First Apartment: Living Room Budget Project

Many young people today think they are going to go out there and have their “dream” apartment (like they see on TV).  Realistically, most will find they will be grateful for any free or hand-me-down furnishings (although they don’t realize that now).  I wanted students to first create a “dream” living room where money was no object.  Then, they had to replicate the room on a reduced budget as closely as possible, again keeping track of their expenses.  Finally, students created a visual comparing the two rooms followed by reflective questions.  This project end up being an eye-opener for most of my students!
  • Begin by showing students some tv show apartments via this slide show.  There are several eras included so you might want to pick and choose the ones you show. Most students think a lot these apartments are really cool and think they’d love to furnish their future apartments in a stylish way.


  • laptops
  • projector & screen


  • Introduce students to the project. I only copy the front page so students aren’t influenced by what they will have to do in part two.
  • Explain that students can shop any store/venue that can be accessed via the school internet.  When furnishing are found, students must copy and past the items they are using into a Google Slide presentation along with the venue source and price.  When they completed their shopping, they calculate a grand total that will be shared with the class.
  • To determine where the dollar amount comes from for the second part, I usually base it off of their original amount, especially if their prices aren’t too outrageous.  Sometimes, I make them cut their budget in half, sometimes I give a specific dollar amount.  You can do this whichever way works the best for you.
  • After they have completed part one, assign part two and give them time to recreate their room on a budget, with knock-off items.  Again, they must keep track of what they are buying, where it comes from and the cost.
  • Once their shopping is complete, students will complete part three and create a Google Slides showing both versions as well as costs and stores.
  • To conclude the project, students are to answer some questions summarizing their experience.
  • The original project was done using Prezi, but that platform doesn’t work well on the iPads so it’s now done on Google Slides. Here is a sample of a PREZI illustrating the project.


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