1. Login daily
  2. Pay bills on-time
  3. Adjust 401(k) contribution % and bank account type, as needed
  4. Read simulation communications via email, Dashboard Alert, and push notifications
  5. Maintain their CFS reconciled
  6. Take quizzes and surveys
  7. Review pay stubs and W-2
  8. Use the Student Quick Tips to help navigate the simulation and perform common tasks
  9. Use the Knowledge Base to answer questions about the game, scoring, website navigation, etc.


GOAL: To succeed in the H & R Block Budget Challenge you must become proficient at reviewing the status of your personal finances and making informed decisions about paying bills and saving for retirement.

  1. In Week 1, you will receive up to four bills. The best way to do this is for us to review and pay the first bill together.
  2. Login to your H&R Block Budget Challenge account and your email.
  3. You will receive notifications of bills/invoices when a new bill is issued. Check your email account for invoice notifications. If the simulation has started and you do not have any invoice notifications, check your SPAM folder or contact Customer Service for assistance. You are responsible for paying bills on time even if notifications do not arrive (for any reason).
  4. Based on the invoice notification, navigate to the appropriate Vendor page by hovering on the Vendors Tab and select the appropriate vendor from the menu.
  5. Once inside the Vendor page, find the line item for the invoice in the Account Activity table. Click on the hyperlink called “View Invoice” to open up the bill to see the details such as total amount due and due date. Depending on your browser, the bill may open in a new window or you may need to scroll down the page. Make note of the amount due and due date.
  6. Navigate to Student Home>Bank. Check for a sufficient bank balance.
  7. If you have or know when you will have sufficient funds, schedule the check for the appropriate date. Click in the date field to open the calendar to select the date. Type the amount in the $ field. The memo field is optional, but very helpful when reviewing your bank statement. Now submit the check by clicking “Pay Bill” in the bottom right corner of the check. If you don’t click Pay Bill, the check won’t be processed.
  8. The bill is paid on the date you select on the check. Note that the online bill-pay section keeps track of the last check paid to a particular payee and the date.
  9. Review the Quick Tips file for step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish common tasks in the system
  10. Have you located the Knowledge Base for self service help with questions? If not, do it now!
  11. Do you know how to contact the help desk for each vendor? If not, do it now!
  12. Review the Quick Tips document and have it on hand to assist you in navigating the H&R Block Budget Challenge website. It contains step-by step instructions for completing common tasks in the system.
  13. DID YOU KNOW: You can use the H&R Block Budget Challenge mobile app to pay bills from your mobile device?
    1. Leaderboard: Graph and chart displaying how students in the same class rank against each other in the simulation, based on score.
    2. Quick Tips: A document containing directions to complete routine tasks students perform during the simulation.
  15. Once the simulation starts, the Leaderboard is populated on the Main Student Home page, and subpages are added for Bank, Employer, 401(k), Tax Filing and Real-World Ready. You also gain access to the Vendors tab which has the account activity and FAQ for each company in the simulation.
  16. Student Home contains available quizzes/surveys, the Leaderboard and overall national standings.
  17. The “View” hyperlink next to each student’s name provides transactions that have affected that individual’s leaderboard score.
  18. Student Home>How to Play contains videos and downloadable files useful for you getting started.
  19. The Vendors Tab contains a page for each company in the simulation.
  20. Student Home>Help-Desk contains a form for submitting questions to customer service. Scrolling below the form, you will find a Knowledge Base of frequently asked questions.
  21. Student Home page contains:
    1. Quizzes/surveys to earn points.
    2. Quizzes and Surveys are open for a limited time.
    3. Posted open and close dates are Eastern Standard Time.
    4. A student may view the quiz/survey multiple times, but may only submit answers once. After submitting, the quiz/survey will no longer appear on their Student Home.
    5. Quiz questions must be answered correctly to earn points.
    6. Surveys must be answered in full (including open ended questions) to earn maximum points.
    7. The Leaderboard shows the student class rank, score, checks issued/cleared and other statistics.
    8. The Simulation Standings section displays ranking against the other students in the same simulation nationwide. Engagement over time is displayed right below the simulation standings.
    9. **Please note** You are only eligible to compete for the contest prizes on your first attempt of game play within the academic year. Late entries are not eligible to compete for contest prizes.
    10. By clicking on the view hyperlink to the left of your name on the Leaderboard, you can open a table that includes all transactions in which you gained or lost points.
    11. The Points Earned (Pts +) column represents points earned through your 401(k), points from quizzes/surveys or interest earned in the bank account.
    12. The Points Lost (Pts -) column represents points deducted from fees or any additional penalties.
    13. Student Home>How to Play contains resources you can self-serve during the simulation.
    14. Videos for What is Budget Challenge, Registration, Cash Flow Spreadsheet, and How to Play.
    15. Quick Tips file: Step-by-step instructions for routine tasks in the system (ex. View a bill, pay a bill, change 401(k) contribution).