KANSAS CITY, MO--(Marketwired - August 31, 2016) - When asked about financial literacy, 86 percent of teens say they would rather learn about money management in a class before making mistakes in the real world. Good news for those teens: the H&R Block Budget Challenge is back with sessions beginning Sept. 8 in high schools nationwide.
Offered free to high school teachers through H&R Block, the online game teaches students to pay bills, manage expenses, save money, invest in retirement and pay taxes as if they were recent college graduates. In addition to gaining important life skills, 10 students will win $20,000 college scholarships based on their real-world readiness after completing the program.
"We are committed to helping teens learn before they earn and have fun increasing their financial fitness," said Kathy Collins, chief marketing officer of H&R Block. "More than 250,000 students have participated in the H&R Block Budget Challenge to date. Their stories about the difference our financial education and scholarships have made for them make kicking off another school year even more exciting."
More than 96 percent of teachers who have participated in the Block-sponsored program applaud its learn-by-doing approach. During game play, participants save an average of $1,350 virtually -- a habit Collins and her team hope will carry over to the real world. Currently, 73 percent of millennials say they either have no savings or savings of less than $1,000.
In addition to the importance of savings, Budget Challenge students learn the costly consequences of poor financial decisions, like bank overdraft fees. More than 90 percent of Budget Challenge participants said they're more likely to check account balances before writing checks rather than adding to the more than $6 billion in overdraft and ATM fees collected by large banks last year alone.
Sugar Land, Texas scholarship winner Angela Lin's Budget Challenge experience inspired her to take an active role managing her family's finances including paying the bills and creating a budget to help them meet their financial goals.
A scholarship from H&R Block allowed Emma Fancher of Guntersville, Ala. to attend college debt free where she says her Budget Challenge knowledge was quickly applied. Watching many of her peers apply for credit cards, Emma knows how to analyze the pros and cons of a credit card, including interest rates and how a credit card will affect her credit score.
To learn more; access full terms, conditions and eligibility requirements; or to register as a teacher, visit www.HRBDS.org.
Editor's Note: Former participants -- including students and teachers -- are available to share their personal experiences with the H&R Budget Challenge.
About H&R Block Dollars & Sense
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world's largest consumer tax services provider, with revenues of $3.1 billion in fiscal year 2015. Since 1955, more than 680 million tax returns have been prepared worldwide in approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise tax offices, and through H&R Block tax software products. H&R Block Dollars & Sense is committed to increasing teens' financial fitness by providing practical financial skills and has helped more than 1 million teens become more real-world ready. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom, www.HRBDS.org or follow H&R Block on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
Based out of Cincinnati, Ohio, ProperLiving, LLC owns and operates the Budget Challenge Personal Finance Simulation, which received a U.S. Patent in May 2013.