Why do businesses demand people for this work?

Life’s A Beach



  • To grapple with life’s economic realities.
  • To evaluate different choices.
  • To understand how economic events impact on individuals’ lives.


Objectives:        Students will be able to:

  • Produce household budgets.
  • Explain a rationale for their various economic choices.
  • Respond rationally to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Develop an investment portfolio.
  • Use a computer for everyday tasks


Introduction:     During this project you will be asked to live out an entire lifetime. You will be stopping to examine various stages of life filled with economic choices. Some of these choices are under your control while other circumstances are thrust upon you to deal with as best you can.


As you make your decisions and deal with the various situations please remember to be as realistic as possible in order to maximize the benefits derived from this simulation.


Instructions: This packet will give you directions to guide you as you work through each stage of life.  All of your work will be done on Word or Excel. Create a folder called “life’s a beach” in your own folder in economics and save all your files there.


The “Samples Packet” includes further instructions along with various samples to help guide you through this project. As always you should read these carefully and seek help from your teacher should you encounter any problems.



Step 1: Preparation For Career


  1. Occupational Profile


  1. You will need to choose an occupation. You must choose an occupation that is listed in an on-line source, such as gov.


  1. Research and write up (using a Word document) an occupational profile which will contain the following points:
    1. A summary of job responsibilities.
    2. A one to two page fictional diary detailing activities on the job during a typical day (hour by hour). You are trying to explain what a potential “day-in-the-life” would be of someone doing this job.
    3. Additional education / training (beyond high school) required for your job.
    4. Relevant salary information which includes:
  • Starting, mid-level, and upper-level annual salaries.
  • The number of years experience needed to obtain mid and upper level salaries.
    1. The projected outlook for your job according to a published source.
    2. A list of sources you used to get the information in your profile. Use proper format for bibliographies.


Note:  To get the best information, you should either “shadow” or interview someone in the profession.


  1. Questions For Reflection


Answer the following questions in complete sentences (See the grading criteria for requirements). Make sure that you number each question.


  1. Why do businesses demand people for this work?
  2. What are the qualities of this work that make it attractive to you?
  3. Is the current supply of qualified applicants in this occupation high or low?
  • What factors account for this supply level?
  1. What are the relevant opportunity associated with your work choice costs (in other words, what other occupations would you consider instead)?
  2. If this job requires college or other continuing education, what institution would you attend? Why?
  3. What possible regrets might you have based on your work choice? (If you think you will have no regrets, think again. Ask an adult about regrets) Explain.


Items due this period [Keep your packet in this order]


  1. Occupational profile
  2. Questions For Reflection


Step 2: Early Career and Family


  1. A) Monthly Budget


Create a monthly budget using the budget template. Refer to the “samples packet” for assistance when creating your budget. Items which do not apply should have a “0” entry.


Steps to complete:

  • Ages of this time period: Determine this range by starting with the age you start your career and ending 10 years
  • Current income for your occupation. Use an average income for the first 10 years of this occupation.
  • If married, include spouse’s income (it may equal but not exceed your own).
  • Additional income is for a “job on the side” if you plan on making a little extra money beyond your regular work.
  • Expense Categories: See “Budget Figures” table in Samples document. You may use additional categories if desired.
  • Remaining funds line should equal “0” (within a dollar). This shows you are accounting for all your money. If it doesn’t, alter your budget to correct this.
  • Explain, in one or two sentences per item, how you arrived at the various budget figures using the “Explanation” Word doc.


Points to consider when creating your budget:

  • Will you marry between these ages?
  • Will you have one or more children at this time?
  • Will you purchase a home?
  • What “fun” things will you do for entertainment or vacations?
  • Will you buy a vacation home or a boat?
  • Will you have pets?


Note: You must purchase Life Insurance during this stage.


  • Make sure you save your budget spreadsheet at this point.


Wild Card Changes:

  • Based on your wild card, change your monthly budget.
  • Write explanations only for the categories that changed.
  • Save your budget spreadsheet with a new name and use this changed one as you proceed.


  1. Investment Portfolio


Create an investment portfolio. Savings from your monthly budget will be invested in your portfolio. Follow these steps:


  1. Decide which investments you wish to put your money into. One must be a stock or a mutual fund. See grading criteria for requirements.

Sources of investment information:

  • Magazines in the library: Money, Forbes, Business Week, Kiplinger’s
  • Parents
  • Various Online services, such as Kiplinger Recommendations
  • Call investment advisor


  1. Decide what percentage of your savings will go into which investment.


  1. Refer to the “Table for Type of Investment” for type code.


  1. Explain your investment choices. Use the “Portfolio Explanation Template”.
  • Fund:  What is the name of the investment (e.g. Kodak stock)
  • Type: What sort of investment (stock, bond, stock mutual fund, etc.)
  • Reason:  Why did you choose this fund?  Explain how you found out about it and why it appeared attractive.
  • Risk: From the “Table for Type of Investment”
  • Purpose:  What are you going to use the money for?
  • % of savings invested:  Put the number from your investment portfolio.


  1. C) Questions For Reflection

Answer the following questions in complete sentences. Be sure to number your answers.


  1. What factors were considered in deciding about marriage and number of children?
  2. What supply and demand factors affected the cost of your housing?

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