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Making Your Own Budget 2 hours 30 min

  • Level 2

Additional Materials: Electronic Devices to Research and Build Budgets, Student Handout (a), Student Handout Reflection (b)

Students will work individually to develop their own budget while also reflecting on the goals they have written and their lifestyle.

Making your own budget

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  1. Explore local, state or national occupational salaries, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook to determine a median salary. The BLS OOH also identifies the typical entry-level education, work experience needed, as well as the future job outlook for the career/job identified.
    1. If using BLS OOH, remind students that these are median salaries, not entry-level salaries and that it takes hard work to earn the next level of pay. 
    2. Make sure students have chosen a/the career that relates to their lifestyle, not just a high paying career to have more income to use in their budgets. 
  2. Calculate take-home pay (after taxes and health insurance, dental insurance, etc. are deducted).
  3. (Not included on the student handout) Have students create their own budget template or provide one for them. 
  4. Deduct expenditures from the take-home pay. (Students will need to calculate their deductions using math.)
  5. Determine any income left over as unspent. Ask students for their plans for this money – Investing? Savings? Shopping? 
  6. (Not included on the student handout) Throw a curve ball (if applicable); have students research the news. Check for any new taxes (local or state) or policies required. Have students make deductions as necessary. 
    1. Once students finish making adjustments to their budgets, have students get into groups and discuss unexpected events they’ve seen their families or others contend with and share how much money they think it would cost address those emergencies. (Remind students of confidentially and to respect personal information – no names, identifying characteristics). 
  7. Closure (REFLECTION ENTRY) 
    1. How will your expenses, savings, investments, and income differ from now to when you are a 22-year-old? You may be a recent college graduate or you may have started your career right away.
    2. Will you be spending money on the same things? Explain. 
    3. Do you think you’ll be sticking to a budget? Why or why not? 
    4. Will you be investing and saving money? Explain.  

Making your own budget: reflection

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The Find Your Grind Curriculum helps students prepare for life outside of the classroom, with meaningful lessons on topics like finding your identity, responsible social media use, digital citizenship, fincial literacy, and the job application process.

Focuses on social emotional learning and student agency

Allows for exploration of student interests

Challenges students through inquiry and reflection

Creates research opportunities

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