Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Analyzing Your Personal Finances SCENARIO: Three months have passed since you created your first financial plan (i.e., the Unit 2 Touchstone). In that time, your budget | WriteDen

Analyzing Your Personal Finances SCENARIO: Three months have passed since you created your first financial plan (i.e., the Unit 2 Touchstone). In that time, your budget

 

Touchstone: Analyzing Your Personal Finances

SCENARIO: Three months have passed since you created your first financial plan (i.e., the Unit 2 Touchstone). In that time, your budget has gone through some changes. The good news is that your income has increased because of your strong performance at work. However, health care and miscellaneous costs have gone up along with your earnings. You will need to reallocate your monthly budget based on these changes to see how you’re progressing toward your original savings goal.

While you appreciate numbers and figures, you also know that a strong financial analysis needs visual information. As part of your progress check, you’ve committed to creating a set of graphs that you can share with your financial advisor.

ASSIGNMENT: This assignment has two parts. In part 1, you will analyze personal finance data based on the scenario described above. You’ll use your problem solving and agility skills to balance three monthly budgets, and you’ll use your technology skill to graph the spending allocations in each of them. Finally, you’ll sharpen all three skills as you calculate and graph the progress you’re making toward your original savings goal.

In part 2, you will answer reflection questions about the decisions you made, identify how to create more savings opportunities, and make predictions about life and economic impacts that could affect the future of your plan.

For this assignment, you will:

  • Create three monthly budgets and perform a personal financial analysis using Microsoft Excel.
  • Summarize changes in expenditures between budgets.
  • Show the results of the analysis using appropriate graphs in Excel.
  • Explain how the graph types you have selected will help your financial advisor understand the data.
  • Discuss the results of the financial analysis including savings achievements, future budget modifications, and life impacts that could derail the budget in the coming year.
  • Reflect on what the analysis might reasonably look like in one year, accounting for economic factors such as inflation and the consumer price index.

Download the Excel template below, which further breaks down the steps involved in this assignment. You will return the completed template as your Touchstone submission.

Assignment Template

A. Assignment Guidelines

DIRECTIONS: Refer to the lists below throughout the assignment. Do not submit your Touchstone until it meets these guidelines.

1. Analyzing Your Personal Finances

❒ Have you populated the tables for Month 1, Month 2, and Month 3 with your budgeting information?❒ Have you verified that all amounts are displayed on a monthly (not annual) basis?❒ Have you verified that the sum of your expenditures (including savings) equals your employment income?❒ Have you populated the Savings Progress table?❒ Have you selected the most effective graph type for each of your data sets?❒ Have you left all predetermined formulas intact?

2. Reflection Questions

❒ Have you directly answered each question that was asked?❒ Have you provided sufficient evidence to support each of your answers?❒ Have you made clear and logical connections between your conclusions and the data used in the financial analysis?❒ Have you leveraged content from the course tutorials about economic factors?❒ Have you included sufficient detail in your answers?

B. Rubric

Advanced (100%)Proficient (85%)Acceptable (75%)Needs Improvement (50%)Non-Performance (0%)

Building Monthly Budgets (P1S1-P1S3)

Create balanced budgets for Month 1, Month 2, and Month 3 using Excel’s formula feature and supplied data.All formulas are correct, income equals total expenditures, percentages are complete, and supplied data has been integrated. All values are realistic, and all units are displayed.Most formulas are correct, income equals total expenditures, percentages are mostly complete, and supplied data has been integrated. Most values are realistic, and all units are displayed.Some formulas are correct, income equals total expenditures, percentages are nearly complete, and supplied data has been integrated. Over half of the values are realistic, but not all units are displayed.Formulas were not used, income equals total expenditures, percentages are incomplete, and supplied data is missing. Only some values are realistic, but all units are displayed.Formulas were not used, income does not equal total expenditures, percentages are left blank, and supplied data is missing. Few values are realistic, and units are not displayed.

