2017 3rd Qtr Midterm Evaluation–Please fill this out and be HONEST & SPECIFIC in your responses. Thank you!



  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: Today you will learn how to reconcile your Cash Flow Spreadsheet. In an age of online banking and smartphone apps, many consumers no longer bother to balance or reconcile their checking account. Today you will know how and why to actively manage your bank account.

  1. Three important tips for successfully managing a bank account:
    1. Balance your checking account regularly.
    2. Reconcile the account to review and correct any outages.
    3. Maintain an up-to-date check register.
  2. During the Budget Challenge® simulation, you should use the CFS (Cash Flow Spreadsheet) not only as a planning tool for building a budget but also as a tool for reconciling your CFS to your bank account activity on a regular basis. Knowing your “available cash balance” will help you pay your bills on time without incurring costly fees (such as NSF, Returned Check, and Late Fees).
  3. Navigation Tip #1: Calculating your check register “CFS” Ending Bank Balance
    1. Balancing a checking account shows how much money is available.
      1. Begin by entering the simulation start date (with year) in cell A9, then enter the beginning bank account balance (Found at Student Home>Bank and Student Home>Info Packet) in in cell B9 in the “Deposits” column.
      2. Next, add all the deposits (on the date available keeping in mind the one day hold on all deposits) to the beginning balance for an account’s statement period and subtract the “withdrawals” (including checks written and bank fees).
      3. Once you have entered the beginning balance and all the transactions, the CFS will automatically calculate the “Ending Bank Account Balance” in the yellow column O.  FYI: Teachers can access bank account activity for each student by clicking on the participant’s bank account balance on the Leaderboard table.
  4. Navigation Tip #2: Reconciliation outages
    1. Reconciliation brings one account balance (the balance per the CFS) in line with another account balance (the balance per the bank).
    2. If the balance per the CFS on a particular day matches the balance per the bank activity table or bank statement for that day, then the account is in balance and the reconciliation is complete.
    3. If there is a difference, or an “outage”, you will need to review the (deposits and withdrawals) entered into your CFS to the transactions (Debits and Credits) posted to your bank account and recorded in the bank activity table (found at Student Home>Bank).
    4. Once all of the activity has been reviewed, outages identified, and the CFS updated as needed, and the checking account balance (yellow column O) matches the bank account balance for that date, the bank reconciliation is complete.
    5. You should write the Help Desk if they find a mistake at the bank or another vendor.
    6. Common outages in Budget Challenge include: bank fees charged by the bank and duplicate checks entered on the CFS.
  5. Navigation Tip #3: Keeping the check register, “CFS”, up to date.
    1. In Budget Challenge, when kept up to date, the CFS helps keep a running total (or cash flow) of the bank account balance and helps avoid overdrafts.
    2. Balancing and reconciling a bank account is needed when you neglect to record transactions regularly.
    3. Keeping the CFS up to date with pending check, fees and anticipated deposits allows you to manage your cash flow effectively.
    4. By utilizing the Pending Checks Queue (found at Student Home>Bank), you can verify your CFS includes all issued checks on the date they will clear.
    5. You can also use the CFS as a budgeting tool by entering all their future planned payments on the date they plan to make the payment.



  1. You have a copy of the Bank Account Activity and the Budget and Cash Flow Spreadsheet: W1_C_Tool_Learning to Reconcile
  2. You have watched the Cash Flow video.
  3. The date of this reconciliation is 4/8/15.
  4. A check was issued to clear on 4/9/15 to Minutes4Less (cell phone) in the amount $75.00.

Answer these questions:

  1. The bank balance on 4/8/15 is: $______________
  2. The CFS balance on 4/8/15 is: $______________
  3. If the bank account balance on 4/8/15 matches the CFS balance on 4/8/15 your accounts balance then your CFS is reconciled.
  4. If the bank account balance on 4/8/15 differs from the CFS balance on 4/8/15 reconciliation is necessary.


  1. Calculate the outage. (Outage = Bank Account Balance – Budget and CFS Balance)
  2. The total outage amount is $_______________.
  3. Next determine the components of the outage:
    1. Review the bank activity from 3/27/15 – 4/8/15 and compare each transaction in the CFS with each transaction in the bank account activity.
    2. Did you find anything that doesn’t match?
    3. Is there is a transaction in the bank account activity that is not in the CFS?
      1. Is the charge accurate? (check the info packet).
      2. Enter the outage amount missed into the CFS.
    4. Is there a transaction on the CFS that is not in the bank activity?
      1. Remove the erroneous entry from the CFS or move the entry within the CFS.
  4. After comparing each line item and entering any transactions that were missing to CFS and removing any erroneous entries in the CFS, compare the balances for 4/8/15 again.
  5. What is your updated CFS balance? $_______________
  6. Compare the bank account balance on 4/8/15 with the updated CFS balance.
    1. If the two amounts match the reconciliation is complete.
    2. If the two amounts do not match complete steps #1 – 6 until the amounts match.

Now take a turn with your own Budget Challenge bank account:

  1. Each time you reconcile your bank account and CFS Spreadsheet type RECONCILED in the purple Comments column on that date.
  2. The next time you balance your account you will know to start after this date.
  3. Review your bank account terms and conditions in the Info Packet to make sure you understand the bank fees.


  1. What are some consequences that could occur if bank fees are not entered into your CFS?
  2. How often should you reconcile your bank account?
  3. What may cause a CFS to be out of balance with the bank account balance?


  1. Reconcile your personal bank account on a regular basis.
  2. Make sure you understand all the fees associated with your personal bank account.
  3. Review your personal online bank account every 2-3 days.
  4. Reconciling your bank account may uncover fraudulent charges and possible identity theft. Make sure you follow up on surprise charges.

DID YOU KNOW: If an unauthorized check was written on your account notify your bank immediately. If you identify it timely and communicate it to you financial institution, you may be protected under federal law.


  1. Balancing: The process of deducting all withdrawals from the beginning balance plus all deposits.
  2. Bank reconciliation: The process that explains the dollar difference between the bank balance and the corresponding amount in the account holder’s records at a particular point in time.