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Using Your Money Wisely-A Credit Card Project


A Web-Enhanced Math Project
About Credit Cards- Using Your Money Wisely



Directions: Print this page first. Here is the problem. You and your team members are to pretend you are in one of  two situatons below. In either situation you will be asked to select the best credit card possible for your situation.  This should be based on your budget and financial situation.


    Situation #1- You have just lost your student loan because of an error you made in your loan application.  It will take 6 months to straighten it out.  You have no savings.  In order to continue your education you decide to get a credit card and use it to go to school for one semester until your loan situation is straightened out. You plan to take 18 hours of classes at a tuition rate of $167.20 per credit hour for out-of-state tuition. Books will cost $320.  You plan to pay back the credit card loan within 4 years with monthly payments of at least $60.  You work a 30 hour week and earn $8 per hour after taxes.  Your car payment is $150 per month. Your rent is $300 per month and utility bills run about $90 per month. You also have a 4 year old daughter.  You must take into consideration day care expenses as well as living expenses. 

      Situation #2 - You need to have a surgical procedure done and do not have the $3000 cash necessary for the operation.  Talking to an administrator at the hospital, you find that the hospital will accept credit cards such as Master Card, VISA and Discover credit cards.  Assume that you plan to take one year to pay off the loan  with payments of at least $300 a month. Find the best credit card for your situation.  Additional information:  You make about $425 per week clear after taxes.  You have a car payment of $235 per month, rent payment of $400, utility bills of $110 per month. There is $1200 in your savings account. 


     Best Credit Card Rates

    D) Uses the web site below to calculate how much interest you will pay on the credit card you select for one year. Make a table that shows a comparison of interest you will pay on  3 other cards.

    Cost of a loan calculator at

    E) Click here to use the spreadsheet to check out your credit card.


    F) Write one page describing the reasons you selected your credit card.  Describe how your selection will effect your budget, your buying habits, and life.

    Bonus-5 points.
    List an additional web sites you find to help you answer these questions.  Write a paragraph about how you used them.

Grading Criteria:
1) Complete budget = 20 points
2) Detailed paragraph explanation of budget.=20 points.
    Explanations must be logical.
3) Table showing interest calculations = 20 points
            Accuracy.of calculations=10 points
4) Page describing reasons for selection of credit card. =10 points
           Description of effects on budget =10  points
           Description of effects on buying habits = 5 points
              Description of effections on life in general = 5 points


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Author: Dr. Marcia L. Tharp  
Last Revision: Oct. 18, 2002 
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