your family for the month of February, 2001. Your budget must be realistic and you must live within your means. Please create a spreadsheet that reflects your family’s monthly income and expenditures with the following information:

§          Your occupation is:                                                   
(Please find and print the annual income for this occupation in the city where you live, then divide that amount by 12, the number of months in a year, to determine your monthly income.)

§          Your spouse’s occupation, if applicable:                                                   
(Please find and print the annual income for this occupation in the city where you live, then divide that amount by 12 to determine your monthly income)
If you are divorced, you have custody of the children and your monthly child support is:                     

§          You live in a                      bedroom apartment with your family.
(Please find and print the cost of the apartment per month)

§          If your apartment doesn’t include garbage pickup, water, parking fees, gas, heating, and lights, please determine your monthly costs for these expenses.
(Please print the documentation that supports your figures.)

§          You will need renter’s insurance for the contents of your apartment. Please find and print this monthly expense.

§          Please determine your monthly telephone expenses. (Print any information that supports your findings.)

§          Please determine your monthly cable expenses. (Print any information that supports your findings.)

§          Please determine your automobile expenses – as in previous lesson, expenses must include – monthly payment including interest, insurance, routine maintenance and oil changes, car washes, and gas.
(Please print all information that supports your findings.)

§          Calculate your monthly entertainment expenses. Please find and print at least two family entertainment venues in your city (ie. movies, games, theme park, etc.). Calculate the monthly cost for your family to attend those events.

§          Clothing expenses: Determine the monthly clothing expense for your family. Break down the items you will purchase for each family member.

§          Food expenses: Determine the monthly food expenses for your family.

§          Childcare expenses: Find and print the monthly childcare expenses for your family. Even if your children are school aged, you must budget for after school care.

§          Household items – ie. Toilet paper, shampoo, deodorant, cleaner, newspaper, etc. Please determine your monthly expenses for household items.

§          Personal Care: haircuts, manicure, etc. Please breakdown these expenses and calculate your family’s total monthly expenses.

§          Birthdays/Valentine’s Day: You must give your spouse and children Valentine’s Day gifts. If any of your friends/relatives have a February birthday, you must also purchase a gift for them. Please find and print the gifts you will be giving and calculate your monthly expense.

§          Savings: The remainder of your income after all expenses are paid will go into a savings account. Please indicate the amount you will put in your savings account, monthly.

After you have gathered all of the above information, please create a spreadsheet showing your budget. Your spreadsheet should contain formulas so you can plug in different numbers each month and your spreadsheet will accurately calculate the current month’s expenses.

Graph your spreadsheet using a graph style that you feel best illustrates the breakdown of your monthly expenses. Customize your graph to look visually pleasing.

Be prepared to share your results with the class. The student in each group with the most accurate and realistic monthly budget, with all of the supporting documentation, will get two homemade goodies!

E-Mail Jodee Heimdal !

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