Activity: Creating a "Real-World" Budget

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Are you concerned that your students don't have a real grasp of what their cost of living will be post-high school or college? This Next Gen Personal Finance salary-based budgeting project will put your concerns to rest. In this engaging project your students will...  

  • Choose a potential career path and research the salary associated with that career
  • Calculate their take-home pay
  • Be encouraged to "pay themselves first" through automatic saving
  • Research the various costs in an independent adult's budget
  • Reflect on the process of budgeting (no deficits allowed!)

Enjoy this Next Gen Personal Finance lesson?

NGPF offers a full semester course curriculum, individual lessons, and hundreds of projects, activities, case studies, and interactives for you to use in your personal finance class -- all for free. View all of our resources, as well as our professional development opportunities, online at For more activities like this one go to

Lesson Plan Resources

Project Based Learning
Lesson tags: 
Good for Parents
Creative Commons License: 
Attribution Non-commercial ShareAlike CC (BY-NC-SA)
This resource is a part of the following collections: 
16 Lessons and Resources, 2 Collections


July 2020
Thank you so much! This is exactly what I needed and I found your other great classes that I'll definitely use in the future.
July 2020
Thanks Kara! We're so happy to hear you found this resource useful! We also recommend going to and using the version of this activity that is there - it'll always be the MOST up-to-date version! :) You can check the date in the footer to see when it was last updated! You can find all of the budgeting activities here: