H&R Block Budget Challenge Unveiledby Amy Wenger on September 22, 2014
Anyone can easily go out and spend money. But it takes a certain level of knowledge and savvy to be able to manage finances accordingly, purposefully, and wisely.
This is where the nationally renowned financial planning institution of H & R Block would like to help. The company has launched an initiative called the H & R Block Budget Challenge.
The Budget Challenge is a financial literacy program geared toward teens, designed as an online game that illustrates how money is distributed in the "adult" world, with simulations such as paying bills, investing in retirement, responsibility for taxes, tracking expenses, and setting aside funds for savings. Those who participate can compete classroom versus classroom, as well as students against students.
As the participants gain progress and insights during their time in the program, they also become eligible for a share of up to $3 million in grants and scholarships. Among the awards offered include:
- 60 opportunities for classroom grants, up to $5,000
- 132 chances for student scholarships, up to $20,000
- A grand prize scholarship of $100,000
- Student incentives during the course of game play
Teens who register are given the financial foundation through which to track and navigate their financial status. Each player receives a regular paycheck, a checking account, a 401(k) savings account, and cyclical bills to be paid throughout the simulation. By paying their bills in a timely fashion, maximizing their 401(k) savings, and correctly answering occasional quiz questions, students can increase their scores, while simultaneously working to avoid such pitfalls as late fees, finance charges, and overdraft fees.
Between October and April, there will be several different sessions offered, with six opportunities to participate. Registration for each will end one week prior to a new session start date, so teachers and students will want to take note of the following deadlines and course dates:
Course - Start Date - End Date - Registration Closes
1 - October 3 - December 4 - September 26
2 - October 10 - December 11 - October 3
3 - October 17 - December 18 - October 10
4 - January 16 - March 19 - January 9
5 - January 30 - April 2 - January 23
6 - February 13 - April 16 - February 6
For more information, visit the website at www.hrblockdollarsandsense.com/what-were-doing/budget-challenge.