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.
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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.