Students learn personal finance

Charlotte Stewart’s Personal Finance Class at Tug Valley High School has completed a 10-week simulation with H&R Block.

The H&R Budget Challenge is a personal finance simulation played in real time over a 10-week period. Students receive paychecks and bills in real time and are challenged to build a budget that allows them to pay their bills on time, manage their credit card balance and save money for retirement in a 401(k).

The simulation does not use real money, but is extremely realistic including features such as online bill pay, direct deposit, email bill alerts, 401(k) paycheck deductions and more.

The program even includes a mobile application as an option for students who want to manage simulated financial decisions with their mobile phones.

Budget Challenge also includes many of the complicated banking and credit card fees that plague young people in the real world, so students can learn the ropes and make their costly “rookie” mistakes in the safety of the classroom.

Budget Challenge is also a competition that scores and ranks students based on how well they save, answer weekly quizzes and manage their financial responsibilities (pay bills). Students can compete with other students in their class, and classes can compete with other classes.

The winner with the highest score for this year’s challenge was Makayla Hager.

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