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Assignment Details

In this assignment, you will be creating a personal budget and analyzing expenses as needs and wants.  You’ll be using the 50/30/20 strategy to show the proportion between needs, wants and savings.  Watch this video for help with completing the assignment.

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  1. Click here to download your assignment. This document has the questions and places for you to provide your answers and calculations. 
  2. You will need to show your equations for each calculation.
  3. Make sure you submit your work in a modified MS Word document. Handwritten work will not be accepted.

MATH125: Unit 4 Assignment Answer Form

Cash Conundrums: Financial Literacy

Assignment Instructions

For this assignment, you will create a personal budget and compare it to the 50/30/20 budgeting strategy.

1. Answer ALL questions below regarding creating a budget.

2. Show ALL step-by-step calculations, and round all of your final answers correctly to the whole number. All monetary answers should be rounded to the nearest dollar.

3. For full credit, write all explanations in the spaces provided.

4. Enter your answers in the space provided in this document, and submit to the appropriate area. Scanned or handwritten work will not be accepted.

5. If you need assistance, please contact your course instructor.

Creating a Budget

You will create a personal budget based on your current salary, or based on your state’s median salary. You will create a personal budget based one of the following: (1) your current salary, OR (2) your state’s median salary. Review the median income information on this site.

Step 1 (6 points)

Determine your monthly net income (known as your monthly take-home pay). Your take-home pay is your gross pay (Box B) minus taxes, Social Security, and benefits, including health insurance if provided. A realistic amount would be 10-30% less than your gross monthly wages).

A. Annual salary(Base this one of the following:(1) your current salary,OR(2) your state’s median salary)B. Gross monthly salary/wages(Annual salary divided by 12):$C. Monthly take-home pay (This is the monthly gross pay listed in Box B minus FICA, taxes, Social Security, and health insurance):$

Step 2: The 50/30/20 Strategy and Monthly Expenses (10 points)

Review the information at this link on the 50/30/20 budgeting strategy.

Think about each of these categories. Calculate your monthly expenses for each category below, and complete the following table. It might help you to think about items on a weekly basis and then multiply by 4 to calculate a monthly budget amount. Remember, if you are not comfortable with sharing real numbers, you can do this as a hypothetical experience with realistic estimates.

Budgeted CategoryExamplesBudgeted Amount
HousingRent or mortgage payment$
FoodGroceries, lunches, coffees, dinners out, etc.$
TransportationGas, auto care, parking, tolls, etc.$
Basic utilitiesPhone, electricity, water, Internet, etc.$
InsuranceHealth, auto, home, and life insurance$
Child careDay care, babysitting, college tuition, etc.$
TravelAirfare, hotels$
EntertainmentSporting events, dinners out, movies, and memberships$
Personal careHaircuts, massages, etc.$
SavingsGeneral savings, saving for car, college, wedding, etc.$

Step 3: Categorizing Needs, Wants & Savings (15 points)

Based on the 50/30/20 strategy, expenses can be needs or wants . However, some categories may not easily fit in with needs or wants . For example, daycare may be a need , but babysitting for date night may be a want . For each category, break down the total budgeted (in Step 2 above) into needs and wants .

Budgeted CategoryBudgeted Amount (Step 3)Amount toward NeedAmount toward Want
Basic Utilities$$$
Child care$$$
Personal Care$$$

Step 4: Calculation of Needs, Wants & Savings (12 points)

Sum your category totals below:

Transfer those subtotals for the categories in the following table.


Step 5: Percentage of Wants, Needs & Savings (12 points)

Calculate the percentage of your budget assigned to needs, wants, and savings below.

Use the amount from each category in Step 4 and divide it by your monthly take-home pay (Box C in Step 1) salary. Then multiply that result by 100 to calculate the percent.

Note: Your percentages may not match a 50/30/20 budget.

Sub Totals from Step 4Monthly Salary from Step 1cPercent

Step 6: Reflection on the 50/30/20 Method (15 points)

Write a 100-word reflection comparing your percentages to the 50/30/20 method. How well do you feel your budget aligns with the 50/30/20 method? What might you need to change in your budget?

Step 6 Answer (100 words)


NerdWallet. (2019. December 18). 50/30/20 budget calculator. Retrieved from https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/nerdwallet-budget-calculator/

World Population Review. (n.d.). Median household income by state 2020. Retrieved from https://worldpopulationreview.com/states/median-household-income-by-state/

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