Real World WebQuest

Welcome to the Real World WebQuest

Introduction                    Instructions                    Evaluation                    Contact


Find a Job and Make Some Money

Using the winning job from your bracketology project (OK, that was two 1-2 years ago where you looked at 4 potential careers and chose the best fit for you), you will determine what your monthly salary is. This will be your gross income. Use a tax rate of 25% to find your net income. Look in the Oregon CIS website for help here (username: ddouglas, password: ddhs)

If you did not do a Bracketolgy assignment or can't remember, look for a career of interest to you on Oregon CIS

Enrichment Activity Option - Instead of just assuming the job you want is out there waiting for you, find a job using the classified ads of the region in which you would like to live such as Oregonlive jobs (local) or (national). Organizations may not be hiring for your perfect job, but hey, that's life.  Find a job that you are qualified for. 

A Place to Live

Once you have your job, now you must find a place to live and it won't be in a van down by the river so shop around. Again you might want to try the classified ads in the regions' newspaper or try a sites such as or


You will now begin to create your budget. Your budget will be made using Microsoft Excel or a Google Docs Spreadsheet. Be sure to use formulas when appropriate rather than using a calculator to determine totals and percentages. Follow the same format to make a budget as we have been doing in class. You can use this sample budget to help create your own. If using Google Docs, put in a hyperlink in your budget that goes to your evidence paper.

Need to refresh your spreadsheet skills? Try going to MS Excel Tutorials.

Items to include in budget

As you begin to make your budget you need to get an idea of what expenses you'll have. Try looking at The Simple Dollar for some advice on what items you will have on your budget.

College Loans

If your job requires a college degree, you will have student loans. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average debt for students at a four-year college is $24,700. If you go to college you will need to repay your loan.

College loans can be payed off over 15 years at 6% interest. Use this financial calculator to determine your monthly payments of a loan. Remember, if it asks you how many payments, you will have 12 per year. So if you are paying off a loan over 15 years, you will have 180 monthly payments.

If you want to be a doctor, you will have a lot more debt. Go to this American Medical Association link to find out how much debt you will be repaying. If you want to be a dentist (scroll down to the chart and pick the most recent number) or lawyer click on the link to find out how much you will be borrowing.  If you plan on earning a masters degree, click on the link and use the dollar amount in where the arrow is (from 

Auto Payment

After you graduate and get that job you want, you need a reliable automobile. Again, use the local classified ads or try to find that car. DON'T SPEND ALL CLASS LOOKING AT CARS. Again, use this financial calculator to determine your monthly payments of a loan. Use an Interest rate of 8% for buying a car. Used cars are typically paid off in 48 or 36 months. Hint - this would be a fixed expense.


Mass Transit

bus BW icon

If you don't want to buy an automobile, feel free to get a bus pass.  But remember, you don't qualify for the student discount anymore. Also, find the mass transit for the city where you want to live.

TriMet (Portland,OR), LTD (Eugene, OR), MTA (New York, New York)


You will need to determine how much you will spend on gas. Using the real-world fuel-economy averages as recorded by Consumer Guide® here's what each type of auto will get for miles per gallon:

SUV / Mini Van / Truck: 15 mpg
Luxury Sedan: 15 mpg
Midsize Car: 22 mpg
Compact Car: 25 mpg
Hybrid Car: 40 mpg

Assuming that the average drivers puts on 12,000 miles per year on their automobile, take 12,000 divided mpg to determine how many gallons of gasoline you will use in a year. Next, find what gas costs by going to Multiply the price of gas by the number of gallons you will go through in a year. This will give you your total yearly gas cost. Finally divide it by 12 to get your monthly cost. Is this a fixed or variable expense?

For example if my car gets 30 mpg: 12,000 / 30 = 400 gallons of gas
400 x $3.75 per gallon = $1,500 per year. $1,500 / 12 = $125 per month.


Auto Insurance

How much will your auto insurance cost you? If you already pay your own insurance use that figure but if you're on your parents policy, you'll have a different rate so look at the average costs of insurance by state. Remember, premium rates are stated for 6-month periods. Click here to look at insurance rates by state.CLick on the link titled "Cost of Auto Insurance" and scroll down to state averages. These averages are for a year so divide by 12 to get your monthly cost.

