Guidelines for Student Budget Sheets

The following notes accompany each of the categories on the students' Budget Sheet Organizer. Keep these notes in mind as you determine students' expenses for Activity One. The total of the expenses can also help you determine the students' starting salary in this activity.

Student Loans This expense is only incurred by students who go to college. The monthly payment on a student loan is typically 6-8% of a person’s salary.
Car Payment The primary factor is whether a new or used car is purchased. The monthly payment on a car can be as low as $100 per month for a used car, or as high as $1500 per month for a new luxury car.
Car Insurance Depends on location.
Gas and Oil Anywhere from $60 to $200 per month, depending on the length of the commute to work as well as other driving.
Parking and Tolls Depends on location.
Repairs Students should be encouraged to put aside $50 per month for repairs on a used car; although a $50 repair won’t be necessary every month, occasional repairs may cost more. New cars are typically covered by a warranty, so repairs should be unnecessary.
Bus or Subway Fare Without a car, public transportation could range from $50 to $150 per month.
Health insurance Many employers provide health care, although there may still be a cost to the employee of up to $100 per month. For health care without employer assistance, the cost may be as much as $500 per month.
Housing/Rent Depends on location, and on whether the tenant owns or rents.
Utilities Electricity, gas, water, phone, and other expenses depend on area. Further, students should decide about cable, DSL, and other optional utilities.
Groceries Depends on location.
Clothing Costs will be higher if professional dress is required for occupation, although at least $50 will be needed per month. Students should consider how much they spend currently when making an estimate.
Entertainment This is an area in which students have great flexibility in determining the amount they’ll spend.
Household Items Includes furniture, towels, sheets, cleaning supplies, and so on.
Personal Items Things such as books, magazines, sports equipment, toothbrush, and other items.
Medical Expenses This is in addition to health insurance. Because this expense cannot be predicted, students should save $50 a month to protect themselves in case of an accident.
Savings Like entertainment, students have great latitude in determining how much to save each month. In addition, this depends on how much remains after all expenses are taken care of.
Other Students are free to add other items that are not listed. They should estimate the cost of these items.
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