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. 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.