Skill(s) Being Assessed: Productivity
- Criteria for Success: In this assignment, you will:
- Create a budget for a financial plan using Excel to ensure that the financial information is organized, accurate, and complete.
- Identify a personal savings goal and a time frame for reaching that goal.
- Explain your choice of housing option in the context of how it will help you achieve your selected financial goal.
- Align expenditures to reflect your selected financial goal.
- Reflect on how creating a step-by-step and organized approach to the assignment helped you to adjust your financial priorities and financial plan.
What to submit/deliverables: Two completed templates: Assignment 2 Financial Plan Explanation Word Template and Assignment 2 Financial Plan Budget Excel Template.
What is the value of doing this assignment? We all have financial goals—buying or renting a home, purchasing a car, paying off a loan, or saving up for a vacation. And it can be challenging to figure out exactly how to save toward these goals, given the numerous expenses of daily living. A financial plan helps you identify how you can reach your short-term and long-term goals, and leverage planning and organization strategies to make meaningful, incremental progress toward realizing these goals. This assignment gives you the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned about personal financial planning, productivity strategies, and the use of Excel to develop a personal financial plan aligned to your financial goals.
Your goal for this assignment is to: Build your productivity skill by creating a plan for reaching a specific financial goal within an identified time frame. You will use productivity strategies to break financial planning into manageable, organized steps, and you will use Excel to develop a realistic plan that is aligned to your financial goal and considers economic drivers, requirements, and resources.
Steps to complete: In Week 7, submit your assignment in BlackBoard by following these steps:
STEP 1:Review the following scenario for this assignment. Additionally, review the Assignment 2 Financial Plan Explanation Word Template and Assignment 2 Financial Plan Budget Excel Template.
Context: : Imagine that you are in a position where you need to move – this could be because of a change in job or dissatisfaction with your current living arrangement, or something else entirely. Besides needing to find different housing, you also want to begin saving for a specific financial goal.
Scenario: Imagine that you are in a position where you need to move—this could be because of a change in job, dissatisfaction with your current living arrangement, or something else entirely. Besides needing to find different housing, you also want to begin saving for a specific financial goal.
You will use the Assignment 2 Financial Plan Budget Excel Template to create your financial plan and budget table. You will use the Assignment 2 Financial Plan Explanation Word Template to answer the questions related to your financial goals and plan.
STEP 2: Think through the productivity strategies you have learned in your coursework and make a plan for how you will break down creating your financial plan into smaller steps to help you stay organized and be productive.
STEP 3: Identify an annual income as a starting point for your financial plan and insert the value in the budget table at the top of the Excel template as needed. Use an annual income value that you feel comfortable using for this assignment. You may use one of the following:
- The sample annual income of $50,000 provided in the template
- Your current annual income
- The average/median income of a career field that you would like to be working in at some point in the future. Check out O*Net or CareerOneStop for more information on income for career fields you are interested in.
STEP 4: Identify a financial goal you would like to save towards – this can be a short-term (1-2 years) or long-term (3+ years) goal and determine how quickly you want to save for it (Question 2 in Template).
Select one of the following goals:
- Create an emergency fund of $1000
- Save up for a vacation that will cost $2000
- Save up to buy a $15,000 vehicle
- Save for a down payment of $40,000 to buy a house
- Save $50,000 for education (personal, child, family, etc.)
STEP 5: For the goal selected, set a timeframe for reaching that goal (1 to 10 years is the recommended range) (Question 3 in Template). Explain why that time frame is realistic to achieve your goal.
- Remember a good start to figuring out how much to save for your plan would be to divide your goal by the number of years you plan to be saving for it.
- Put this number into the “Savings” cell of the budget table in the Assignment 2 Financial Plan Budget Excel Template.
STEP 6: Select a new housing option and fill in the cost in the Budget table. Choose one of the following (Question 4 in Template):
- Rent a house for $15,000 per year
- Rent an apartment for $12,000 per year
- Rent a room only for $9,000 per year
STEP 7: Fill in the other dollar expenditures in the budget table of the Assignment 2 Financial Plan Budget Excel Template, according to your preferences. Use the entire $50,000 (or whatever value you used for your annual income).
STEP 8: Use formulas to calculate the sum for your “Total” cell of the “Dollars” column and to fill in the “Percent” column of the budget table.
STEP 9: In the Assignment 2 Financial Plan Explanation Word Template, identify the savings goal and the time frame you determined for reaching your goal. Why is the time frame you identified realistic?
STEP 10: Explain why you chose the housing option you did and how it will help you achieve your selected financial goal.
STEP 11: Explain your choices for non-rent expenditures and how they will help achieve your savings goal within the time frame. In other words, how do your expenditures align with the financial goal you selected?
STEP 12: Reflect on the productivity strategies you used to break down your financial plan into smaller steps to help you stay organized and productive. How closely did you follow the plan you thought through in Step 2 on these instructions? How did a step-by-step and organized approach help you to adjust your financial priorities and financial plan?
STEP 13: After completing all questions in the Assignment 2 Financial Plan Explanation Word Template and the budget table in the Assignment 2 Financial Plan Budget Excel Template, save your responses. You should have two files, which you will title as indicated below:
- Word file: Your Name, ECO110_Assignment 2 Financial Plan Explanation.
- Excel file: Your Name, ECO110_Assignment 2 Financial Plan Budget.
Grading for this assignment will be based on the following rubric: