This web quest is designed to help students understand the process of paychecks, opening bank accounts, paying bills, and keeping track of your bank account balances using a ledger.


Guess what Student?! You have just been hired for your first job! This job is at the local Whole Foods Market!

What you probably already know:

  • When you do a job, you earn a paycheck. As long as you keep working, you keep earning paychecks. 
  • Paychecks are usually not cash (they're paper) and they're not valuable until they are cashed or deposited. 
  • If you want things, like a cell phone or gas for your car, then you have to pay something called a bill. With cash or money from your checking account.

What you may not know:

  • There is a difference between credits and debits. 
  • That phone payment that comes out automatically every's not magic and you need to know what it's called and what it means.   

Good luck New Employee!



Your overall tasks (this is an individual assignment but you may work in small groups to help each other): 

  1. You got your first $500 paycheck. Open a free or student checking and savings account at a local bank (whichever is the best value). 
  2. Fill out a bank account ledger and log 15 transactions (credits and debits) and keep a running balance after each transaction. Please use Google Sheets to create the ledger. 
  3. Remember, 10% of your paycheck will go into the savings account. Also, you get paid $500 every two weeks.  




The overall goal of this task is to teach you how to properly maintain (keep your bank account balance in the green, don't go negative!) a checking and savings account and how to properly log and budget your money every month so that when you have more debits than credits later in life (add in Rent, Gas, Utilities, i.e. all the bills your parents pay that you one day will too), you will already know how to manage your money. 




First you need to choose the bank that offers the best value (and for which you qualify) for a free or student checking and savings account. Research local banks and find one that fits you and your needs. 


Google local banks. Start a list of the ones that have free and/or student checking and savings accounts. You're looking for a bank account where you don't have to pay any monthly maintenance fees, no minimum balances need to be kept, savings accounts with the highest interest rates, and checking accounts that come with a debit card and checks. 


Does all that stuff up there sound like Latin to you? You may just need a crash course in bank accounts. No worries! Click on each link below to learn about the corresponding feature. 

Visit the following websites to gather information. Feel free to check out any local banks that I don't have listed as well.

Bank of America

5/3 Bank 


Chase Bank

PNC Bank

US Bank

Wells Fargo

Arrowhead Credit Union


Copy the table below into your notebook onto page 33. Choose 3 banks to research, filling in the information in the table (do not just answer "yes" or "no"). 



                                                          Bank Comparisons


Bank 1: __________ 

Bank 2: ___________

 Bank 3: __________

 1. Monthly fee




2. Minimum OPENING balance 




 3. Interest




4. Overdraft Protection 




5. ATM fees 




6. Minimum balance  




7. Overdraft Fee




8. Online banking options 






Next create a bank account ledger using the google sheets here (you can either print this or write a copy like this one). Please put it onto page 34 of your math notebook. Make sure both the checking and savings accounts are on the same page. You want to be able to open the document and quickly and efficiently be able to enter your debits and credit so you stay up to date on your bank account balances. 


Your final task will be to log 15 transactions by writing their description (payee), date, type of payment, debit or credit, and running bank account balance. 


Think about how you spend your money in one month. Do you pay for your own gas? Do you pay for your own cell phone? Do you go to the movies every week and want to make sure there is always money in the budget for it? How often do you eat out? 

Taking that into consideration, "make" 15 transactions by rolling the die or dice online. Log them into your ledger and fill out all applicable columns. Remember, if you go into the negative, you have to pay an extra fee! Don't forget to log that if it happens. Use the information below to determine your transactions. 

  • Roll the die for each category to find what expenditures, if any, you will incur this month.
  • Log each item on your budget register. 
  • Use the link below to figure out what your transactions.

Budgeting Dice Rolling Guide


Also, don't forget to transfer 10% of your paycheck over to your savings account!




This is how your work will be evaluated.

Overall Understanding of the Assignment Students shows no understanding of assignment. Student shows little understanding of the assignment but has made an attempt to complete it.  Student not only shows understanding of assignment but completes all required tasks.     
Research of Checking & Savings Account Student did not research different banks and did not successfully fill out the chart Student did little research on local banks and filled out the table partially Student researched local banks and completed the table on three banks.     
Google Sheet Log of 15 Transactions including debits and credits Student did not log 15 transactions on their ledger.  Student logged >15 transactions on their ledger.  Student logged all 15 transactions on their ledger.     




Congratulations student! You have successfully shopped around for a new checking and savings account at a local bank!

More importantly, you learned what it takes to manage a bank account, earn a paycheck, and pay some bills and expenses with your own money. 

These types of skills aren't taught to you in college but they are life skills that you will need to carry with you into your adulthood. 

Before you end this lesson, please click here for some tips that will help make your first bank account a successful one!

Be proud of yourself! You did a great job!



Author Biography

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