Assignment 2: Creating a Budget

In this assignment you will create a spreadsheet and a chart to help a hypothetical couple work out their budget. You will submit an MS Excel spreadsheet following the directions below to the W4: Assignment 2 DropBox by Tuesday, November 6, 2012. You will name this file W4_A2_Lastname_Firstname.xls.

Information to help you with this project is available in the online lectures, your textbook, the tutorials in the Webliography, and Lynda.com, as well as in MS Excel Help. If you work ahead, you can post questions about this assignment in the Problems and Solutions area for Week 4 and still submit your assignment on time.

Tom and Sally were trying to get a handle on their budget. They heard that MS Excel could help them with that. Tom is going to school and has cut back on his hours. Sally has finished her associate’s degree and is working full time. They want to look at the last three months of their income and expenses to see where they can make changes.

Part I – The Spreadsheet

First, In an Excel Spreadsheet, create a budget to show Tom and Sally’s income, expenses, and money leftover each month (Net). Create formulas in your spreadsheet for your calculations using the following data:

Tom brought home $1,000 a month for January, February, and March.
Sally brought home $1,900, $2,000 and $1,975 respectively for those three months.
They paid $1,000 rent each month.
They paid $88 for insurance each month.
They paid $60 for cell phones and $60 for Internet/TV each month.
They spent $600, $750 (due to a big birthday bash), and $500 on food respectively.
Their car payment and gas came to $225, $250, and $300 respectively.
Entertainment and gifts were $75, $100, and $45 respectively.
They paid a little extra on their credit card $150, $125, and $100 respectively.
They allocated $200 each month for personal grooming and health care.
They put $100 each month into savings.
Miscellaneous Expenses came to $200, $100, and $400 respectively.

A sample budget layout is included below as an example of one way to lay out a budget.


Part II – The Chart

Once you have worked out the budget spreadsheet, use the tabs at the bottom of the page to open another sheet. Here you will create a chart similar to the example below.


On the new sheet:

Create a column chart to visually represent their monthly expenses.
Add a descriptive title.
Save this file as W4_A2_Lastname_Firstname.xls.
Now, go back to the spreadsheet that has your budget calculations. See what happens if Sally would have gotten some overtime in March and earned $200 more. Let’s say that they didn’t use as much heat in March and their utilities were $75 less (you could use a formula to figure out $75 less but you don’t have to). Do not save these changes but write down the totals to share in the message box.
Now, submit your MS Excel file with your budget spreadsheet and chart to the W4: Assignment 2 Dropbox. When you do this, a message box will be made available. Use this to write about your experience with creating this assignment—your trials and tribulations as well as the benefits that learning to do this will provide. Include the new March Net figures you took note of when you changed the values in the spreadsheet for Sally’s overtime and the reduced heating expenses.