Grading for this project is based on 80 total points and will be as follows:
  1. Spelling and grammar (10 points)
  2. Typed, double-spaced or hand-written, skipping lines (5 points)
  3. Menu for all meals for a week (10 points)
  4. Shopping list with prices, proof of prices, flyers, coupons, etc. (20 points)
  5. Monthly budget (15 points)
    1. Budget Calculator
    2. Budget Template
  6. Put yourself in the shoes of the impoverished people in our country and talk about your feelings and frustrations. (20 points) Each team should complete a journal reflecting the following points. Post it to the Moodle Forum when you're complete.
    1. What was this experience like for you?
    2. What was the most difficult decision you had to make regarding your income level?
    3. What would you like to have been able to have that you couldn’t afford? Was this difficult to do with the amount of money you made?
    4. What if you had another kid?
    5. What if you lost your job?
    6. What if your total income was lower than the given amount (remember, that was the MOST you could make and be considered poor)?
    7. How would you pay for an emergency (ex. transmission goes out in the car, speeding ticket, etc.)?
    8. Do you think it would be difficult to buy holiday presents or birthday gifts for you family?
    9. Did you factor in money to buy stamps to send your payments in?
    10. Finally, were you jealous of groups that had more money than you or empathetic towards groups that had less money than you? Would you have given money to other teams if you were allowed?

20th Century American Studies
Distribution of Wealth Project
Many Americans are unaware of the difficulty that exists for people who have to live at, or below, the poverty line. This project will put you in the shoes of a family of four from York, PA. You must budget - whether it be to the penny or the $100s. Your group will consist of 2 people. Together, you will create a family of four that lives in poverty or in the lap of luxury. It all depends on the luck of the draw. All figures given in this project are real and based on 2010 U.S. Census Bureau statistics.
  1. Since this project is being developed as an analysis of distribution of wealth, this point only applies to those who are living at the poverty line income. Your family has an annual income (before taxes) of $22,113. This is the most a family of four can make in a year and still be considered impoverished. That translates into about $1,843 per month (before taxes). You will need to view the video below to determine how much income you make per month. This is important in determining your monthly income and expenses. This is the money you have to pay for all your monthly bills, excluding groceries. NO other income of any kind is allowed! Anyone who makes more than the allotted amount must follow the following tax bracket figures to calculate their net income.
tax_bracket_information.jpg
  1. Here is more information from the US Census Bureau on poverty demographics.
    1. Here is a quick explanation on tax brackets: How Income Tax Brackets Work
      1. Using this video is important to calculate your total earnings for the year.
  2. Using the above after taxes figures, create a list on monthly expenses (excluding groceries) for you and your family of four. For expenses that are not due on a monthly basis (car inspections, sewer, garbage collection, etc.), I recommend setting up a monthly allotment to be set aside to cover those expenses when they would be due. (If your total for these items is $360 per year, divide that total by 12 and then take out the $30 each month to cover those items. You can label that line item ‘fractional cost of yearly expenses’.)
  3. Here are the general guidelines for your budget:
        1. Rent - monthly payment
        2. Heat - monthly payment
        3. Electric - monthly payment
        4. Phone - monthly payment
        5. Garbage - quarterly payment
        6. Water/sewer - monthly payment
        7. Car insurance - monthly payment
        8. Entertainment (eat out, movies, etc.), lunch money for school - monthly payment
        9. Saving (at your discretion) - savings account, college fund for kids, retirement fund
        10. gas money for car - Weekly payment
        11. Grooming - hair cuts, personal hygiene items (not covered by food stamps), eye care items (if any of you have glasses/contacts) - monthly payment
        12. Insurances - Life and health insurance - monthly
        13. New clothes or shoes
        14. Unexpected expenses - car repair, medical, etc
  4. Create a formal budget showing an entire list of all possible expenses. Add them up. If your total expenses are higher than your total monthly income, then you need to cut some of your expenses. Your expenses may not be higher than your monthly income. You should also consider setting aside some money each month for a savings account which you can use in case of emergency (unexpected medical bill, medical expense not covered by health insurance, replacing tires, etc.)
    1. You and your family must live in a minimum of a 2 bedroom apartment. (Efficiencies are not large enough.) You can determine the location, size and cost, but you must live within Central York School District. Provide a copy of an ad showing the price and amenities included in the cost of the rent. Remember all the utility bills associated with renting an apartment (heat, electric, water, etc). Watch for apartments that include some of those utilities in the cost of the monthly rent. (Copies of utility bills are not necessary, but figures need to be realistic. Ask your parents what your utilities at home are and adjust those figures to match the size of your apartment.)
      1. Those making more than a combined $50,000 must live in a single family home or condominium. All of the above rules apply.
    2. You have one car for your family of four. It is a 2001 Ford Windstar that you bought used several years ago. The good news is that it is paid off. The bad news is that because of its age you often have to take it to the garage for minor repairs. You need to account for this in your budget. Don’t forget to figure in weekly gas expenses too. You fill up your tank once a week. And remember, it is illegal to not have car insurance in the state of PA.
      1. Those with more than the poverty line income may choose their vehicles. Any family making more than $50,000 must have atleast two cars for your household. Please include all necessary make and model information. If you so choose to lease and or purchase a new vehicle, please include all information regarding your cars.
    3. You and your family of four have all the necessary furniture and clothing. The items are older and you do not have an excessive amount, but you do not necessarily need to budget money for clothing or furniture. You also have a 25” color TV that is 10 years old. If you wish to have cable or satellite TV, you will need to budget for that expense each month. You have no electronic devices such as computers, video game systems, DVD players, etc. If you wish to purchase them, you will need to budget for them. I would suggest making a year-long plan for saving toward these types of items.
    4. Your credit is so poor you cannot buy a house, cell phones, pagers or even get a credit card.
    5. You are not related to any wealthy people.
    6. You may budget in money for lottery tickets, but you will not win.
    7. This rule applies to ALL groups - No illegal income producing activities are permitted.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS
Create a formal budget showing an entire list of all possible expenses. Add them up. If your total expenses are higher than your total monthly income, then you need to cut some of your expenses. Your expenses may not be higher than your monthly income. You should also consider setting aside some money each month for a savings account which you can use in case of emergency (unexpected medical bill, medical expense not covered by health insurance, replacing tires, etc.)

After your monthly budget is completed, you need to plan for food. Interested in Food Stamps? Check this out. More info from the government. Here is a food stamp calculator from the USDA: Here is a food stamp calculator from the USDA. Should you not fall below the poverty line income (mentioned above - $22,113) you are responsible for all of your food costs.
Everyone must:
  1. Create a menu for 3 meals a day for all four members of your family (no one gets to skip meals) for a one week period (that’s a 7-day week). You meals must be nutritious (2-3 dairy, 2-3 meat, 3-4 fruits and veggies, 4-6 breads each day per person). You may not have duplicate meals. Leftovers may be used, but they must be made into something new (ex. Chicken into chicken noodle soup).
  2. From your menu you need to create a weekly shopping list. Your shopping list must include the prices of the items. You must show proof of those prices by also turning in old store bills, sales flyers, web page print outs, etc. You may also clip coupons and adjust your total store bill accordingly. You may only shop at one grocery store each week. You may not go to bulk stores like Sam’s Club.
  3. You must share your plan with the class.