Creating Visuals (P1S4, P1S6)

Graph expenditures for Month 1, Month 2, and Month 3, and graph the rate of savings over these three months.All graphs are representative of the data tables and the axes are correctly labeled. The most effective graph type was chosen in all instances and cumulative savings shows an upward trend.Three to four graphs are representative of the data tables and the axes are correctly labeled. The most effective graph type was chosen in three to four instances and cumulative savings shows an upward trend.Two to three graphs are representative of the data tables and the axes are correctly labeled. The most effective graph type was chosen in two to three instances and cumulative savings shows an upward trend.One to two graphs are representative of the data tables, but the axes are not labeled. The most effective graph type was chosen in one to two instances and cumulative savings shows an upward trend.The graphs are not representative of the data tables and the axes are not labeled. The most effective graph type was chosen in only one instance and cumulative savings is trending incorrectly.

Measuring Savings Progress (P1Q3, P1Q4)

Populate the Savings Progress table with savings per month, cumulative savings, and monthly shortages.All the values for monthly savings match their respective data tables and monthly shortages are fully consistent with the original savings goal. Embedded formulas are present and accurate.All the values for monthly savings match their respective data tables and monthly shortages are mostly consistent with the original savings goal. Embedded formulas are present and mostly accurate.Two to three of the values for monthly savings match their respective data tables and monthly shortages are mostly consistent with the original savings goal. Embedded formulas are present and somewhat accurate.One to two of the values for monthly savings match their respective data tables but monthly shortages are not consistent with the original savings goal. Embedded formulas are present but inaccurate.Zero to one of the values for monthly savings matches its respective data table but monthly shortages are not consistent with the original savings goal. Embedded formulas are not present.

Choosing Graph Types (P2Q1)

Give reasons for the graph types you selected for displaying expenditures and the savings rate. (150 words or less)Rationale for choosing each graph type is thorough, evidence-based, and tightly connected to the tutorial content from the course.Rationale for choosing each graph type is mostly coherent, somewhat evidence-based, and largely connected to the tutorial content from the course.Rationale for choosing each graph type is somewhat coherent and evidence-based, but only loosely connected to the tutorial content from the course.Rationale for choosing each graph type is somewhat coherent and evidence-based, but no connections have been made to the tutorial content from the course.Rationale for choosing each graph type is incoherent, evidence is nonexistent, and no connections have been made to the tutorial content from the course.

Analyzing Results (P2Q2)

Explain the results of your financial analysis in terms of progress, improvements, and anticipated derailments. (150 words or less)Description of savings progress is exceptional, improvement plans are logical and attainable, and derailments are closely tied to real-world economic factors.Description of savings progress is well-written, improvement plans are logical and attainable, and derailments are largely tied to real-world economic factors.Description of savings progress is acceptably written, improvement plans are logical and mostly attainable, and derailments are only loosely tied to real-world economic factors.Description of savings progress is acceptably written, improvement plans are logical but not attainable, and derailments are only loosely tied to real-world economic factors.Description of savings progress is poorly written, improvement plans are illogical, and derailments are not tied to real-world economic factors.

Anticipating Economic Projections (P2Q3)

Looking ahead one year, describe how economic factors might impact the financial analysis and how you might plan for them. (150 words or less)The economic factors chosen are based on reality and tightly connected to the tutorial content from the course. The one-year plan is described clearly, is attainable, and is entirely logical based on the economic factors described.The economic factors chosen are based on reality and largely connected to the tutorial content from the course. The one-year plan is described clearly, is attainable, and is mostly logical based on the economic factors described.The economic factors chosen are mostly based on reality and sufficiently connected to the tutorial content from the course. The one-year plan is described sufficiently, is attainable, and is mostly logical based on the economic factors described.The economic factors chosen are loosely based on reality and somewhat connected to the tutorial content from the course. The one-year plan is described sufficiently but is not attainable or logical, based on the economic factors described.The economic factors chosen are not based on reality and are not connected to the tutorial content from the course. The one-year plan is described poorly, is not attainable, and is illogical based on the economic factors described.

C. Requirements

The following requirements must be met for your submission to be graded:

  • Abide by the word count limits where applicable. No answer should exceed 150 words.
  • Use a readable 11-point font.
  • All writing and data entries must be appropriate for an academic context.
  • Writing must be original and customized for this assignment.
  • Plagiarism of any kind is strictly prohibited.
  • Submission must include your name and the date.
  • Include all the assignment components in a single file.
  • Acceptable file formats include .xls and .xlsx.