Enrichment Activity Option - Instead of using the state averages for auto insurance premiums, call an insurance company or get online a get a quote for yourself.


You'll probably want, electricity, and if you're not in an apartment you'll need to pay for garbage service, water, and probably sewer service. To get an idea of what these items cost, ask your parents or someone who is out on their own already OR look at the average monthly rates for people who use Portland General Electric. Look at the "Avg Bill Per Month" and use the average for all months (a special thank you to Jon Penner for helping find this electric rate).

Enrichment Activity Option - Instead of using the state averages for utilities, use a electric/gas bill from home.  Make a copy/take a picture of it (don't include account number) for proof.


If you want a phone, it will probably be a cell phone. Land lines are for your grandparents. Try some of these carriers: Sprint, Verizon, Cricket, and AT&T


Go ahead and use $250 for you food bill for the month. You may think this to be a high number but consider if you spend $1 on breakfast, $3 on lunch, and $5 on dinner every day - that would come to $270 per month.

Enrichment Activity Option - Make a monthly menu for yourself and then create a grocery list.  Go to a store an price out the items.

Savings and Investing

You're probably going to want to retire one day or want to spend some time traveling. You also do not want to live paycheck to paycheck so you want to put some money away for a rainy day. Money for investing is for long term but money put aside in savings is for short term needs and goals. You're going to want a savings account that has at least three months worth of wages in it and you're also going to need to invest money for your future.

Cable/Satellite and Internet

Since many of you cannot live without these two items. Go to Comcast to find what it will cost you. Or use Direct TV or Dish Satellite. 

Consider Charitable Giving 

People have many different reasons for their decision to give their time and/or money and other resources for charitable purposes.  There is a feeling of satisfaction of helping others, a desire to give back to the community that has provided support to you, a responsibility to help others, help make your world a better place to live and for all of this, you get a tax break.

Local Organizations that we utilize in the David Douglas Community:

Celtic Heart, Pennies for Patients, Senior All-Night Party, Sno-Cap Canned Food Drive, Sparrow Club, Abby's Closet.

If you choose to give money to charities, take 1/3 of that amount and put it back in your net income.  For example, if you give $100 per month to your church, put $33 back in your net income.

Other Items

You'll most likely want to spend some of your income on entertainment and dining out from time to time. You'll also want to have a miscellaneous category in your budget for those unexpected expenses that come up from time to time.


This is where the majority of your grade come from

You will need to provide proof that you found the items in your budget.  Cut and paste the information from websites (car ads, apartment ads, phone plans, loan calculator) into a separate Word-type Document.  If you are using a Mac Computer hold down at the same time - Command, Control, Shift, and then 4.  Make a box around what you want to copy and it automatically saves it to the computers' clip board.  Go to your Word document and paste it (Edit/Paste).  If you are using a PC with Windows 7, use the Snipping Tool program.  If you are using a older Windows computer, just highlight and copy and hope for the best.

Every item in your budget needs to have evidence, except for food.  Your Evidence will be in the same order as your budget.

Here's an example of the Evidence you will be collecting.


You need to write a paragraph on why it is important to stick to a budget and how you can motivate yourself to have the discipline to stick to your budget.


What to Turn In

  1. Budget in a spreadsheet using formulas and a pie chart of expenses
  2. A Word document containing evidence or explanations of all expenses including wages, car or bus pass, apartment or house, electricity, student loan, gasoline, auto insurance, etc. Cut and paste if possible. This paper of evidence needs to be in the same order as your budget items.
  3. Finally, you need to write a paragraph stating why it is important to create and stick to a budget and how you can motivate yourself to have the discipline to stick to your budget and what might the consequences be if you don't.

Before you turn in the spreadsheet and evidence document, make sure you preview it to ensure your budget is balanced, you have a pie chart, and your paragraph is at the bottom of your evidence page. 

DDHS PACE Homepage




Bill Blevins,
Feb 23, 2012, 10:29 AM