Thousands of students across West Virginia participate in the Get A Life budget simulation each year. Now, with students learning from home, we’ve added a condensed, at-home edition for parents and students to do together. This activity is designed for students at the eighth grade level, but the at-home version may be a beneficial activity for students in both middle school and high school.

What you need to complete the Get A Life-Home Edition activity:


This hands-on financial education experience will introduce you to the realities of managing a family budget. The Get A Life budget simulation begins with the following financial and family situation:

Education: High School Graduate

Your job: Food Server Non-Restaurant

Job Description: Serve food to individuals outside of a restaurant environment, such as in hotel rooms, residential care facilities, or cars.

Family Description:

  • You are the sole provider for your family of four.
  • You have two children, a boy and a girl, who are both in elementary school.
  • You incur no additional family expenses such as childcare or child support.

Yearly Salary: $22,540

  • State Taxes Withheld: $676
  • Federal Taxes Withheld: $1,127
  • Social Security: $902
  • Medicare: $225

Annual Salary After Taxes: $19,610

Monthly Take Home Pay: $1,634

Keeping in mind your monthly take home pay of $1,634, refer to the Shopping Guide to purchase a house, car and the necessary items, like insurance and utilities, that go along with those items. The goal is to make decisions to try and keep your family within your monthly budget. As you choose each of your purchases, record the associated costs of each item. Be sure to keep a running total to track your progress.

Once you’ve COMPLETED your purchases and added your monthly expenses up, CLICK HERE!

This Get A Life financial education activity is the property of the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office. Components of this activity are for personal use only and may not be distributed for public use.
The Treasury does not collect state taxes. Visit the The West Virginia State Tax Department for assistance.

West Virginia State Treasurer's Office
1900 Kanawha Boulevard
Capitol Complex Building #1, Room E-145
Charleston, West Virginia 25305
304-558-5000 Toll Free: 800-422-7498
Hours: 8:30am-4:30pm (ET)

Copyright 2024 by West Virginia State Treasury Privacy Statement