A core component of college and career readiness is an understanding of financial literacy. These essential real world skills can be strengthened with the online resources developed by H&R Block. Their Budget Challenge and accompanying lesson plans for Financial Literacy are terrific resources for teachers looking to integrate financial literacy into their curriculum. The H&R Block Budget Challenge simulation replicates real life as an adult: paying bills, managing expenses, saving money, investing in retirement, paying taxes and more.
Students are in the drivers’ seat as they immerse into the financial life of a recent college graduate. In this simulation, the recent college graduate has been working for about six months. Each student gets a regular paycheck, a checking account, a 401(k) savings account and bills to pay throughout the simulation. By maximizing 401(k) savings, paying bills on time and responding correctly to quiz questions while avoiding fees like late fees, overdraft fees and finance charges, students increase their individual score.
Lesson Plans for Financial Literacy
A huge part of student buy-in is demonstrating a connection between content in the classroom and real world. H&R Block Budget Challenge is a great choice for teachers looking for free, high-quality resources to bring into their classroom.
Participation in the H&R Block Budget Challenge must be facilitated by a classroom teacher at an accredited high school or home study program. Educators may visit hrbds.org to register their classrooms. Class creation closes one week prior to the simulation start date and for this round the deadline to create your class is January 7th, with rolling deadlines up to February 4th.
Budget Challenge is open to students 14 years of age or older. They must be full-time in grades nine through 12 with teachers who have set up their registration. Students may play one simulation per semester (Fall and Spring). But they are only eligible for prizing on their first attempt. Home school students may play one simulation per school year. Schools and student individuals can win a total of $3 million in school grants and individual student scholarships! Awards include a few different options. First, there are 60 opportunities for classroom grants up to $5K. Then, there are 132 opportunities for student scholarships of $20K. Finally, the grand prize scholarship of $100K. All of these are a student incentive during game play.