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Virtual Budgeting Challenge Teaches Teens How to Manage Money

Imagine an opportunity to teach teens how to manage their money without facing the risk of losing a single cent. The H&R Block Budget Challenge is currently offering high school students such a situation.

Fifty eight percent of teens surveyed nationally reported they are concerned that they will not be as financially successful as their parents. One third of parents surveyed reported that they are more comfortable talking to their teens about, cigarettes, substance use and bullying than they are about money. Only five states currently require at least one course in personal finance offered to high school students prior to graduation.

H&R Block Dollars & Sense, an educational program aimed at helping teens learn about financial management, has created an interesting initiative to teach teens to manage money. The H&R Block Budget Challenge is a free, online, learn-by-doing simulation created for high school students. Teachers register students to participate in the challenge.

Once enrolled, students begin to virtually ‘live’ the financial life of a recent graduate who has been working for six months. To make the experience realistic, students receive a salary and an opportunity to maximize their earnings through a 401K. Along with the monetary benefits however, come bills. Students must learn to effectively manage their money to pay common expenses such as rent, utilities, and car payments. Additionally, students are challenged by ‘real life’ budget and spending issues such as unexpected costs for car accidents and lost cell phones.


But perhaps the most exciting benefit of the Budget Challenge, is that H&R Block will award $3 million in classroom grants and scholarships to the top performing participants.


Parents can secure a spot for their teens by encouraging teachers to sign up their class.  But hurry, registration for the 2014/2015 school year program ends this Friday, February 6!



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