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Keep in Mind

  • As you research various topics, keep track of your sources for information so that you can find them easily when you need to go back and access them again. You will also need them to put together your paper at the end of the project.
  • You should create a computer document or (use a notebook) where you keep notes and paste all web links you used. You should go ahead and put your sources in Chicago Style and keep a running list so you have it ready for your Final Paper.
  • As you progress through the units, you may need to or want to go back to previously entered items and make adjustments. Be sure you are keeping your total budgeted for spending below the amount of your monthly income.
  • Any line that is titled "Other" in the spreadsheet should be able to be edited to give it a meaningful name.

This project is designed for high school or college students to be completed by spending about an average of one hour per Unit over the course of a semester. Most of it should be able to be completed in the time set aside in Boundary Stone’s  Basic Economics Course if you are enrolled in it. However some weeks will require more time than others for the research.

There are three versions of the spreadsheet:

  • Excel (this version can also be used in Google Sheets, their free software),
  • Numbers (Mac software version),
  • and a PDF version if you want to use pencil and paper instead.

The spreadsheets are set up to insert two income levels—one annual salary and one hourly rate—in order to demonstrate the difference that income level can make in lifestyle choices. The suggested amounts are $25,000 for the salary and minimum wage for the hourly rate, but different amounts can be used if desired.

In each Unit one category of income or expenses will be examined and decisions made for how much income to budget for that area. The student is encouraged to develop a computer document or a notebook with thorough notes on all their research, documenting the sources of information used because they may want to go back to some information once the spreadsheet is more complete. A final two page paper is suggested to discuss what was learned.