Lesson 3: Budgeting for Your Simulated Life
Young Adult, Lesson 3
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Video: How to add student jobs Budgeting on a 100K Income Budgeting Template Instructional Slides

Lesson 3: Budgeting for Your Simulated Life

Learning Objective:

Students will be able to budget for their simulated life. 


Budget Exploration (15 min)

Slide: Turn and talk
Say: With the person sitting next to you, talk about how the term “budget” has shown up in your life, explore the definition of a budget, and identify some specific line items that might make up a budget. 

Have students share out.

Answer possibilities: I heard the word “budget” when I asked a parent/guardian for something new. A budget is a way to keep track of your spending. Some line items include rent/mortgage, electricity, wifi, phone, groceries, going out, paying off debt, etc. 

Slide: Video—Making $100,000 a year
Say: Let’s watch a budgeting video about making $100,000 a year. 

Slide: Share out
Ask: What surprised you about this video? What did you notice from the video or what do you agree or disagree with?

Have students share out.  

Slide: Budgeting your money
Say: Some people think it’s important to follow the 50/30/20 rule. 50% goes toward your needs, 30% toward your wants, and 20% toward your savings. This is the generally accepted rule of thumb. If you can save more, that’s great, but we have to live our lives, right? 

Based on this rule, take some time to fill out your budgets based on your current expenses and income. But notice that we’ve shifted the order of the rule around to make it 20/50/30, so that the savings part comes first (pay yourself first!).

Budgeting Template Activity (20-25 min) 

Share budgeting template link

Say: Go to File > Make a copy. Work within your copy and insert the amount of money you’re currently making or anticipate making in the near future. If you aren’t sure, use the nice round number of $100,000. At the top of the template, you can see how much of your salary should be going to your needs/wants/savings. Go through each section and put an estimate of what you already pay or think you will pay for these items. When in doubt, round up. It’s better to have extra than not enough. 

Work time.

Ask: What did you notice about your needs/wants/savings ratio? Anything particular that stands out, to be aware of, or that needed adjusting to keep within/around the 20/50/30 rule? 

Assigning Bills for Your Simulated Life (10 min) 

Slide: Setting up bills for your simulated life
Say: As you know, we’re using Stash101 as a simulation of your financial life to help prepare you to deal with money throughout your life. That being said, we’re now going to assign bills to each person so you can experience bills coming out of your Stash101 accounts. Let’s take a moment to chat about what bills (from your budgeting template) you’ll have to pay and find an average to apply to everyone. 

For example, the phone bill. (Demonstrate this by logging in to your Stash101 educator account and going to Economy > Bills.) Let’s create a new bill called “phone bill” and assign an average cost to it, which is about $70. Some of you may pay more and some of you may pay less, but for the sake of the simulation, let’s choose $70. We’re going to set it up so that amount comes out of your budget every week instead of every month—with the idea that each week of this course will simulate a full month—just to give you more practice. What other bills should we all have? 

Have students share out.

Say: Now I’m going to mass assign these bills to everyone. 

Go to the teacher homepage and click on the button titled “Assign Bills” that looks like this: 

Then choose a bill under the “Select Bill” dropdown and check “Select All” and “Apply” to assign that bill. Show your students that they’re each being assigned that bill, and remind them that it will be deducted from their account weekly for simulation purposes.

Bills to include: 

  • Rent/mortgage
  • Phone
  • Wifi
  • Groceries 
  • Transportation (gas) 
  • Insurance
  • Electricity