Mix-and-Match Budget Project for High School Consumer Math

I have been working on a budget project where high school students choose a career, apartment, car and habit and see if they can stay within budget.

Over the past few weeks, I have been working on a budget project where students mix and match a career, apartment, car and habit to see if their spending falls within given budget guidelines. Will students stay within budget with their choices?

Students mix and match cards for their chosen career, car, home and habit. There are 4 home cards, 6 habit cards, 6 career cards and 4 car cards to choose from in the project.

Students pick a career (6 choices), a car (4 choices), a home (4 choices) and a habit (6 choices), and calculate their net monthly income using the 70% approximation. 

Why use 70% to estimate net income? This is an approximation of net income from gross income when all deductions are not known. It's a helpful estimation when deciding to accept a job offer, if car payments will fall within transportation budget, or if an apartment is affordable. It's also a nice workaround to estimate net monthly income for those 2 vs. 3 paycheck months when paid biweekly, or those 4 vs 5 paycheck months when paid weekly.

Students work through their 7-page project packet calculating spending and analyzing budgets.

After choosing their 4 cards, students walk through their 7-page answer packets calculating costs and analyzing budgets. Will they be in budget in each category or over?

There are 576 possible career/home/car/habit combinations! I included 2 sample answer keys-- one for a budget-friendly lifestyle and one for the most expensive lifestyle. Which will your students choose?

I made this project for high school students who are taking a consumer math class. A few teachers have mentioned having looked it over and that they felt it would also work for middle school students. The math is all based on percentages, so if your students have already learned how to calculate percentages, the project should work for them, even if they are not yet in high school.

Budget Project
Budget Project

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