Trent Osnes
Material Type:
Assessment, Case Study, Homework/Assignment
High School
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  • wa-fels
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

    Education Standards

    Personal Finance - Goals and Budgeting


    Through this assessment, students will learn how to establish realistic financial goals and create their own personal budget to support those goals. 

    Standards, Objectives, Materials

    CTE Standards: BMM.HS.8.8.b - Set financial goals including the development of a personal budget.

    Personal Finance: Grades 9-12


      1. The learner will be able to establish realistic financial goals.

      2. The learner will be able to create a personal budget.



      Take out a sheet of paper and write down your answers to the following questions:

      1. What are the main items you currently spend your money on?

      Here is an example of the average American household spends money on.

      American Household Spending

      Image source: 728px-Household_spending_United_States.png (728×600) (

      2. What are your financial goals?

      3. What items are essential and what items could you live without?

      Materials Needed:

      • Notebooks
      • Pens/Pencils
      • Computers or Tablets
      • Internet Access
      • Budget Template
      • Projector


      Learning Activity 1

      Students can find information on the most recent year's average salary by clicking on the following link: Average Wage Index (AWI) (

      On the same sheet of paper, write down your answers to the following:

      1. Do you think the most recent year's salary is low or high?

      2. Would you be satisfied with this salary upon graduating college?

      3. Given this salary, would it change your financial goals established in Section 1?

      4. Calculate what your monthly salary would be with the most recent year's average annual salary found in the link above. 


      Budgeting Case Study

      By taking on the role of a peer, you will learn the basics of budgeting which includes setting goals, prioritizing, tracking spending, and discovering the tradeoffs that are needed to ultimately achieve your financial goals. 

      Please click on the following link to complete the case study:


      Budgeting CS: How Do I Budget? - Google Docs

      Case study source:


      Except as expressly otherwise noted, all CFCI Content (including CFCI Curriculum Material) is made available to Users in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution – Non-Commerical 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC)


      Guidance for completing the case study:

      1. Read the directions.

      2. Answer questions 1 - 3. 

      3. Complete the chart (4.) using the information provided above.

      4. Answer questions 5 - 7.

      5. Ask questions on anything you do not understand.


      Did this exercise help you gain a better understanding on the importance of setting financial goals, prioritizing spending, budgeting, and actions you can take to achieve your financial goals?




      1. Analyze your financial goals and decide whether you need to make any changes to them based on what you have learned. 

      2. Using the chart from the case study as a reference, create your own personal budget that will support your financial goals with the table below. Your budget will be based on the monthly income calculated from the average annual salary in Learning Activity 1 (Item 4.). 

      3. Use the items listed in Section 1 (Question 1) that you currently spend your money on as categories.

      4. Required categories to add to your budget are Rent, Utilities, and Car Payment. These items have already been included. The rest of the items are based on your individual spending habits. 

      5. Once you have totaled your expenses, subtract total monthly expenses from total monthly income to see how your current spending aligns with your future financial goals.

      CategoryWant/NeedMonthly Cost% of Total Costs
      Car Payment   
      Total Costs: