Saving Up for Purchases

5.4 Saving Up for Purchases
Personal Finance Portfolio: Part 4
Note: This is one part of a Personal Finance Portfolio in the course that we will be working on throughout the semester. The completed portfolio will count 10% of your final grade. 
Activity Goal   
This Personal Finance Activity will help you see how long it might take on minimum wage to save up for a large purchase. Understanding how to save and live on a budget will help you plan for large purchases in your future.
Directions
Read the following paragraph about the hypothetical budget you could be living on if you were making minimum wage. Calculate the totals for your monthly budget (what would you fill in the third column below) and then answer the five questions that follow.
You are living on your own, sharing rent with a roommate, trying to save up for college, and working for minimum wage ($7.25) at a fast food restaurant. You work 40 hours per week and take a bus to and from work five days a week. Along with saving for tuition, you are also trying to save enough to have 4 months’ rent in your account, a new car so you don’t have to take the bus and a vacation to Cancún with some of your friends. The amounts for Rent and Utilities in the first two rows are your half of the total for rent and utilities; your roommate pays the other half of both expenses.
Monthly BudgetItemCostMonthly TotalRent$260Utilities (cable, Internet, water, and electricityCable & Internet: $30, water: $20, electricity: $40Groceries$50 per weekEntertainment$20 per weekPublic transportation$1.50 per bus rideClothing$50Cell phone$45

Questions

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Approximately how much is your gross salary per month? Because you would be in the lowest tax bracket, you would be taxed at approximately 15 percent. How much would you actually take home every two-week pay period? How much would you take home each month?

How much are your total monthly expenses? What other costs may you incur that are not included in your monthly budget? How much disposable income do you have each month?

How long would it take you to save 4 months’ rent?

   

You found an old, used car that you want to buy so you can stop taking the bus. It costs $2,000. How long would it take you to save up for the car?

Flights to Cancún are $380 round trip. The hotel where your friends are staying will cost $75 a night and you will be staying 3 nights. What would the total cost of your trip be? Be realistic in including additional expenses (e.g. food and entertainment.) How long would it take to save up for the vacation?

Given the above scenarios, which major expense would you save for first? Explain your answer, providing at least three reasons. 

Rubric
The rubric below will be used to grade your project.

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