Sheet1

ECON1010 Taking Charge of Your Economic Future Name:
Unit 4 Touchstone Template Date:
MONTH 1 BUDGET MONTH 2 BUDGET MONTH 3 BUDGET SAVINGS PROGRESS
Amount Percent Amount Percent Amount Percent
Income 100% Income $0 100% Income $0 100% Monthly Savings Cumulative Savings $ to Reach Goal
Expenditure Expenditure Expenditure Month 1 $0
Housing Housing Housing Month 2 $0
Food Food Food Month 3 $0
Transportation Transportation Transportation
Education Education Education
Utilities Utilities Utilities
Taxes Taxes Taxes
Health Care Health Care $400 Health Care $400 Note:
Family Care Family Care Family Care To increase the height of a row, hover over the bottom border of that row in the far left margin until your cursor becomes and up-down arrow. Then click and drag the bottom border to the desired row height. If you make an error, you can use the shortcut Ctrl + Z to undo it.
Miscellaneous Miscellaneous Miscellaneous $100
Savings Savings Savings
Total Total Total
PART 1: ANALYZING YOUR PERSONAL FINANCES PART 2: REFLECTION QUESTIONS
SCENARIO: Your monthly budget is going through some changes over the next three months. The good news is that your income has increased because of your strong performance at work. However, health care and miscellaneous costs have also gone up. You will need to reallocate your monthly budget based on these changes. The changes are represented by embedded formulas in the MONTHLY BUDGET tables above, located inside the shaded cells. QUESTION 1: In step 4 and step 6, you created several graphs. Explain the reasons for the graph types that you selected. How will the graphs you created help readers understand the financial data? Your Answer (150 words or less):
STEP 1: Enter the previous values you obtained from the Unit 2 Touchstone into the MONTH 1 BUDGET. Important: Before you do, be sure to divide each dollar amount by 12. Remember, the Unit 2 Touchstone was an annual basis while this Touchstone is a monthly basis. If you no longer have the previous values, create new ones. Remember to start by entering your income and be sure the MONTH 1 BUDGET balances. QUESTION 2: Explain the results of your financial analysis in steps 1-6 in terms of the following: • Overall progress toward your savings goals • Changes you might make to the budget to improve progress in the coming months • Economic or life impacts that may affect your budget in the future Your Answer (150 words or less):
STEP 2: Now create your MONTH 2 BUDGET and your MONTH 3 BUDGET above. Do not change the predetermined costs for Health Care in the second month or Miscellaneous in the third month. Do not modify the income in either month. Remember that your monthly income must equal your monthly expenditures (including savings). Look ahead to step 3 to see how you can use formulas for proper balancing. QUESTION 3: Assume that your income continues to grow, but consumer prices also rise due to inflation. Determine how economic factors like these might affect your financial analysis one year from now: A. What economic trends might you need to account for when making a one-year projection? B. How might you plan for unexpected expenses when making a one-year projection? Your Answer (150 words or less): A. B.
STEP 3: Your MONTH 2 BUDGET and your MONTH 3 BUDGET may or may not be balanced. To check, do the following: • Enter a formula to calculate your total expenditures. Adjust your expenditures until the total equals your monthly income. • Next, enter formulas in the percent column to calculate each expenditure as a percentage of the total expenditure.
STEP 4: Using the tools in Excel, make a graph for each of the three budgets to show your spending allocation. You may use a pie chart, column chart, bar chart, or some other graph type. Review the tutorial in Unit 1 called Data Visualization if you need a refresher on graphing. If your embedded graphs block your view, move them off the work area, either downward or to the right.
STEP 5: Fill in the table for SAVINGS PROGRESS located at the top right of this spreadsheet: • Enter your monthly savings from steps 1-4. The cumulative savings column will calculate automatically. • Recall your total savings goal from the Unit 2 Touchstone. In the last column, record how much more money you need to save in order to reach your goal. • If you can't recall your savings goal, create a new one so you're able to complete the table.
STEP 6: Using the tools in Excel, make a graph that shows your incremental progress toward your savings goal based on the data in the SAVINGS PROGRESS table: • Select a graph type that best illustrates your progress. Move the graph off the work area if it obstructs your view. • Finally, using steps 1-6 as a reference, complete the REFLECTION QUESTIONS on the right side of this spreadsheet.
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