GOAL:  Thoroughly reviewing bills each month is recommended during the H&R Block Budget Challenge. You should verify bills are accurate per the contract terms. Some bills have a fixed payment amount and/or a fixed frequency. Other bills are variable like credit card and utility bills. Understanding the timing between statement dates, due dates and payday is vital in creating a budget and paying bills on time. Today you will compare a vendor invoice to the sample contract terms and conditions.

  1. In Week 1, you will receive up to four invoices. Did you?!
  2. Review the Invoice in this handout and answer the questions at the bottom of the second page–in your Google Doc for this class. This is your writing for the day. You may work together, but you each need to write your own answers in your own Google Doc. Also, answer these questions, in your own opinion, in the Google Doc:
    1. When would the “Current Bill Amount” and the “Total Bill Amount” be different?
    2. What are some “surprise” extra charges on an invoice you have encountered in your life?
  3. Review YOUR OWN bills and compare the bill amounts to the terms and conditions on the Student Home>Vendor Selections tabs.  Are there any extra fees on the bill? Contact Customer Service if you need help understanding your bill or to dispute a charge.
  4. Navigation Tips:
    1. Review each invoice for accuracy.
      1. Practicing Navigation Tip #1: In the game and in life, you should strive to pay bills on time. It is important to review invoices each month to ensure payments made are reflected in the account activity and unwarranted charges/fees have not been applied.
    2. Avoid paying for services you will not use.
      1. Practicing Navigation Tip #2: In the H&R Block Budget Challenge, three out of four bank account options offer Over Draft Protection(ODP). You should research your situation to determine if you plan to use ODP or if you could lower the cost and/or restrictions of your bank account by not choosing ODP. You can change your bank account type throughout the challenge to meet your banking needs at Student Home>Bank.
    3. Customer service is available to answer questions or to help with disputing a charge
      1. Practicing Navigation Tip #3: Customer Service agents are available to answer your questions or assist you disputing a charge/fee. You can submit questions at Student Home>Help-Desk. Please note that teachers will be carbon copied (CC’d) on the email response and will have visibility into the initial question asked. A turnaround time of one business day can be expected, although it may be longer in times of high volume or if complex research is involved. Courteous, professional emails are appreciated. You may request a single, one-time courtesy late fee waiver during the simulation.
  5. TERMINOLOGY:
    1. Invoice- A bill or statement of charges.
    2. Due Date –Date a payment must be received by the vendor to be considered on time.
    3. Statement date or Cycle Day –Date an invoice is issued.
    4. Current Bill Amount – Total of all new charges.
    5. Total Amount Due – Amount to be paid by the due date.
    6. New Charges –List of items and amounts billed for this billing period.
    7. Credits and Adjustments – Money credited to account this period due to bill over-payment or refunds.
  6. DID YOU KNOW: You can schedule your H&R Block Budget Challenge bills to be paid at a later date (like after payday) as long as the bill is paid on time…….
  7. DO THE FOLLOWING TODAY AND EVERY DAY DURING THE SIMULATION:
    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 your Cash Flow Statement
    6. Take all possible quizzes and surveys–look up the correct answers
    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.
  8. IF YOU HAVE TIME AT THE END OF CLASS TODAY: VIRTUAL BUSINESS CHALLENGE PERSONAL FINANCE–2017