Cash Conundrums: Financial Literacy

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).
Income
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
Category

Examples Budgeted
Amount

Housing Rent or mortgage payment $
Food Groceries, lunches, coffees, dinners out, etc. $
Transportation Gas, auto care, parking, tolls, etc. $
Basic utilities Phone, electricity, water, Internet, etc. $
Insurance Health, auto, home, and life insurance $
Child care Day care, babysitting, college tuition, etc. $
Travel Airfare, hotels $
Entertainment Sporting events, dinners out, movies, and memberships $
Personal care Haircuts, massages, etc. $
Savings General savings, saving for car, college, wedding, etc. $
Other $

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 Category Budgeted
Amount
(Step 3)

Amount
toward Need

Amount
toward Want

Housing $ $ $
Food $ $ $
Transportation $ $ $
Basic Utilities $ $ $
Insurance $ $ $
Child care $ $ $
Travel $ $ $
Entertainment $ $ $
Personal Care $ $ $
Savings $
Other $ $ $

Step 4: Calculation of Needs, Wants & Savings (12 points)
Sum your category totals below:

Transfer those subtotals for the categories in the following table.

Sub-Total
Needs $
Wants $
Savings $

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 4

Monthly
Salary
from Step 1c

Percent

Needs $ $ %
Wants $ $ %
Savings $ $ %

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)

References
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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