MATH125: Unit 4 Assignment Answer Form
Cash Conundrums: Financial Literacy
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).
(Base this one of
(1) your current
(2) your state’s
B. Gross monthly
(Annual salary divided by
$ C. Monthly take-
(This is the monthly
gross pay listed in Box B
minus FICA, taxes, Social
Security, and health
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
Remember, if you are not comfortable with sharing real numbers, you can do this as a hypothetical experience with
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. $
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
Housing $ $ $
Food $ $ $
Transportation $ $ $
Basic Utilities $ $ $
Insurance $ $ $
Child care $ $ $
Travel $ $ $
Entertainment $ $ $
Personal Care $ $ $
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.
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.
from Step 4
from Step 1c
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)
NerdWallet. (2019. December 18). 50/30/20 budget calculator. Retrieved from
World Population Review. (n.d.). Median household income by state 2020. Retrieved from