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Business and Personal Finance:
Chapter 7: The Finances of Housing
Project: The Cost of Living in an Apartment

As of February, 2018, enter $2,440.78 for your Monthly Wages. Please note that this is slightly HIGHER than the average salary for 20-24 Year Olds in the United States. This number also doesn't take into account the fact that statistically, women are paid less than men for the same job doing the same work (this is caused by Gender Discrimination). Plug in some headphones, and click on this link for more information on this topic:

Here’s how much the average American earns at every age


Budget versus Actual

The BUDGET column contains the amount you plan to spend on each line item. This is where you will fill in your projected expenses.

Do NOT fill in the ACTUAL column at this time. The ACTUAL column is where you will fill in the amount you actually spent after living in your apartment. Make a mental note of the fact that you can use this very spreadsheet later in life once you have an actual apartment. All you would need to do is to update the numbers. Most of the line items themselves will not change.


Your goal is to research what it would cost to rent a particular apartment in a particular city. The apartment should NOT included utilities. You will also create a word processing document as well as a spreadsheet to record all of the information and data you collect in your research. The word processing document will include links to the websites that you used to gather this information and data.

For the purposes of this project, you will assume a yearly salary of $25,000,and this salary does not include health insurance. You are required to buy health insurance that conforms with Affordable Care Act requirements. Health insurance and renter's insurance must be accounted for in your budget. If you are living in a city that does not have a good public transportation system, you must include a car and car insurance in your budget.

  • Navigate to your Google Drive<Classroom<ABPF folder. Create a Google document and title it Apartment Research
    • Use this document to record information that pertains to your apartment.
      • Notes
      • Decisions you've made (city, roommates or living alone, type of apartment, etc.)
      • Websites that contain current, factual information to back up your numbers.
    • As you find web resources, record them in this document. Here's a tutorial to teach you how.
  • Open this spreadsheet. Select File<Make a Copy... , and title it Apartment Budget Spreadsheet Last Name, First Name.
    • Save it in your Google Drive<Classroom<ABPF folder
    • You will record your income and expenses in this spreadsheet.
    • As of February, 2018, enter $2,440.78 for your Monthly Wages.
  • Do some research, and choose a city to live in that has public transportation. Try visiting Numbeo for information and ideas. Limit this your search to the United States.
  • Enter the following in your Apartment Research Document:
    • What are the expenses of renting an apartment?
      • As you discover web resources, record them in your Apartment Research document.
  • As you determine what the expenses are, first record them in your Apartment Budget Spreadsheet without numbers (see example spreadsheet for this). Then, enter the amounts you discover in your research- monthly rent, cost of apartment insurance, and so forth.
  • When you are done, submit your spreadsheet in Google Classroom.
  • Here are a few resources to get you started:
renting discussion graphic organizer