# 4. Research Costs

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Transcript

In this video, you will collect information about the costs of the phone itself and the data plan per month.

Then, you will calculate the total costs for the full length of the contract.

When you buy a phone, a streaming device, or a similar product, you often purchase a data or service plan.

You pay for this plan monthly, in addition to the purchase price of the device.

Check the website for the cost of the phone or other product, the monthly cost of the plan, and the term of the contract.

Most phone contracts last two years, but you may find some for one or three years.

If you are evaluating a different product, you may have different contract terms.

Add a column for Phone price, or the price you’ll pay for the product itself.

Next, add what the service plan will cost per month.

Next, add a column for the number of months in the contract.

In this case, the contract term is two years, or 24 months.

The contract term in your project may be different.

Then, create a formula to calculate the amount the product will cost you for the full length of the term.

To do this, multiply the monthly cost of the plan by the number of months in the contract term.

Create another column for “Total Plan Cost.”

In the cell below “Total Plan Cost,” type an equals sign.

Then, select the cell with the monthly cost.

Type an asterisk, or a multiplication sign.

Then, select the cell with the number of months.

Press “Enter.”

Now, you have the total cost of the plan for the full length of the term.

Finally, calculate the cost of the phone and the plan, or the total amount you will pay for your purchase.

Add a column labeled “Total Cost.”

Type a formula to add the one-time charges and the total plan cost.

Type “equals” and select the cell with the phone cost.

Type a “plus” sign.

Then, select the total plan cost cell.

Press Enter.

Terrific!

This tells you the total amount you will pay for this phone and the data plan over the length of the contract.

One of the benefits of formulas is that you can check your work.

After you’ve found the total cost of your phone and data plan, select the “Total Cost” cell and look at the contents of the formula bar.

Each cell you selected appears in the formula in a different color.

The formula performs the calculation using the values you place in the cells.

It automatically updates when you change one of those values.

Check to ensure you have highlighted the correct cells.

In the next video, you will copy this formula to different areas of the spreadsheet.

Now, it’s your turn: Collect data on the cost of your product.

Use a formula to calculate the Total Plan Cost.

Then, create a formula to find the Total Cost of your purchase and the plan over the course of the contract.

Then, move on to the next video.

## Instructions

1. Collect data on the cost of your product.
2. Add columns for purchase price, service plans, hidden fees, and other financial information you find. Make sure to read the fine print!
3. Use a formula to calculate the cost of your plan for one month.
4. Create a formula to find the Total Plan Cost.