Skill(s) Being Assessed: Problem Solving
Criteria for Success: In this assignment, you will:
- Create three monthly budgets using Excel for a financial analysis.
- Summarize the change in expenditures between budgets.
- Show the findings of your personal financial analysis using appropriate graphs/charts in Excel.
- Explain how the chosen graphs/charts help someone to better understand the presented financial data better than other potential graphs/charts.
- Discuss the results of financial analysis including overall progress towards saving goals, potential changes in budget that can be made in the future, possible economic/life impacts that may affect their budget in the coming year.
- Reflect on what your financial analysis might reasonably look like in a year taking into account income growth and inflation of consumer prices.
What to submit/deliverables: A completed Assignment 3 XLS Template and a completed Assignment 3 Financial Analysis Explanation Word Template.
What is the value of doing this assignment? One way to check your progress towards your financial goals is to conduct a personal financial analysis. This will help you see how well you have stayed on track with your finances over a period of time. Using technology can help you stay organized throughout your analysis, as well as help visualize financial data. Displaying the data visually will allow you to observe general trends in your personal finances and to communicate about them effectively.
For this assignment you will be using Excel as your technology tool to analyze personal financial data and display that data visually. There are many other technologies available for personal or professional use that can be used for this type of analysis. The approach to learning and working with Excel software in this course is one you can apply to other technology tools in your life and career.
Your goal for this assignment is to: Build your confidence and practice in the technology skill by conducting a personal financial analysis using a technology tool. You will use Excel to organize three monthly budgets, visualize this financial data using charts and graphs/charts, and discuss the results of your financial analysis, including progress towards your selected financial goal from Assignment 2.
Steps to complete: In Week 10, submit your assignment in BlackBoard by following these steps:
STEP 1:Read the following scenario and review the Assignment 3 XLS Template.
Scenario: Three months have passed since you created your initial Financial Plan (from Assignment 2). A friend who is studying to become a financial advisor recommends that you check in on your progress towards your saving goal. She volunteers to help you conduct a financial analysis of your personal budget over three months. You meet with your friend each month to go over your analysis. In her studies she is learning that people understand budget concepts better when they are represented as visuals, so she asks you to create some.
In this assignment, you will make three monthly budgets. Your income increases each month, as shown in the tables in theAssignment 3 XLS Template. Additionally, in months 2 and 3, some cells have been filled in with a formula to represent an unexpected expense in that expenditure category for the month. You will need to reallocate your budget around this.
STEP 2: Use the Assignment 3 XLS Template and take the income and expenditures from Assignment 2 to use as your starting point for your Month 1 Budget.
Remember, that since this is a monthly budget, you will need to divide all of the values from your Assignment 2 annual plan by 12. After you have done this, you will notice that embedded formulas show that your income changes for months 2 and 3, because you received additional unexpected income from other sources.
You will also notice an increase in your “Healthcare” expenditure in Month 2 as the result of an unexpected medical emergency, as well as an increase in your “Miscellaneous” expenditures in Month 3 because of an unplanned for repair expense.
STEP 3: Fill in the cells of each monthly budget table to show how you would choose to allocate your income each month.
STEP 4: Use formulas to fill in the percentage columns for each monthly budget.
STEP 5: Create three appropriate graphs/charts (one for each month) in Excel to show the findings of your personal financial analysis. Each should show how you have allocated your income among the various categories.
STEP 6: Create a graph that shows your progress towards your savings goal across all three monthly budgets.
STEP 7: In the Word template, explain the reason why you chose the graphs/charts you did. How do the graphs/charts you created help someone understand the financial data?
STEP 8: Also in the Word template, discuss the results of your financial analysis including overall progress towards saving goals, potential changes in your budget that can be made in the future, and possible economic or life impacts that may affect your budget in the coming year.
STEP 9: Finally, in the Word template reflect on what your financial analysis might reasonably look like in a year taking into account income growth and inflation of consumer prices.
STEP 10: After completing all questions in the Assignment 3 XLS Template, save your responses as a Excel file titled: Your Name, ECO110_Assignment 3 Personal Financial Analysis and upload to BlackBoard in Week 10. Do the same thing with the Word template. Make sure to also review the scoring rubric before submitting.